Bennington Writing Prizes of $250 are awarded in each of the writing genres; three issues of the online anthology feature a poem, story, or essay selected by well-known practitioners in their respective fields. Winning works will appear in the April, September, and December 2014 issues; other issues will feature Honorable Mentions selected by the judges in each genre.
Previous judges have included The Atlantic fiction editor C. Michael Curtis, essayist Susan Cheever, and poet April Bernard (2009); Michael Curtis, essayist and anthologist Philip Lopate, and poet Ellen Bryant Voigt (2010); novelist and essayist Jonathan Lethem, Paris Review editor Lorin Stein, and poet, translator, and former American Poetry Review editor Eleanor Wilner (2011); Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith for poetry, journalist and New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean for nonfiction, and acclaimed novelist Sue Miller for fiction (2012).
For the 2013 anthology, we’ve upheld the five-year tradition of stellar judges: Jack Beatty judged for nonfiction; Jericho Brown for poetry; and Lydia Davis for fiction.
Jack Beatty, Nonfiction Judge
Jack Beatty is a commentator on the weekday NPR show, On Point. His book, The Rascal King, won an American Book Award and was nominated for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. A longtime senior editor at The Atlantic, Beatty is also a Poynter Fellow at Yale, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Alfred P. Sloan Foundation research grants, a William Allen White Award for Criticism, and he shared an Olive Branch Award for an Atlantic article on arms control.
Jericho Brown, Poetry Judge
Jericho Brown’s first collection of poetry, Please, won the 2009 American Book Award. Brown was also the recipient of a 2009-10 Bunting Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. His poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Believer, Oxford American, Tin House and 100 Best African American Poems. See his website for more news.
Lydia Davis, Fiction Judge
Lydia Davis is best known for her short stories—and by “short,” we mean short (here’s a couple). She has won the Man Booker International Prize and was nominated for the National Book Award. Davis is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. If you don’t know where to start, we recommend her big orange book of Collected Stories.