Saturday 30 May 2020

Maltese writer’s work nominated for prestigious US Pushcart Prize

Maltese writer, poet and former journalist with The Times of Malta, Raymond Fenech, of St Julian’s, has won the first prize in the Essay Section of the Adelaide Literary Magazine’s Literary Award Contest for 2017 with his work, The Mysterious Priest. The essay, which was entered under the non-fiction section, is based on a true paranormal experience which Fenech and his wife had while he was undergoing chemotherapy treatment and battling against lymphatic cancer.
After several rounds of readings, with many quality submissions in a very tight competition, Fenech’s essay accumulated the maximum number of 100 points based on creativity, premise or idea behind the written work, presentation (spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage), structure, style and tone, theme, characters and dialogue, comprehension and coherence, and universality of the message.
As a result, the essay has been published in the online version of the Adelaide Literary Award Anthology – Best of 2017 but is also available in print form. In addition, the author’s work is being nominated by the Adelaide Literary Magazine for the US-based Pushcart Prize for 2017.
At the same time, the magazine’s editor, Stevan V. Nikolic, has invited Fenech to continue submitting his work to the Adelaide Literary Magazine, as a regular and recognised contributor, adding that as a contest winner, an Adelaide Literary Award Winner logo will be placed next to all his works published in the magazine.
Among other benefits, as an awardee, Fenech is entitled to have a book length collection of essays/memoirs published by Adelaide Publishers, who are willing to make him an offer for the manuscript as soon as this is available. The author is also eligible for an authors’ interview to be published in the September issue of the Adelaide Literary Magazine.
The magazine’s contest editorial board is also issuing a special Adelaide Literary Award Winner Certificate for the author.
The online anthology may be seen at:
The Pushcart Prize was created for the Best of the Small Presses series, published every year since 1976 and is the most honoured literary project in the United States of America. Since 1976, hundreds of presses and thousands of writers of short stories, poetry and essays have been represented in their annual collections. Each year, most of the writers and many of the presses are new to the series.
The Pushcart Prize has been a labour of love and independent spirit since its founding. It is one of the last surviving literary co-ops from the 1960s and 1970s. Its legacy is guaranteed by donations to their Fellowships endowment.
Contemporaneously, Fenech has also been formally informed by Professor Miguel Ángel Olivé Iglesias, M.Sc., Associate Professor at the Holoquin University of Cuba, that some of the author’s poems have been chosen to be included in a special creative writing programme based on the best poems written by members of the Canada Cuba Literary Alliance, of which the author is an honorary member. The syllabus for this programme at the university has already been approved and will introduce his poems to the students in the 2018 academic year.
Fenech is currently working on a bi-lingual book of poems, Nostalgia, a dream in the making for the past 40 years. The book will feature a collection of poems in Maltese, written by Dr Michael Tanti Dougall, a family lawyer, and a selection of new poems in English by the author. The two writers became instant friends when they met at Stella Maris College sixth form. Negotiations with a leading local book publisher are under way and the book is scheduled to be launched at the end of the year.

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