The deadline for Litpop 2011 has been extended until June 30th, so we’ve asked Jon Paul Fiorentino, Editor-in-Chief of Matrix Magazine (the force behind Litpop) what people can expect from a contest that promises the winners “the opportunity to enjoy the dirty glamour of rock stardom, combined with the cultural capital of literary esteem.”
CAC: What is the reason behind the contest? Why bring together music and lit?
JPF: We wanted to run a unique literary contest. I was inspired by how Pop Montreal reaches out to other communities through Kids Pop, Film Pop, etc. So a few years ago, I approached the lovely Patricia Boushel at Pop Montreal with the idea for Lit Pop and she was immediately receptive and helpful. The crossover is great because so many writers are fans of indie music and so many indie musicians are inspired by great writing.
CAC: What do you feel Litpop has accomplished in the past and where do you see it possibly going?
JPF: I’m proud of the winners of the competition and it’s been gratifying to see them accomplish bigger and better things: high profile publications, their own books, etc. The competition continues to grow and this year we added a Creative Non-Fiction category.
CAC: John K. Samson of the The Weakerthans is judging the Creative Non-Fiction section this year. A lot of people may not know he’s a writer outside of music. Can you tell us about how he became involved with Litpop?
JPF: It occurred to me to ask him when I re-read lovely piece he wrote for Matrix about the poetics of curling. In the ten years or so I’ve known John, he has always been really supportive. I’m honoured to have published his poetry and prose. I think he is one of this country’s most interesting artists.
CAC: The contest says winners will “have the opportunity to enjoy the dirty glamour of rock stardom, combined with the cultural capital of literary esteem.” Can you tell us about what past winners have experienced and what this year’s winners might expect?
JPF: The winners get free accommodation and passes to Pop Montreal. And there is a night in their honour! It truly is rock star treatment! Past winners have expressed that it’s the best prize they have ever won. If you think about it, who wouldn’t want to win, publication, money, and the opportunity to live it up in Montreal and to experience one of the best music festivals in the world?
* * *
Interested in entering Litpop 2011? Check out the details below.
Get your poetry, short stories and creative non-fiction in by June 30, 2011 in order to have the opportunity to enjoy the dirty glamour of rock stardom, combined with the cultural capital of literary esteem. Enter the 2011 Matrix Magazine/Pop Montreal Litpop Awards! Now with a new category of Creative Non-Fiction!
The Pop Montreal International Music Festival and Matrix Magazine have once again teamed up to bring you Canada’s most innovative and exciting literary competition. We are looking for the most unique and original voices in North American writing. So if you’re an emerging poet, essay writer, or short story writer, it’s time to prove it! If you have what it takes, you will get your work published in Matrix, and get free travel to Pop Montreal for a night in your honour.
Just send your work in for consideration by June 30. Three winners, one from each category of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction will receive a round-trip ticket to Pop Montreal from September 21-25, 2011, a VIP pass to the Pop Montreal Festival, free accommodation at a bed and breakfast, fall publication in Matrix Magazine with full honorarium, and presentation at a special Matrix Litpop event during the festival.
The deadline for all submissions is June 30. Winners will be notified in August. Poets are asked to send no more than 5 poems; fiction and non-fiction writers should send stories of no more than 3000 words. Each entry is 25$ and entries and entry fees should be mailed to Matrix Publications, 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., LB 658, Montreal QC, H3G 1M8. Cheques or money orders should be made out to “Matrix Publications.” Multiple entries are welcome. Entries can also be emailed to email@example.com and will be considered valid once payment is verified. Full contest rules and regulations can be found at popmontreal.com and matrixmagazine.org.
The CREATIVE NON-FICTION judge is John K. Samson, the acclaimed singer and songwriter for indie rock band The Weakerthans. The band’s most recent studio release Reunion Tour garnered praise from an assortment of publications. He has published poetry and essays in Matrix and Maisonneuve. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where he’s also the managing editor Arbeiter Ring Publishing.
The POETRY judge is Mike Spry, the author of the poetry collection JACK which was shortlisted for the Quebec Writers’ Federation A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. He is the author of the forthcoming short story collection Distillery Songs. He lives in Montreal.
The FICTION judge Katrina Best is originally from the U.K. and now lives in Montreal, where she works as a story editor, screenwriter, and script analyst. Her debut collection of short fiction, Bird Eat Bird, is a regional Commonwealth Prize winner and a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize for best first book.