prize for published books of fiction and nonfiction: Saroyan Prize
- Nominations are now being accepted for the fourth William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. This award, given by Stanford University Libraries in partnership with the William Saroyan Foundation, recognizes newly published works of fiction and non-fiction with a $5,000 award for the winner in each category. The prize is designed to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan literary legacy of originality, vitality and stylistic innovation.
What works are eligible for the Saroyan Prize?
Works of fiction (novels, short stories, or drama) or non-fiction (biography, history, or memoirs) first published during 2008-2009 are eligible for consideration. Poetry will not be considered in this cycle. All entries must be predominately in English, and available for individual purchase by the general public. Works by members of The Saroyan Writing Prize Committee, members or officers of the William Saroyan Foundation, or previous winners are not eligible. Eligibility rules may be modified over time.
While all works fitting the above description are eligible, and all entries are welcome, note that the judges will be looking for works with strong literary merit that honor the Saroyan legacy. In past prize cycles, works that fell into a specific publishing sub-genre – juvenile, science fiction, Western, mystery, romance, erotic, self-help, religion, etc. – were frequently found to be outside of that legacy.
The award honors the Saroyan literary legacy. What is the Saroyan legacy or style?
Saroyan’s literary style is characterized by originality, stylistic innovation and what is often described as an “exuberant humanism”. It is this exuberance and desire to move art in new directions, rather than relevance to the particulars of Saroyan’s common settings or themes, that Saroyan Prize judges will be seeking. Of course, any artist’s work is best understood through direct experience, and judges for the Saroyan prize will make their choices based on their personal experience with Saroyan’s writings.
What is the deadline for entry?
Entries must be received at the Stanford University Libraries on or before January 31, 2010.
What materials must I submit to be considered for the prize?
A complete entry, consisting of the materials listed below, is required for consideration.
A completed entry form, available at
Five copies of the publication.
A $50 non-refundable entry fee. Payment may be made using Visa, MasterCard or American Express at the above website, or by check. Checks should be made payable to Stanford University/Saroyan Writing Prize, and must indicate the title(s) of book(s) being submitted. Multiple entries may be paid with one check.
What is the address for submission of entries?
Administrator of The Saroyan Prize Committee
Stanford University Libraries
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Must the publisher make the entry?
No, anyone (including the author) may submit an eligible entry.
Are self-published books eligible?
Yes, self-published books are eligible as long as they are available for individual purchase by the general public.
Are electronic books eligible?
Yes, books published electronically are eligible, assuming they are in a fixed state and readily available for purchase by the public.
May I get my entry or entry fee back after I submit it to the Prize competition?
Entries are not returnable or refundable under any circumstance.
How can I support the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing?
Individuals may encourage authors and publishers to submit excellent works for the competition. Individuals affiliated with Stanford University may also be eligible to help screen entries in early 2010. Please contact Sonia Lee at sonialee@... for additional information about volunteering.
Administration of the prize also involves significant expense, and monetary support is always greatly appreciated. Tax-deductible cash gifts to the Stanford Libraries are, of course, always appreciated and can be directed specifically to the Saroyan Prize.
Who can I contact with further questions?
Please direct questions to Sonia Lee, <sonialee(at)stanford.edu> (replace (at) with @)
sonialee@... or 650-736-9538.
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