Supported by non/fictionLab and Copyright Agency, this prize calls on boundary-pushing nonfiction entries from new, upcoming or known writers.
The winner will receive AU$5000 and publication in Issue #31 of The Lifted Brow – which will be available September 2016. Two runners-up will receive AU$500 and an opportunity to discuss publication prospects with the Brow editors.
“The Lifted Brow and RMIT's non/fictionLab Prize for Experimental Nonfiction is a chance for writers and readers, and literary lovers of all persuasions to engage deeply with what nonfiction is or might be, what makes nonfiction nonfiction, questions of form and structure, and with how the imagination can lift off the page. The possibilities are endless. And if we think about how the French word for experiment is experience, and to try, then who knows what might emerge out of this great opportunity."
Francesca Rendle-Short, co-director non/fictionLab Research Group.
"There’s a global renaissance in innovative nonfiction — much of the work individual and personal — and at The Lifted Brow we want to secure and grow a space for artists who are experimenting in this field. A lot of nonfiction in Australia is produced with commercial ends in sight, which influences what gets made and why. To counteract this, there needs to be spaces that support thinking about non-fiction as art without the pressure to conform to marketable ideals. We’re proud to partner with non/fictionLab and the Copyright Agency to make this possible, for at least the next few years."
Ellena Savage, Lifted Brow Editor
Helen Macdonald, Maria Tumarkin, Dodie Bellamy and Kate Zambreno will judge the 2016 prize.
Helen Macdonald is an English writer, naturalist, and an Affiliated Research Scholar at the University of Cambridge. She is best known as the author of H is for Hawk, which won the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and Costa Book Award.
Dodie Bellamy is an American novelist, nonfiction author, journalist and editor. She is one of the originators in the New Narrative literary movement of the early and mid 1980s, which attempts to use the tools of experimental fiction and critical theory and apply them to narrative storytelling.
Maria Tumarkin writes books (Traumascapes, 2005, Courage, 2007, and Otherland, 2010), as well as reviews, pieces for performance and essays. She has collaborated with visual artists, psychologists and pubic historians, and her work has been published, performed, carved into dockside tiles and set to music.
Kate Zambreno is an American writer. She is the author of the novella O Fallen Angel, winner of the “Undoing the Novel—First Book Contest,” by Chiasmus Press, as well as the novel Green Girl, published by Harper Perennial. Heroines, her “critical memoir” centred on the women of modernism.
The Lifted Brow is the resident small press within RMIT’s newly created student-led publishing house, The Bowen Street Press.
The Bowen Street Press is a student-led publishing house which is the backbone of RMIT’s new Master of Writing and Publishing. The Bowen Street Press enables students to explore contemporary opportunities and experience the industry’s challenges first hand by working on a variety of writing and publishing projects.
“Having The Lifted Brow, one of Australia’s most dynamic and innovative literary journals, as the Bowen Street Press' resident small press is such a privilege. Initiatives such as the Experimental Nonfiction prize coupled with collaborations on student-led pop-up editions of The Lifted Brow will promote creativity and innovation in the world of non-fiction, from hybrid forms such as the lyric essay through to new approaches to traditional forms. Our partnership with The Lifted Brow is a boon for both student writers and publishers.”
RMIT Master of Writing and Publishing Program Director, Tracy O’Shaughnessy
non/fictionLab is a world-leading group for new creative practices, based in the School of Media and Communication, RMIT University. The group's research ecology includes essayists, poets, novelists, media-makers, photographers, editors, publishers, and literary and cultural studies scholars.
First prize: AU$5000 and publication
Two runners-up will each receive AU$500
Max word count: 5,000 words
Entry fee: AU$7 (free for subscribers and RMIT students and alumnus)
How to apply
Submit entries via The Lifted Brow sumbit page