Fall 2019 Contest: Meet the Judges

The first-ever Columbia Journal Fall Contest is now open for submissions in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and, for the first time, art. Our judges will be Akil Kumarasamy(fiction), Monica Sok (poetry), Emily Bernard (nonfiction), and Helena Anrather (art). The four winners of the Fall Contest will be published online on columbiajournal.org and will receive a cash prize of $250 each. At least three finalists will be selected and announced in each of the four genres in the fall. Submissions open today on Submittable, and the deadline to submit is August 9th. There is a $10 entry fee for each submission. More guidelines can be found here. You can read about our judges below.


Meet the Judges

Akil Kumarasamy is a writer from New Jersey. Farrar, Straus and Giroux published her book, Half Gods, which was shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection. Her work has appeared in Harper’s MagazineAmerican Short FictionBoston Review, among others. She has received fellowships from the University of East Anglia, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Yaddo and the Schomburg Center. She is a visiting professor in fiction at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program.

Monica Sok is a Cambodian American poet and the daughter of former refugees. She is the author of A Nail the Evening Hangs On (forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press, 2020). Currently, Sok is a 2018-2020 Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and teaches poetry at Banteay Srei and the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants in Oakland. She is originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

Emily Bernard was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. Her work has appeared in The American Scholar, The Boston Globe Magazine, Creative Nonfiction, Green Mountains Review, Oxtford American, Ploughshares, TheNew Republic, and theatlantic.com. Her essays have been reprinted in Best American Essays, Best African American Essays, and Best of Creative Nonfiction. Her first book, Remember Me to Harlem: The Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has received fellowships and grants from Yale University, Harvard University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Studio Center, and The MacDowell Colony. A contributing editor at The American Scholar, Emily is the Julian Lindsay Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont. She lives in South Burlington with her husband John, twin daughters Isabella & Giulia, Sammy the dog, a gentle giant, and Willie & Tom, two very interesting cats.

A former director at Taymour Grahne Gallery, Helena Anrather had also previously worked at Lehmann Maupin and Galerie Yvon Lambert. Her eponymous gallery on the Lower East Side. The emerging gallerist is dedicated to showing emerging and mid-career artists with an emphasis on international perspectives and a commitment to presenting a wide variety of voices.

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