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The 2022 Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel

Deadline: August 31, 2021

Entry Fee: $25

E-mail address: egerdes@experimentalfiction.com

A prize of $1,000 and book publication by Journal of Experimental Fiction and JEF Books is given annually for an innovative novel. Submit a manuscript of any length with a $25 entry fee by August 31. This year’s judge will be announced very soon.

The submission can be of any length, but must be submitted in Word or PDF format. Manuscripts should be emailed or sent as CDs. The manuscript itself should not contain the author’s name or address, but a separate sheet should be submitted with the title of the submission and the author’s contact information.

Additionally, all entries need to include a four-digit identifying number of the author’s choosing. This number should appear in the subject line of the email, on the manuscript, and on the contact information form.

Payment can be sent by check to: Eckhard Gerdes Publishing, PO Box 6281, Aurora, IL 60598. Do not make checks out to Kenneth Patchen or to JEF Publishing.

Payment can also be made by PayPal to: egerdes@experimentalfiction.com. If paying by PayPal, please use either the “Send Money to Friends and Family” option so that we actually receive the full $25 on our end, or, if you want to use the “Pay for Goods and Services Option,” please include an extra $2.00 to cover PayPal’s fees.

Thank you! We look forward to reading your manuscripts!

Eckhard Gerdes

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JEF Books publishes 2018 Kenneth Patchen Award-winning novel!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Journal of Experimental Fiction publishes 2018 Winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel!

AURORA, IL—January 6, 2021—JEF Books has published the 2018 winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel, Those Brave As the Skate Is by Patrick Keller, of Long Beach, California.

The contest judge, the late novelist and great friend of JEF Books Jønathan Lyons, said the following in his encomium for the novel:

“This is a visionary work, one that challenges form and content, destroying both to recreate them in its own vision. Patrick Keller’s breadth of vision is simply astonishing.”

Those Brave As the Skate Is was chosen as the winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel over many other worthy candidates for the exceptional craft and originality with which it is written as well as for its deep sympathy for the human condition, both qualities epitomized by Kenneth Patchen himself.

Patrick Keller grew up in Claremont, California.  At UC Berkeley, he chose Psychology as a second major to accompany English, mistakenly assuming that it would be the secret weapon for writing novels.  At UC Irvine, his grad school mentor gave him a Steve Katz book as a curio, mistakenly assuming that he wouldn’t scrap his previous research plans and write his dissertation on this type of freewheeling mixture of autobiography and fiction.  In 2010, after reading too many books and interviews with Raymond Federman and Ronald Sukenick, he created Pescetarealism, an attempt to extend their egalitarian ideals to something more about persistence than performance.  He received his Ph.D in English for “Subversively Personal: Surfiction As Communication in Vietnam War Era America” in 2011.  His scholarly article “Contemporary Surfiction: Wideman, Kaufman, and Maddin” appeared in the June 2014 issue of Word and Text.  He teaches in Orange County and lives with his wife in Long Beach, California.

After a hiatus, THE KENNETH PATCHEN AWARD was revived in 2012. In the 1990s, The Kenneth Patchen Prize for Literature was a much-coveted prize administered by Pig Iron Press of Youngstown, Ohio, in honor of famous experimental fiction author, proletarian poet, and Ohio native Kenneth Patchen.  Beginning in 2012, the Award was reinstituted as the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel, and it honors the most innovative novel submitted during the previous calendar year.   KENNETH PATCHEN is celebrated for being among the greatest innovators of American fiction, incorporating strategies of concretism, asemic writing, digression, and verbal juxtaposition into his writing long before such strategies were popularized during the height of American postmodernist experimentation in the 1970s.  His three great innovative novels, Sleepers Awake, The Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer and The Journal of Albion Moonlight, have long been benchmarks for beats, postmodernists and innovators of all ilks, inspiring younger writers to greater significance and innovation in their own work.

