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Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize

Since 1976, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies and the Department of English at the University of Rochester have awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman.

This prize was created in honor and memory of Janet Heidinger Kafka, a young editor who was killed in a car accident just as her career was beginning. Those who knew her believed she would do much to further the causes of literature and women. Her family, friends, and professional associates created the endowment from which the prize is bestowed, in memory of Janet Heidinger Kafka and the literary standards and personal ideals for which she stood.

Each year a substantial cash prize is awarded annually to a woman who is a US citizen, and who has written the best book-length work of prose fiction, whether novel, short stories, or experimental writing. We are particularly interested in calling attention to the work of a promising but less established writer.

How to Enter

  1. All entries must be submitted by publishers who wish to have the work of their authors that were published in the year 2017 considered. No self-published works or works from vanity presses will be accepted.

  2. Entries must be submitted/postmarked by January 15, 2018, and the works must have been assembled for the first time. For collections of short stories: at least one-third of the material must have been previously unpublished before the release of the collection to be submitted.

  3. Four copies of each entry should be submitted.

  4. The $7,500 prize will be awarded annually to a woman who is a USA citizen, and who has written the best book-length work of prose fiction, whether novel, short stories, or experimental writing. Works written primarily for children and publications from private and vanity presses will not be considered for this prize. We are particularly interested in calling attention to the work of a promising but less established writer.

  5. Only under the most unusual circumstances will a writer be considered for a subsequent award within a ten-year span.

  6. Please fill out the application form and ship books to:

    University of Rochester
    Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
    538 Lattimore Hall
    RC Box 270434
    Rochester, NY 14627-4034

Committee

This year's committee members are:

  • Beth Jörgensen, Professor of Spanish, University of Rochester
  • Jason Peck, Visiting Assistant Professor of German, University of Rochester
  • Katherine Mannheimer, Associate Professor of English, University of Rochester

Winners