The Vera List New School Art Collection Writing Awards are awarded annually to New School students to honor the best critical and creative essays inspired by works in the university’s art collection.In 2010-2011, for the first time, the writing awards focus on a specific theme: In conjunction with the university-wide, week-long Noir Festival in April 2011, we seek submissions that in either style or subject matter display a distinct noir sensibility. The term noir itself was coined in 1946 by a French film critic, who, on seeing some American films — The Maltese Falcon; Double Indemnity; Laura; andMurder, My Sweet — focused on their similarities, and labeled what he saw noir, or “black.” Noir thus became the label for a post-war genre of morally-ambiguous crime films and the novels that inspired them. Yet noir is as contemporary as the films of David Lynch, as deeply rooted in high modernist sensibilities as the plays of Samuel Beckett or the operas of Alban Berg, and as politically subversive as the art of Ross Bleckner or Adrian Piper.The writing award celebrates nonfiction and fiction, prose and poetry. All students enrolled in The New School are eligible to submit either a critical or creative text.There is a first-place award of $400 and a second-place award of $200 in each category. Winners are selected by a rotating panel of judges. The prize-winning pieces are edited by professional art critics in collaboration with the writers and are published in a newspaper. Winning entries will be featured in a joint celebratory and public reading with the MFA Graduate Writing Program/Riggio Honors Program: Writing & Democracy, scheduled to take place during the Noir Festival, April 1 to 8, 2011.Entries must be sent as an email attachment to [email protected]Deadline: February 7, 2011.