The Masters Review Blog

Feb 15

Craft Essay: No Left Turns by Jennifer Dupree

Today, we are excited to share this excellent essay from Jennifer Dupree on how to approach endings in fiction. Dupree writes, “I once asked a writer friend for feedback on a story which had a surprise ending. ‘I took a left turn,’ I said, meaning I threw in a twist. ‘Left turn?’ she said. ‘You got in a different car!'” “No Left Turns” breaks down ways to avoid those surprise endings.

Let there be loose ends. Don’t make everything too perfect, too wrapped-up. Leave some things undone.  

I have trouble with endings.

I once asked a writer friend for feedback on a story which had a surprise ending. “I took a left turn,” I said, meaning I threw in a twist. “Left turn?” she said. “You got in a different car!”

Most writers have heard that endings are supposed to surprise the reader and at the same time feel inevitable. But, how does that translate to the page? If the ending comes as too much of a surprise, it feels abrupt and out of context and the reader ends up feeling tricked or betrayed. If the ending takes the inevitable route, it feels like a letdown, like the ending wasn’t earned. How, then, do writers find that sweet middle ground?

Recently, I saw Lauren Groff, author of the novels Monsters of Templeton, Acadia, and Fates and Furies and the short story collections Delicate Edible Birds and Florida at a local bookstore. When she opened the room to questions, I asked Groff how she approaches her endings. She offered three metaphors which I’ll explore here.

Read more.

Feb 12

Book Review: The Heavens by Sandra Newman

We are excited to share this excellent review of Sandra Newman’s The Heavens from Kamil Ahsan. The Heavens released today from Grove Atlantic. Ahsan writes, “The thing about Newman’s prose is that the moment one feels solid ground, it slips away underfoot. “The Heavens” is a novel with so many premises, in fact, that the permutations of those we read feel a bit dizzying and sometimes even a bit disappointing because they inevitably mean we won’t have time to cover more.”

The Heavens by Sandra Newman

In an essay adapted from a lecture delivered at the New York Public Library in December 2008, Zadie Smith once wrote an impassioned defense of Barack Obama’s seemingly equivocating nature by invoking, rather peculiarly, William Shakespeare. “For reasons that are obscure to me,” she wrote, “those qualities we cherish in our artists we condemn in our politicians…The apogee of this is, of course, Shakespeare: even more than for his wordplay we cherish him for his lack of allegiance. Our Shakespeare sees always both sides of a thing; he is black and white, male and female—he is everyman.” Like Shakespeare, Smith argued, Obama had done what people often must: equivocate. And for Smith, that is necessary to really see contradiction, “to speak truth plurally.”

As Smith’s version of a high-minded prodigy can attest, there are as many versions of Shakespeare as there are ways to skin a cat. After all, the elusive character remains in large part a mystery mostly because literary scholars can’t quite agree on him, even if most cede Smith’s point about Shakespeare’s “irreducible complexity.” But I’ve never encountered a version like the Shakespeare in Sandra Newman’s latest book, “The Heavens.” Newman’s ‘Sad Will’ is a bit of a bumbling, high-falutin fellow, introduced cheekily as “masculine and morose; a Will that had seen bad weather.” He’s a scatter-brained time-traveler with some traits in common with the novel’s protagonist, Kate, a woman who pulls double-duty in both the 21st and 16th centuries through her dreams: a turn of the millennium Kate whom everybody has long dismissed as more than a little looney, and Emilia, the mistress of a nobleman living in Elizabethan England, who falls in love with William Shakespeare.

Read more.

Feb 11

New Voices: “Tilting at Windmills” by Debbie Vance

In “Tilting at Windmills,” today’s newest entry to our New Voices catalog, a woman must put her life in Boston on hold to return home to small town Gainesville, Missouri to convince her brother Simon to move. Vance explores in this touching, quiet narrative how difficult it is to ever truly leave home behind.

 

I tried to remember the girl I’d been when I lived here but couldn’t. The person I was in Boston and the person I had been in Missouri were not on speaking terms. Billie Joe was right; it was easier to pretend they were different people.

