CHQJanusPrize Sticker BW webThe Chautauqua Janus Prize will be awarded for the second time in the summer of 2019, celebrating an emerging writer’s single work of short fiction or nonfiction for daring formal and aesthetic innovations that upset and reorder readers’ imaginations. In addition to receiving a $5000 award, the winner gives a lecture on the grounds during the summer season and appears in a forthcoming issue of the literary journal Chautauqua. Eligibility and submission information can be found below under "Guidelines."

Named for Janus, the Roman god who looks to both the past and the future, the prize will honor writing with a command of craft that renovates our understandings of both. The prize is funded by a generous donation from Barbara and Twig Branch.



My Tran Wins Second Chautauqua Janus Prize

MyTran JanusPrizeWinner 2019

Chautauqua Institution is delighted to announce "Tree rings, like concentric ghosts" by My Tran as the 2019 winner of The Chautauqua Janus Prize.

As the author selected from eight finalists by judge Vi Khi Nao, Tran receives $5,000, elevated this year from the original prize of $2,500, plus all travel and expenses for a summer residency at Chautauqua during the 2019 summer season. Tran will present a public lecture and reading at a celebratory event with music and refreshments at a date to be determined on the Institution’s grounds. Their writing will also appear in a future issue of the literary journal Chautauqua

Tran said they were honored to be chosen for a prize that celebrates formal innovation.

“Here is a space where I let playful associations bridge the cut between sense and nonsense, between the languages that cohere and fall apart in my body, between fact and fiction,” Tran said of “Tree rings, like concentric ghosts." “So, I am thrilled to be a part of the conversations at Chautauqua Institution, where dialogue is woven across disciplines, genres, and impulses, always attuned to our social and political climate.”

Press Kit:
Full press release | The Chautauqua Janus Prize logo (pdf)

Congratulations also go out to the 8 other finalists selected by our readers: Lucy Biederman, Jonathan Escoffery, Afsheen Farhadi, Taraka Hamada, Leah Hampton, Kelsey Peterson and Brenda Peynado.

The 2019 Chautauqua Janus Prize guest judge is Vi Khi Nao. Nao is the author of Sheep Machine, Umbilical Hospital, A Brief Alphabet of Torture (winner of FC2’s Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize in 2016), the novel Fish in Exile, and the poetry collection The Old Philosopher (winner of the Nightboat Books Prize for Poetry in 2014). Her work includes poetry, fiction, film and cross-genre collaboration. Her stories, poems and drawings have appeared in NOON, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review and BOMB, among others. She will also be a writer-in-residence at Chautauqua Writers’ Center during the 2019 summer season. (Learn more about her workshop here!)