The crop of manuscripts we received for the 2016 Metatron Prize was simply phenomenal. In a way, it’s almost unfair that we only get to choose one Metatron Prize winner, as there were so many submissions we loved this year. In the end, we extended more offers for publication deals than we thought we would, simply because there were too many manuscripts we really couldn’t see ourselves doing without.
First and foremost, Metatron is thrilled to announce the winner of the 2016 Metatron Prize, Sarah Jean Grimm for her manuscript Soft Focus!
Congratulations Sarah! Soft Focus is a smart, bold, confident, captivating and highly polished poetry collection. It’s a radiant spell that both expands and contracts, leaving the reader in the ambient space between. It’s also the perfect follow-up to last year’s Metatron Prize winner, Pony Castle by Sofia Banzhaf, and we’re honoured to give this work a home. We seriously can’t wait for readers to discover this book.
Sarah will receive a cash prize, a selection of past Metatron titles + a publication deal with us. We will be publishing Soft Focus as part of our Spring 2017 catalog.
That’s not all, though. From the 2016 shortlist, we’ve also extended an additional 7 (!) offers for individual publication deals. We will be publishing these titles as part of our Fall 2016, Spring 2017 and Fall 2017 catalogs.
The manuscripts we retained are:
–> Laura Theobald for what my hair says about you. Laura’s manuscript is conversational, tender, mischievous and a great fit for Metatron. This is a manuscript full of bangers, or whatever the literary equivalent of “bangers” is. what my hair says about you will be published by Metatron in our Fall 2016 Catalogue.
–> Liz Bowen for Sugarblood. For a while, we debated publishing either this manuscript or Sarah Jean Grimm’s, but then we thought, “Fuck it, let’s just do both.” For whatever reason, Liz and Sarah’s manuscripts seem to work really well together, a kind of 1-2 punch of contemporary writing by smart women. Spring 2017!
–> Alex Manley for Animals & Plants. As a Montreal-based press, we always love giving back to our community, whether it’s by organizing readings, providing opportunities to Montreal writers or anything else we can do to support local talent. Alex, we felt, was clearly ready to take “the next step” as a writer, and we can’t wait to work with him. Animals and Plants will be published by Metatron in our Fall 2016 Catalogue.
–> Sennah Yee for Criteria For Crazy. Submitted as a chapbook, Sennah’s manuscript left us wanting more, though in the best possible way. This submission showed great skill at the sentence level, and we loved how it spoke from a contemporary Chinese-Canadian perspective. Hell yeah we’re publishing this. Criteria For Crazy will be published by Metatron in our Fall 2017 Catalogue.
–> Georgia Faust for Too Big To Fail. Reading Georgia’s poems kind of feels like wearing 3D goggles. In their spatial organization, her poems just leap off the page/screen. This is poetry from an alternate dimension in which the Fortune 500 is a list of chill experimental poetry magazines. Too Big to Fail will be published by Metatron in our Spring 2016 Catalogue.
–> Natasha Young for Static Flux. We love novellas, and this manuscript was one we immediately liked and sensed that we would be interested in working with. Natasha’s voice has a special way of drawing the reader in, reminding us in this way of someone like Joan Didion. As a bonus, we love how a section from Static Flux is set in Montreal, making our press a very fitting home for this work. Static Flux will be published by Metatron in our Fall 2017 Catalogue.
–> Adam Zachary for The End, For Anna. A smart and riveting hypertextual short novel written by an extremely talented emerging Toronto-based writer. Keep an eye on Adam. The End, by Anna will be published by Metatron in our Fall 2016 Catalogue.
Thank you again to everyone who submitted to the 2016 Metatron Prize! The Metatron Prize will be back early next year, though at this point in time, it’s really hard for us to imagine how we’re going to top this year (surprise us?).
Below is a list of our complete shortlist. Click on a title to read an excerpt via our blog, ÖMËGÄ.
WHAT MY HAIR SAYS ABOUT YOU
BY LAURA THEOBALD
BY NATASHA YOUNG
THE END, BY ANNA
BY ADAM ZACHARY
BY LIZ BOWEN
BY CHRISTOPHER CLIFTON
CRITERIA FOR CRAZY
BY SENNAH YEE
BY SARAH JEAN GRIMM
TOO BIG TO FAIL
BY GEORGIA FAUST
BOSTON VS LOS ANGELES
BY JOHN COLASACCO
ANIMALS & PLANTS
BY ALEX MANLEY