ABOUT JEF: Founded in 1986, The Journal of Experimental Fiction is the English language’s pre-eminent source for innovative fiction.  Contact: Eckhard Gerdes, editor & publisher, egerdes@experimentalfiction.com. Site: www.experimentalfiction.com

PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE KENNETH PATCHEN AWARD FOR THE INNOVATIVE NOVEL

2017 – Richard Strauss – The Skrat Prize Memorial Anthology

2016 – Charles Hood – Mouth

2015 – Kate Horsley – Between the Legs

2014 – Bob Sawatzki – Return to Circa ‘96

2013 – Moore Bowen – Oppression for the Heaven of It

2012 – Carolyn Chun – How to Break Article Noun

 

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2020 Kenneth Patchen Award winner announced!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Journal of Experimental Fiction announces 2020 Winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award Winner for the Innovative Novel!

AURORA, IL—July 30, 2020—The 2020 winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel is Cal Massey, of Flagler Beach, Florida, for his novel (own little worlds).

This year’s judge, Jason E. Rolfe, has said the following in his encomium for the novel:

“Cal Massey’s “(Own Little Worlds)” stands out not simply because it’s well written (which it is), because it’s a good story (which it is), or because it’s experimental (which it is, though not superficially so). It stands out because it’s a mixture of these three key ingredients, the most impressive of which, I would happily argue, is the quality of Mr. Massey’s writing.”

Jason E. Rolfe is the author of the fiction collections An Inconvenient Corpse (Black Scat Books Absurdist Texts & Documents Series) and Clocks (Black Scat Books), and the novella An Archive of Human Nonsense (Snuggly Books). Rolfe is an aficionado of absurdism and an appreciator of literary innovation of many kinds.

(own little worlds) was chosen as the winner of the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel over many other worthy candidates for the exceptional craft and originality with which it is written as well as for its deep sympathy for the human condition, both qualities epitomized by Kenneth Patchen himself.

SYNOPSIS: An old editor, a young reporter and an evil scheme that requires dancing by struggling Americans just might save us from Trump’s lunatic legacy. Or maybe not. The best we can do is laugh, hate and hope. (own little worlds) follows fighters, failures and the fallen in a near-future world who become entangled in the planning, cover-up and aftermath of a Japanese cargo ship’s bombing in the Port of Jacksonville.

Cal Massey is a retired newspaper editor and reporter who is not an enemy of the people. He won more than three dozen national and state awards as writer and/or editor and managed to publish several short stories and poems in literary journals with circulations in the tens. He and his wife Lynn live with six cats in a house in the woods in Florida.

After a hiatus, THE KENNETH PATCHEN AWARD was revived in 2012. In the 1990s, The Kenneth Patchen Prize for Literature was a much-coveted prize administered by Pig Iron Press of Youngstown, Ohio, in honor of famous experimental fiction author, proletarian poet, and Ohio native Kenneth Patchen.  Beginning in 2012, the Award was reinstituted as the Kenneth Patchen Award for the Innovative Novel, and it honors the most innovative novel submitted during the previous calendar year.   KENNETH PATCHEN is celebrated for being among the greatest innovators of American fiction, incorporating strategies of concretism, asemic writing, digression, and verbal juxtaposition into his writing long before such strategies were popularized during the height of American postmodernist experimentation in the 1970s.  His three great innovative novels, Sleepers Awake, The Memoirs of a Shy Pornographer and The Journal of Albion Moonlight, have long been benchmarks for beats, postmodernists and innovators of all ilks, inspiring younger writers to greater significance and innovation in their own work.

ABOUT JEF: Founded in 1986, The Journal of Experimental Fiction is the English language’s pre-eminent source for innovative fiction.  Contact: Eckhard Gerdes, editor & publisher, egerdes@experimentalfiction.com. Site: www.experimentalfiction.com

PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE KENNETH PATCHEN AWARD FOR THE INNOVATIVE NOVEL

2019 – Genelle Chaconas – Plague City (coming soon!)

2018 – Patrick Keller – Those Brave As the Skate Is (coming soon!)

2017 – Richard Strauss – The Skrat Prize Memorial Anthology

2016 – Charles Hood – Mouth

2015 – Kate Horsley – Between the Legs

2014 – Bob Sawatzki – Return to Circa ‘96

2013 – Moore Bowen – Oppression for the Heaven of It

2012 – Carolyn Chun – How to Break Article Noun

 

Click here for information on the 2021 Patchen Award competition