I spent opening night of my first real art show staring at the exposed pipe hanging from the ceiling of the hip Boston gallery, wondering if the angular symmetry of these pipes was more visually stunning than the work I had chosen to display. The wine I drank tasted like its plastic cup, but that didn’t stop me from drinking it.

My boyfriend, Paul, owned the gallery. He was a big deal in the art world, famous if you asked the right people, and he believed in me, my art. He said I was a sea of unrealized potential. He was helping me realize this potential, which is why he’d agreed to let me show alongside a younger, more popular artist, Cheyenne, who sculpted horse penises like the völva priestesses of ancient Scandinavia and set them erect on a pedestal beneath a pink spotlight.

Cheyenne wore a ceremonial goat mask to the show and walked around touching people lightly on the shoulder, whispering divinatory secrets into their ears. It was a magic act, and the people loved it. Already Cheyenne had sold five giant members, and I’d sold nothing.

My work was not phallic or divinatory, and no one even noticed the blue iridescence of feathers adorning the mother bird in the corner, her face, my mother’s, the wings sprouting from her cheeks, structurally perfect. They didn’t notice the cellophane river running under their feet, even as they stepped on it, or the small winged bodies floating in its current. They didn’t look twice at the cavernous structure, built out of papier-mâché in the corner, that viewers were invited to enter. Had they gone in, they would’ve seen a girl’s charcoal memories of a lost mother, an estranged brother. They would’ve seen the narrative of life and death, a girl-phoenix reborn from ashes. But no one wanted to crawl on their hands and knees inside a handmade structure. The risk of collapse was too great, maybe, or they didn’t want to dirty their designer jeans.

To read the rest of “Tilting at Windmills” click here.

Feb 7

15 Books We’re Looking Forward To

There are so many great books releasing in the first half of 2019, we had to make a list. We’re anxiously awaiting their release, but thankfully almost half of these are releasing in the next couple of months. There are debuts on this list alongside new releases from widely celebrated authors. Hopefully you’ll find this list as a good place to start your reading for the year.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James

This forthcoming tome from Man Booker winner Marlon James is the first in a fantasy trilogy that has Game of Thrones fans all abuzz.  Checking in at 640 pages, this is no weekend-read. Neil Gaiman has described this novel as “A fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made.” If that doesn’t pique your interest, nothing will.

Publication date: February 5th

Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken

New from the author of Thunderstruck & Other Stories, Bowlaway is a novel about Bertha Truitt, a woman discovered unconscious in a New England cemetery at the the turn of the 20th century. Sure to bring plenty of McCracken’s wit and humor, Bowlaway is a novel we can’t wait to pick up.

Publication Date: February 5th

 

The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison needs no introduction. The Source of Self-Regard is a newly-collected selection of the celebrated writer’s essays, speeches and meditations on race, society and literary criticisms spanning four decades of her work.

Publication Date: February 12th

 

Bangkok Wakes to Rain by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Bangkok Wakes to Rain, the debut novel from Pitchaya Sudbanthad, is melded from the linked stories of characters and their connections to Bangkok: a doctor, a musician, a photographer. Time is fluid in this lyrical novel, moving forward and back through their lives. Due out in February from Riverhead, this is a debut that’s sure to turn heads.

Publication Date: February 19th

Fierce Pretty Things by Tom Howard

Winner of the 2018 Blue Lights Books Prize, this debut collection of eight stories from Tom Howard contains “Hildy,the 2015 Short Story Award Winner, so we’re pretty excited about this one. Look for our review of this great collection on its release.

Publication Date: March 1st

 

Gingerbread by Helen Oyememi

The author of Boy, Snow, Bird, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, winner of the PEN Open Book Award, returns with Gingerbread, an imaginative novel about Perdita and Harriet Lee, Gingerbread makers from Druhástrana, a place that may or may not exist.

