Many congratulations to the winner of the 2017 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature: Diana Hartel, for her essay collection Watershed Redemption: Journey in Time on Five U.S. Watersheds.
Judge Jonathan Balcombe writes: “Watershed Redemption, Diana Hartel’s sweeping, richly researched account conjures up a Bierstadt landscape. With elegant, crystal-clear prose, she weaves a dire yet hopeful tapestry of ecological ignorance, genocide, and tenacious activism. There is something for everyone—environmentalist, policy-maker, ethnologist, historian, biologist, epidemiologist, artist—in this powerful piece of advocacy.”
Congratulations as well to the finalists and semifinalists:
The winner will receive:
The contest is open to published or unpublished full-length prose manuscripts, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections.
Manuscripts should be approximately 40,000 to 90,000 words (i.e., please do not send novellas or individual essays or stories; please also note the contest is not open to poetry or children’s books).
Published books eligible for the prize must have been published within the past five (5) years; books published in the year 2010 or earlier are not eligible.
Please see below for complete guidelines.
“New environmental literature” refers to literary works that focus on the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife.
We're looking for work that redefines our notions of environmentalism and sustainability, particularly when it comes to animal protection. We are not seeking books about hunting, fishing, or eating animals—unless they are analogous to a good anti-war novel being all about war. Under these basic guidelines, however, we’re open to reading a wide range of fiction and nonfiction with environmental and animal themes.
About the name
The Siskiyou Prize is named for the Klamath-Siskiyou region of northern California and southern Oregon, one of the most diverse eco-regions in the world. The Klamath-Siskiyou has the highest concentration of Wild and Scenic Rivers in the nation, the largest area of roadless wildlands in the Pacific Northwest, and the tallest old-growth trees on earth. Due to this large network of still-intact lands, the region is a refuge for fish and other wildlife that struggle for survival in other parts of the world. Considered a global center of biodiversity, the Klamath-Siskiyou region is an inspiring example of the importance of preservation.
Manuscripts must be received between September 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.
All submissions must be made online via Submittable and must include the following:
A Few More Details…
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Can I submit more than one work?
Yes. There is no limit to the number of works submitted by one author, but each manuscript must be entered separately and be accompanied by the $17 reading fee.
Can I mail you a print copy of my manuscript?
No. We place a priority on minimizing our use of paper resources, so we cannot accept print copies of unpublished manuscripts. For published books, we strongly prefer digital files (the final version of the book as a PDF), but we do accept print copies of published books only. For published books, please use Submittable to pay the fee and include a cover letter letting us know the book will arrive via U.S. mail (Ashland Creek Press, Attn: Siskiyou Prize, 2305 Ashland Street, Suite C417, Ashland, OR 97520). Please note that authors/publishers may be asked to submit a second hard copy if their books are chosen as finalists.
When will you announce the winner?
We hope to announce by February 15th, but our timeline may change based on our judge's schedule.
Do you offer refunds?
Unfortunately, no. The entry is used to cover time, expenses, a stipend for judging, and the cash award for the winner.
I submitted a draft that I wish to revise. Can I send an updated draft?
We're sorry, but we cannot consider revisions once you've submitted.
How do I know whether my manuscript qualifies as "new environmental literature"?
We define "new environmental literature" as works that focus on issues pertaining to the protection and conservation of the planet and all species of animals. This emerging genre makes a solid connection between the way we treat animals and the way we treat our planet; it extends protection to all animals, human and non-human, and calls for responsibility and evolution for a changing planet.
Please feel free to visit Ashland Creek Press to get an idea of the types of books we like and for a sampling of eco-fiction. Free excerpts are available for all of our titles, and you can also download our free Eco-Fiction Sampler. Please also check out our anthology, Among Animals, to get an idea of the types of stories we feel represent animal literature. We also welcome books with vegetarian and vegan themes if they relate to animal welfare.
In fiction, what genres can be submitted?
We will consider all genres (for example, literary, mystery, YA, thriller), as long as the book has strong environmental/animal protection themes. Our top considerations are the environmental issues explored in the book as well as the quality of the writing.
Do you accept submissions from outside the United States?
Yes, we accept prize submissions from authors all over the world; manuscripts must be submitted in English.
If my manuscript wins, will it be published by Ashland Creek Press?
All unpublished manuscripts entered for the Siskiyou Prize will be considered for publication. For any further questions, please feel free to contact us.
What if my manuscript is more than 90,000 words?
Our guideline for manuscripts of approximately 40,000 to 90,000 words is just that: a guideline. Manuscripts will ultimately be judged on quality, not word count. This guideline is primarily to indicate that we are seeking book-length manuscripts, not individual essays or stories. For any further questions, please feel free to contact us.
On the edge of the Great Basin in central Oregon, PLAYA offers creative individuals the space, the solitude, and the community to reflect and to engage their work. The winner of the Siskiyou Prize will receive a four-week residency at PLAYA.
A residency at PLAYA provides private lodging in a fully equipped cabin with kitchen/living room, a place to write, and two dinners a week (Mondays & Thursdays) with a cohort of residents, at no charge. (Transportation and other meals are not included.) Playa allows uninterrupted time and solitude amidst a spectacular landscape.
PLAYA is a nonprofit organization supporting innovative thinking through work in the arts, literature, natural sciences, and other fields of creative inquiry.
Ashland Creek Press is an independent publisher of books with a world view. Our mission is to publish a range of books that foster an appreciation for worlds outside our own, for nature and the animal kingdom, and for the ways in which we all connect.
If you have any questions about the contest or the press, please submit them here.