Zoo Press and writing competitions: more unhappiness

This post was written by Friday guest blogger Emma Garman.

Remember back in 2004, when Maud drew attention to the problems with Zoo Press’s writing contests (to the consternation of one list-fond, sarcasm-heavy individual)? Many eager writers coughed up the $25 entry fee — but then press founder Neil Azevedo decided not to bother picking winners. Now David Baker, poetry editor of The Kenyon Review, has published an open letter explaining why he’s been forced to withdraw the “Kenyon Review Prize in Poetry for a First Book”, an annual award from Zoo Press “to recognize and publish a poet’s first collection”:

Priscilla Sneff was awarded the 2004 prize, but her book has yet to appear. I wrote an introduction to O Woolly City — her brilliant, darkly adventurous book of lyrics — and a year ago The Kenyon Review published this introduction along with several of Sneff’s poems in preparation for an early 2005 publication of her book. Her book is still not available; nor is it in production. She has never received the substantial prize money ($3,500). She has heard nothing from Zoo Press for a year.

Neither have I. For the past year I have left many emails at Zoo Press’s address and at Mr. Azevedo’s address; I have left phone messages at his home and at the office; I have sent real-mail letters. I have received not a word from him or any associate.

Thanks to Tom for the heads-up.


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