Publication Date: March 5th

 

The White Card by Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine, author of the unforgettable Citizen: An American Lyric, is back with The White Card, a play in two acts. The first act takes place at a dinner party thrown by Virginia and Charles, Manhattan socialites, for up-and-coming artist Charlotte. The second act takes place a year later, in Charlotte’s studio. This first play from Rankine “stages a conversation that is both informed and derailed by the black/white American drama.”

Publication Date: March 19th

Sing to It by Amy Hempel

Former TMR Anthology judge Amy Hempel is back with what is sure to be one of the best story collections released in 2019. This is her first collection since 2006, so suffice it to say we’re excited about this one.

Publication Date: March 26th

 

The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

Laila Lalami, Pulitzer Prize finalist, is back with a novel about the death of a Moroccan immigrant. Described as a family saga, a murder mystery and a love story all in one, this novel is certainly one to wait for.

Publication Date: March 26th

 

The Gulf by Belle Boggs

Author of the memoir The Art of Waiting and the short story collection Mattaponi Queen, The Gulf is Belle Boggs’ first novel. The novel follows writers Marianne and Eric as they establish a writing workshop for Evangelicals – an idea that began as a joke, but how crazy could it be?

Publication Date: April 2nd

 

What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About: Fifteen Writers Break the Silence by Michele Filgate

An anthology spawned from Filgate’s essay, What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About,on Longreads, fifteen writers share essays on their relationships with their mothers and the things they can’t discuss. We’re excited to be interviewing Filgate about this anthology later this year!

Publication Date: April 30th

The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin

The Unpassing is Chia-Chia Lin’s debut novel. Her incredible short fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, Zyzzyva, and elsewhere — and we could not be more excited about this book. The Unpassing follows a Taiwanese immigrant family in Anchorage, Alaska, and exposes the myth of the American Dream. This novel is due out in May from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Publication Date: May 7th

The Farm by Joanne Ramos

The Farm, debut novel from Joanne Ramos, wants to know what you would sacrifice for a better life. Would you give up your body, become a surrogate mother and live on a farm for the nine months of your pregnancy? The Farm introduces us to four women who meet at Golden Oaks Farm during this life-changing decision.

Publication Date: May 7th

 

Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell

Karen Russell is a favorite around here. Orange World and Other Stories is a new collection of nine stories from the wonderfully strange Russell. Still not sold? Read “Bog Girl” on The New Yorker and then preorder this collection.

Publication Date: June 18th

 

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Nickel Boys is a new novel from Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning Colson Whitehead, his follow-up to the excellent The Underground Railroad. In The Nickel Boys, two boys are sent to a reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida; this novel is based on the real Arthur B. Dozier School for Boys which operated in Florida’s panhandle for over a century and covered up the abuse, neglect and deaths of its students.

Publication Date: July 16th

Feb 5

Book Review: Tonic and Balm by Stephanie Allen

We are excited to welcome this excellent review by Katharine Coldiron to our book review series. About Tonic and Balm, Coldiron writes, “A novel like this is about the people in it, and the multivocal narration of the troupe makes the book resemble its subject. Each new story is another act, another performer.”

Tonic and Balm by Stephanie Allen

A hundred years on, it’s hard to summarize what the demise of vaudeville meant to entertainers, audiences, and early 20th century pop culture. Many vaudevillians, Keaton and Chaplin among them transitioned into silent pictures; others vanished as if they had never been. Part of vaudeville’s freedom was its impermanence: the show is in town for three nights and that’s it. But vaudeville troupes were also nomadic, roaming from town to town, picking up acts in one town and dropping them in another. Freedom via restless performing.

Stephanie Allen’s debut novel, Tonic and Balm, concerns itself with a medicine show traveling in Pennsylvania during the summer of 1919. The element that distinguishes this show from vaudeville is the sale of dubiously manufactured substances hawked by the show’s mastermind, Doc Bell. Other acts (acrobats, bawdy song-and-dance, comedy) are the same. The novel is a loose collection of stories, each narrated by different characters in the show: a banjo player and his hardened wife, a queer sword-swallower and her Daisy Buchanan-like girlfriend, a disgraced and drunken physician, and—centrally—a young hydrocephalic woman billed as “Sheba, Queen of the Nile.”

Read more.

Feb 4

New Voices: “Mercy” by Carla Diaz

Today, we welcome “Mercy” by Carla Diaz to our New Voices catalog. “Mercy” follows William, a young boy desperate to gain the approval of a group of viscous schoolkids he calls his friends. What abuse is he willing to suffer through, and what abuse is he willing to dole out? Read on.

“I knew what they wanted. I, too, had wanted it. Because of that, it was easy to hand it to them. It was easy to let my body give in—do the movements they so badly wanted to see. So I dropped my jaw, unfurled a slackness across my face. I brought a hand to my chest, let it flop over like a dead fish and wagged it around, slapping my thumb against my body.”

The Pottingers lived next door to us for years, but it took until seventh grade—those carpools home from soccer games—for our moms to realize they needed each other. They tried to make friends by making us friends. “Such a nice boy,” my mother said absently, searching her purse for a Rolaid. We were staked out in the car again.

We dropped Mickey off at home after our scrimmages. Each time, he shut the door looking apologetic for having to slam something, then made his slow-dash toward the house—a flash of his green jersey disappearing into a mudroom. It was a horrible sight: his forward-thrusting hips, drawn-back shoulders, spine resting slightly on the air behind him as if his upper half was in a recliner. Coach put him on defense on account of what we called his idiot feet. One time he got possession of the ball, dribbled it down the field in the wrong direction and scored. The other team cheered, coach threw his clipboard, and after the game, we yanked his pants down in the locker room and took turns whipping him with towels. From then on Mickey spent games getting shoved face-first into the mud. We might have stopped if it seemed like he minded, but he didn’t. Mostly, Mickey laughed and went along.

“A very nice boy,” my mother said again. Who cared if he was nice? She told me not to be fresh and we both peered inside and waited. It was a known fact that Mickey had a disabled brother, Jared. He went to a school that was a ways away and could accommodate his needs. My mother told me this one day as she drummed her fingers on the steering wheel, and I wondered what Jared’s school was like—if they covered the same chapters in History and if they even had a soccer team. I wondered these things every time we dropped off Mickey, every time my mother and I waited in the car for Mrs. Pottinger to come out and say hello. And the two of us would sit there quietly as I squinted into the dark windows of their house, hoping to see something shocking.

 

To read the rest of “Mercy” click here.

Feb 1

Submissions Are Open: The Masters Review Volume VIII Judged by Kate Bernheimer

Every year The Masters Review produces a print anthology that showcases the best emerging writers in the fiction and nonfiction genres. Our goal is to provide a platform for the very best new talent, and to help promising writers on their path to literary success. Ten stories and essays will be selected for our anthology, which will be distributed to agents and editors across the country. Winning authors will be awarded a total of $5000. This year, we are honored to be working with the fairy tale master Kate Bernheimer who will select the ten anthology finalists from a shortlist of thirty. Read all about the anthology here, and submit by March 31!

GUIDELINES:
  • Previously unpublished works of fiction and narrative nonfiction only
  • Up to 7000 words
  • We accept simultaneous submissions as long as work is withdrawn if it is accepted elsewhere
  • Multiple submissions are allowe
  • International submissions allowed
  • Writers must not have published a novel-length work at the time of submission (authors of short story collections and self-published titles can submit as can authors with work with a low distribution, about 5000 copies)
  • Standard formatting please (double-spaced, 12 pt font, pages numbered)
  • $20 reading fee
  • Submissions are not limited to writers in the US. All English-language submissions are welcome
  • Writers who have earned an Anthology Prize before and whose work appears in our printed book cannot submit to this category but are welcome to send us work in other open categories.

Judging:

Each year The Masters Review pairs with a guest judge to select stories. Our editorial team produces a shortlist of stories, which our judge reviews to select winners. In past years we have worked with Lauren Groff, AM Homes, Lev Grossman, Kevin Brockmeier, Amy Hempel, Roxane Gay, and Rebecca Makkai.

