Jonathan’s most recent book is the New York Times bestseller What a Fish Knows: The Inner Lives of our Underwater Cousins, an extraordinary journey underwater that reveals the vast capabilities of fishes. He is also the author of the books The Exultant Ark, Second Nature, Pleasurable Kingdom, and The Use of Animals in Higher Education.
Jonathan has three biology degrees, including a PhD in ethology (the study of animal behavior) from the University of Tennessee, and has published more than 50 scientific papers on animal behavior and animal protection. Formerly department chair for Animal Studies with the Humane Society University and senior research scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Jonathan is currently Director of Animal Sentience with the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy in Washington, DC. Learn more at jonathan-balcombe.com.
This year marks our fourth annual Siskiyou Prize, and we are delighted to be offering a $1,000 prize and a four-week writing residency thanks to the generosity of our amazing prize partner PLAYA. All manuscripts submitted for the prize will be considered for publication by Ashland Creek Press.
Please visit the Siskiyou Prize website for complete details about the prize — submissions open September 1, 2017. We look forward to reading your work!
This is the third year of the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature, and we’re pleased to see it gaining momentum and awareness. Now more than ever we need a chorus of creative and passionate voices speaking up for the planet and all of its species.
This year, we received more than a hundred submissions, which included a wide range of fiction, short story and essay collections, memoirs, nonfiction nature books, and a number of previously published works in all categories. We began reviewing submissions when the contest opened in September of last year and have been reading steadily since then.
Every manuscript was given careful consideration, and the decision-making process was very difficult, given the exceptional quality of this year’s entries. As much as we love this contest, the hardest part is having to narrow the list down to only a few titles. It’s a completely subjective process, of course, and we thank all who contributed their work to this year’s prize.
We are delighted to announce the finalists and semifinalists:
Three Ways to Disappear
A novel by Katy Yocom
Small Small Redemption
Essays by Sangamithra Iyer
The Heart of the Sound
A memoir by Marybeth Holleman
Published by Bison Books
Song of the Ghost Dog
A novel by Sharon Piuser
A novel by Caroline Manring
Rumors of Wolves
A novel by C.K. Adams
The Harp-Maker of Exmoor
A novel by Hazel Prior
The four finalists will move on to final judging by JoeAnn Hart.
We hope to announce a winner in the next month or so. To be among the first to hear the announcement, stay tuned to this blog or subscribe to our newsletter.
Again, thanks to everyone who submitted and everyone who writes with the goal of making this world a better place. We appreciate your support!
It’s been wonderful to see so many fine writers tackling the issues of the environment and animal protection through great stories, novels, memoirs, and essays — and we are pleased to be offering this prize for a third year. This year, we have one exciting change to announce: In addition to unpublished work (all of which will be considered for publication by Ashland Creek Press), we are also accepting published book submissions for the Siskiyou Prize. Please click here for full details.
This year, we’re delighted to have JoeAnn Hart as our final judge. JoeAnn is the author of two novels, Addled (Little Brown, 2007) and Float (Ashland Creek Press, 2013). JoeAnn’s essays, articles, and short fiction have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals and national publications, including Orion, Newfound, Terrain.org, and the Boston Globe Magazine. Her work has won a number of awards, including the PEN New England Discovery Award in Fiction. To learn more about JoeAnn, click here.
The 2016 prize winner will receive $1,000 and a four-week residency at PLAYA. All Siskiyou Prize submissions will be considered for publication from Ashland Creek Press. Visit the Siskiyou Prize website for complete details and to submit.
The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2016. Also, please note that we will be closed to regular book submissions until further notice in order to focus on prize submissions.
We are delighted to announce Jennifer Boyden has won the 2015 Siskiyou Prize for her novel THE CHIEF OF RALLY TREE.
Of THE CHIEF OF RALLY TREE, judge Ann Pancake writes: “Inventive, smart, and often hilariously funny, The Chief of Rally Tree delivers a social critique both searing and sly.”
Jennifer Boyden is the author of two books of poetry, The Declarable Future (University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), winner of The Four Lakes Prize in Poetry; and The Mouths of Grazing Things (University of Wisconsin Press, 2010), winner of The Brittingham Prize in Poetry. She is a recipient of the PEN Northwest Wilderness Writing Residency and has taught writing and literature courses at a variety of places, including Suzhou University in China, The Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology, Whitman College, and at various workshops. On the faculty of Eastern Oregon University’s low-residency MFA program, Jennifer also works for an environmental nonprofit in the San Juan Islands. She lives in Friday Harbor, Washington.
The two prize finalists are the novel THE PLACE WITH NO NAME, by José María Merino, translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Polli, and the essay collection THE SHAPE OF MERCY: ESSAYING THE GEOGRAPHY OF HOME by Alison Townsend.
The semifinalists are NOT TILL WE ARE LOST: REFLECTIONS ON EDUCATION, COMMUNICATION, AND SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION by William Homestead and THE PTEROPOD GANG by Nancy Lord.
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 annual award is open to unpublished, full-length prose manuscripts, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections. The winner receives a cash award of $1,000, a residency at PLAYA, and an offer of publication by Ashland Creek Press.
Thanks to all who submitted to the prize for your support of environmental literature. For more information, and to learn about next year’s prize, visit SiskiyouPrize.com.
I’m struck by the number of books that equate fishing (particularly fly fishing) with “being one with the environment.”
Personally, I find this idea to be a total crock.
Yes, I’ve fished. And fishing was a great excuse to get out into nature.
But I vividly remember as a child when I caught a rock bass and was then expected to cut it up for dinner. I wanted to put that fish back in the water. But that wasn’t how it worked.
You fish. You catch the fish. You eat the fish.
And because I so hated killing that rock bass, that became the last time I did fish.
I understand the whole “man vs. fish” dynamic. It is exciting on some level.
But it’s not exactly a fair fight. And it’s not environmental.
If you needed fish to survive, then it makes sense.
But if you use fishing as your excuse to leave home to go out into the great outdoors, perhaps you should pack some food instead. Go for a hike. Go birdwatching. Or just stand at the shore and identify the fish that swim past.
Why do human activities so often get benchmarked against what we take from nature?
Is nature a theme park? Or is nature something else? Something better?
If you’re a writer and you want to write about fishing, perhaps you can consider some of these issues? As a press, we want to see writing that pushes the envelope on what environmental should be and can be. That’s a major reason why we founded The Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature.