Best Emerging Writers Anthology: April 1 – June 2, 2024

Every year The Masters Review opens submissions to produce our anthology, a collection of ten stories and essays written by the best emerging authors. Our aim is to showcase writers who we believe will continue to produce great work. The ten winners are nationally distributed in a printed book with their stories and essays exposed to top agents, editors, and authors across the country. Beginning in 2024, winners will also be published online. Our third volume was awarded the Silver Medal for Best Short Story Collection through the INDIEFAB Awards in 2015, and our fourth volume was an honorable mention for best anthology.
May 1, 2024

Submissions Close June 2!

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Who says 13 has to be unlucky? Every year, The Masters Review has opened submissions to produce our anthology, a print collection of ten stories and essays by emerging writers around the world. For our thirteenth year, we’re taking our favorite project to new heights: The Best Emerging Writers Anthology will showcase a collection of ten writers who are bound for great things, as chosen from a shortlist of thirty writers by our guest judge, Gina Chung, author of Sea Change and Green Frog, who will also write an introduction for the collection. Each of our ten winners will receive a $700 award and a print copy of the book.

And—for the first time ever, our anthology will be published both in print and online. Our anthology has been at the heart of our mission to provide a platform to emerging writers since day one, and we’re excited to bring this project to our revamped website. Think you’ve got what it takes to be named a Best Emerging Writer? Submissions will open April 1 and close June 2, 2024. As always, we don’t have any preferences topically or in terms of style. We’re simply looking for the Best.

For this year’s anthology, Gina Chung wants stories that leave room for wondering and wandering:

I’m looking for stories that surprise me and draw me in from their very first lines and leave me feeling moved or changed in some way by the end. I’m especially drawn to writing that feels embodied and to characters that feel real and flawed, who are simultaneously knowable and unknowable to themselves and one another, in ways that advance the central ideas of the story. When I’m reading, I’m looking for a level of authorial control and curiosity that tells me I’m in the hands of a writer who has something to say and knows just how to say it. At the same time, I don’t think fiction should necessarily pose answers to the many unanswerable questions we all face day-to-day—the most powerful stories are, in my opinion, the ones that provide moments of resolution but still leave room for questions, for daylight, for wondering and wandering. 

Guidelines:

  • Submissions of fiction or creative nonfiction must be under 7,000 words.
  • Submitted work must be previously unpublished, which includes publication on personal blogs, social media accounts, and other websites. Previously published work will be automatically disqualified.
  • The entry fee per submission is $20.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed, though each submission requires a $20 fee.
  • Simultaneous submissions are also allowed. However, if your submission is accepted elsewhere, please withdraw your submission on Submittable, or contact us otherwise to let us know the piece is no longer available.
  • Writers from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups are invited to submit for free until we reach fifty submissions in this category.
  • We do not require anonymous submissions for this contest, though the guest judge will review the shortlist anonymously.
  • This contest is for emerging writers only. Writers with single-author book-length work published or under contract with a major press are ineligible. We are interested in providing a platform to new writers; authors with books published by indie or university presses and self-published authors are welcome to submit unpublished work.
  • International submissions are allowed, provided the work is written primarily in English. Some code-switching/meshing is warmly welcomed.
  • No translations, please.
  • All submissions must be double-spaced with one-inch page margins and use Times New Roman or Garamond 12 (or larger, if needed for accessibility).
  • The contest’s deadline is 11:59 p.m. PDT on June 2, 2024.
  • All entries are considered for publication in New Voices.
  • Friends, family, and associates of the guest judge are ineligible for this award.
  • Writers whose work appears in previous editions of our anthology are ineligible for this award.
  • A significant portion of the editorial letter fee is paid directly to your feedback editor.

Ten winners will receive:

  • a $700 award;
  • publication in our internationally distributed anthology and on our website;
  • a contributor’s copy;
  • and exposure to over fifty literary agencies as part of our exclusive mailing. We send our anthology to editors, writers, and literary institutions across the country.

About the Judge

Gina Chung is a Korean American writer from New Jersey currently living in New York City. She is the author of the novel Sea Change, which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, a 2023 B&N Discover Pick, an APALA Adult Fiction Honor Book, and a New York Times Most Anticipated Book, and the short story collection Green Frog (out March 12, 2024, from Vintage in the US and June 6, 2024, from Picador in the UK). A recipient of the Pushcart Prize, she is a 2021-2022 Center for Fiction/Susan Kamil Emerging Writer Fellow and holds an MFA in fiction from The New School. Her work appears or is forthcoming in One Story, BOMB, The Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, Catapult, Electric Literature, and Gulf Coast, among others.

Editorial Letter Option

If you’re interested in getting feedback on your writing, utilize our editorial letter add-on option. Our response to your submission will be accompanied by a one- to two-page letter from an experienced guest editor, who will offer observations on strengths as well as opportunities for revision, suggest journals where you might submit a revised version of your story, and include other comments on craft. Though there is a reading fee for this option, a significant portion of the fee goes to your feedback editor. See a sample editorial letter.


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Congratulations to the writers selected for Vol. XII:

Beyond Reproach by Kristin Burcham
Good Daughter by Katherine Cart
Spider Tim by Leah Edwards
An Afternoon at the Edge of the World by Jenny Hayden Halper
Model Home by Ana Kornblum-Laudi
YOUNG AGAIN by Will James Limón
The Swans by Daniel Monzingo
Stillborn by Isabelle Shifrin
The Wedding Dress by Dyanne Stempel
Sow by Allison Backous Troy

The 2023 shortlist can be found here. Volume XII will be published in early spring 2024.


 

“[Volume XII] rings with vivid voices that are exploring realism’s fascinating edges. They showcase stories of work and everyday life, of both ritual and celebration—and in each incantation, these familiar situations are reborn in the fresh language sung by these writers. I was especially struck by the compassionate characterization that invested me in both horrifically fraught relationships as well as such movingly sweet ones. Beauty, blunder, and style abound in this powerful collection of masterful new voices.” –Dustin M. Hoffman, author of No Good for Digging and One-Hundred-Knuckled Fist, and The Masters Review contributor

“This latest anthology from The Masters Review sparks with something extraordinary: the full range of human experience in just ten short pieces. From our mid-life crises to our marital affairs, from our burning addictions to the pains and joys of caring for those we love and hate the most, the tales spun by these talented emerging writers remind us of every desire, disappointment, and surprise that accompanies the journey of life.” –Nick Fuller Googins, author of The Great Transition, and The Masters Review contributor

“I read your issues like clockwork! I’m a literary agent, and there’s such a great cast of emerging writers on this site that I’m always checking in to see if there’s anyone who might be looking for representation for longer form work.” –VICTORIA MARINI, GELFMAN SCHNEIDER / ICM PARTNERS

“If these are the voices we’ll be hearing from, American literature has an awful lot to look forward to.” –RAMONA AUSUBEL, author of No One is Here Except All of Us and A Guide to Being Born

“The future of literature.” –Reader’s Favorite


Author’s Rights

The Masters Review holds first publication rights for three months after publication. Authors agree not to publish, nor authorize or permit the publication of, any part of the material for three months following The Masters Review’s first publication. For reprints we ask for acknowledgement of its publication in The Masters Review first.

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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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