2023 Novel Excerpt Contest Shortlist!

April 6, 2024

At long last, we are thrilled to share the fifteen writers who have been selected for this year’s Novel Excerpt Contest shortlist. Matthew Salesses will be selecting his three finalists from this pool of remarkable excerpts. As we always are, we were blown away by the quality and promise of all the submissions we received for this contest. It’s never an easy decision to narrow down to these final fifteen, so our congratulations go out to all shortlisted writers. Thank you, as well, to every one of you who submitted to this year’s contest—we couldn’t do this without you. Stay tuned for news on 2024’s Novel Excerpt Contest, and join us back here in a month for the announcement of Matthew Salesses’s finalists!


“Cat Scratch Fever” by Peterson Berg

“California Natives” by Kelly Anne Bonner

“Curious Monster” by S. P. Donohue

“Gone” by Fae Dremock

“Dollhouse” by Katie Edkins Milligan

“To a Man With No Future” by Chad Fore

“Black/Irish” by Jacquelyn Kelly

“The Language of the Locusts” by Brad Aaron Modlin

“All the Hundred Things that Hurt” by Eve Newstead

“Back Line” by Raf Richardson-Carillo

“The Mistake” by Mara Schiffren

“We Are Sympathetic” by David Serafino

“Singleton” by Kate Osana Simonian

“The Natural World” by Amy Stuber

“A Geology” by Virginia Lee Wood


At The Masters Review, our mission is to support emerging writers. We only accept submissions from writers who can benefit from a larger platform: typically, writers without published novels or story collections or with low circulation. We publish fiction and nonfiction online year-round and put out an annual anthology of the ten best emerging writers in the country, judged by an expert in the field. We publish craft essays, interviews and book reviews and hold workshops that connect emerging and established writers.

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