Jane's Stories Press Foundation

The Clara Johnson Award for Women's Literature
​Jane's Stories Press Foundation announces the Clara Johnson Award for Women's Literature. The winner will be awarded $1000 and will receive the award at a reception.

The Jane's Stories Board will choose the winner from a field nominated by editors, publishers, authors, and readers. Writers may nominate themselves, as well. The award is also intended to showcase the presses that publish such work.

A writer may receive the award for a specific work or for a body of work within the year. Works that were published from January 2017 through December 2017 will be eligible for the 2018 award. For purposes of this award, women's literature includes all literary works by women (born or identified).

The winning work must, like its namesake, challenge social constructs; contain groundbreaking subject matter, content, structure, and/or audiences; and exhibit excellence in language and style. The award is open to prose and poetry and all genres, including, but not limited to, fiction and nonfiction, creative nonfiction or memoir. All subgenres are welcome, as well, though works in popular categories such as romance and mystery will succeed only if they rise to the level of literature. Genre-bending is encouraged. The only exclusions are works that may be defined as erotica or pornography. Works that denigrate any groups or categories of people will be eliminated, as well.

The deadline for nominations is March 30, 2018. All nominations must use the nominating form located on the foundation's website at www.janesstories.org. The initial award will be announced in August, 2018. Thereafter, to be eligible work must be published from January through December of the previous year.

Please include with the nominating form: Cover letter with all current contact information for the author (name, address, phone number, and email address) as well as three copies of the book or works to be considered.

​Send both form and copies of work to JSPF c/o Bailey-Mershon, 502 Millstone Dr., Lawrence, KS 66049.
About Clara 

Clara Johnson spent the bulk of her career as a chemist, at a time when women were rarely hired as scientists, except during World War Two, when she helped make explosives for the war effort. She persisted, though she was warned that she would lose her job when male scientists were available once more, and retired as a chemist with the U. S. Department of Agriculture. She then went on to become a groundbreaking feminist, managing the office of the Illinois National Organization for Women during and after the ERA ratification campaign. Later, she wrote a self-published memoir of growing up on a Carlinville area farm and managed a feminist essay contest, while also becoming a co- owner of Prairie Moon Feminist Bookstore in Arlington Heights, Illinois. As one of the first editors of the Jane's Stories anthologies by women, she pushed for "stories with a purpose."