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Entry deadline looms for Saroyan Writing Prize

The deadline for entries is fast approaching for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing ("Saroyan Writing Prize"). Entries are due at the Stanford University Libraries on or before Jan. 31, 2003, for works of fiction including novels, short stories, dramas or memoirs published in calendar 2002. The winner will be awarded a prize in the amount of $12,500.

The biennial Saroyan Writing Prize, of which this is the first competition, was established by the Stanford University Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation to encourage new or emerging writers. Entries are limited to works published in English in book form and available for purchase by the general public. Submission details and rules are available at

"The Saroyan Writing Prize is in part intended to highlight the legacy of the 20th-century writer, whose archive constitutes part of our Special Collections," said Stanford University Librarian Michael A. Keller. "Our major goal, however, is for the prize to bring meaningful and lasting attention to emerging writers of real note. We can only approach that goal if we receive a critical volume of compelling work pun intended."

William Saroyan, an American writer and playwright, was a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winner best known for his humorous short stories about the experiences of immigrant families and children in California. Much of Saroyan's other work is clearly autobiographical, although similar in style and technique to fiction. Saroyan was the fourth child of Armenian immigrants. He battled his way through poverty and rose to literary prominence in the early 1930s when national magazines began publishing his short stories, such as The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze, My Name Is Aram, Inhale & Exhale, Three Times Three and Peace, It's Wonderful. From short stories, Saroyan moved on to writing plays for Broadway and screenplays for Hollywood. Some of his most notable works include My Heart's in the Highlands, The Time of Your Life and The Beautiful People, as well as his silver screen adaptation of The Human Comedy.

Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources supports the teaching, learning and research mandates of the university through delivery of bibliographic and other information resources and services to faculty, students and staff. It is tackling the challenges of the digital age while continuing the development, preservation and conservation of its extensive print, media and manuscript collections.

The William Saroyan Foundation was founded by the author on Dec. 30, 1966. Since then, distinguished professors, business executives and high-ranking government officials have accepted appointments to the foundation's board of trustees. The trustees set a goal of bringing together into one single archive his entire literary estate and decided to offer Stanford the assembled Saroyan Literary Collection with provisions that would safeguard one of the rare treasure-troves in American literature in perpetuity, carrying on the legacy of Fresno, California's own native son.



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