CHAUTAUQUA - Drawing from its legacy as a community of readers, Chautauqua Institution has announced a new annual prize for a work of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction. To be awarded for the first time in the summer of 2012, The Chautauqua Prize is a national prize that will celebrate a book that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and honor the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts.
''One thing we keep hearing again and again from authors who visit Chautauqua is what wonderful readers we have here,'' said Sherra Babcock, director of Chautauqua's Department of Education. ''Other national literary awards honor great writing, which is a factor in our prize, but we have designed The Chautauqua Prize to also place special emphasis on reading, because we believe reading is just as important.''
The winner of The Chautauqua Prize will receive $7,500 and all travel and expenses for a one-week summer residency at Chautauqua.
Eligible books will have been published in English in the United States within 2011. Nominations will be accepted from publishers, agents, authors, and readers. The deadline for nomination is Dec. 31. Longlist finalists will be notified in February, at which time authors will be asked to select their summer visit time to Chautauqua should they be awarded the prize. Shortlist finalists and the winner will be notified in April, and Chautauqua Institution will celebrate the winner in the summer of 2012.
The pre-eminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, Chautauqua Institution's history is steeped in the literary arts. The Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, founded in 1878, is a book club with international reach and national prominence that honors nine outstanding books of fiction, nonfiction, essays, and poetry every summer. Literary arts programming at Chautauqua includes summer-long interaction of published and aspiring writers at the Chautauqua Writers' Center, the intensive workshops of the nationally recognized Chautauqua Writers' Festival, and lectures by prominent authors on the art and craft of writing.
Chautauqua Institution is a 138-year-old community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 170,000 visit Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages - all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village.
For more information on Chautauqua Institution and The Chautauqua Prize, including complete eligibility rules, submission requirements, the selection process, and the official entry form, visit www.ciweb.org/prize.