KATE BERNHEIMER is the author of two story collections, including How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales and Horse, Flower, Bird, as well as three novels, and editor of the World Fantasy Award winning and bestselling collection My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales and the World Fantasy Award nominee xo Orpheus: 50 New Myths. She both founded and edits Fairy Tale Review.

Her nonfiction has been published in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and elsewhere, as well as heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. With Laird Hunt, she was recently a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award for the co-authored novella Office at Night, a joint commission of Coffee House Press and The Walker Art Center. With her brother, she co-curates the Places series “Fairy Tale Architecture.” Her children’s books, edited books, and short stories have been translated into many languages including Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Greek, Hebrew, Turkish, and Japanese.

She is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she teaches creative writing and fairy tale classes.

 

To submit a story or learn more about our guidelines, click the submit button:
submit

 

 

Jan 31

Deadline TONIGHT: Winter Short Story Award judged by Aimee Bender

Put the finishing touches on your next masterpiece — our Winter Short Story Award for New Writers judged by Aimee Bender is closing TONIGHT at midnight! The winning story will be awarded $3000 and publication online. Second and third place stories will be awarded publication and $300 and $200 respectively. We have included some guidelines below, but you can find all the details here.

$3000 + Publication + Agency Review

SUBMIT NOW.

Guidelines:

  • Winner receives $3000, publication, and agency review
  • Second and third place prizes ($300 / $200, publication, and agency review)
  • Stories under 7000 words
  • Previously unpublished stories only
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed
  • Emerging writers only (We are interested in offering a larger platform to new writers. Self-published writers and writers with story collections and novels with a small circulation are welcome to submit. Writers with works published with a circulation of less than 5000 copies can also submit.)
  • International submissions allowed
  • $20 entry fee
  • Deadline: January 31, 2019
  • Please no identifying information on your story
  • All stories are considered for publication
  • To view a list of our most commonly asked questions regarding submitting to The Masters Review, please see our FAQ page.

Jan 29

February Deadlines: 11 Contests Ending This Month

We may be getting more rain than snow this winter, but keep your head (and hood) held up high! Curl up with a hot drink, polish up your favorite writing pieces, and find a new home for them in one of these contests!

American Short(er) Fiction Prize

American Short Fiction and judge Danielle Dutton are looking for writers who know their way around flash fiction – could that be you? Stories must be less than 1000 words, but multiple entries are allowed! First place receives $1000 and guaranteed publication, second place receives $750, and all entries are considered for publication. Details here.

Entry Fee: $17 Deadline: February 1

Michael Waters Poetry Prize

There’s only a little time left to enter Southern Indiana Review’s writing contest for poetry collections! Judged by Michael Waters himself, the first-place winner is awarded $4000 and their collection will be published by Southern Indiana Review Press. Don’t miss it!

Entry Fee: $35 Deadline: February 1

Nelson Algren Short Story Award

Held annually since 1981, the Chicago Tribune’s prize is a nationally recognized contest for original short fiction. Named for the Chicago literary great Nelson Algren, it has been presented to a number of distinguished authors, and you could be next! Stories must be fiction, less than 8000 words, and completely original. The grand prize winner will receive $3500, five finalists will receive $750, and all entries are considered for publication. Check it out!

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: February 1

Philip Roth Residence in Creative Writing

This amazing residency is offered to two writers through Bucknell University, and the winners receive a stipend of $5000 and four months of lodging. They’re looking for fiction and literary nonfiction writers over the age of 21 who are not enrolled in a college or university. You’ll need a 20 page sample of your prose, but this could be the opportunity for you! Learn more here.

Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: February 1

Macaron Prize 2019

If you want to be a part of history, now is the time to enter Cagibi’s new contest – you could be published in their very first print issue! There are three categories, in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and they’re interested in writing with quirky personalities and unexpected directions. Chantel Acevedo judges fiction, Major Jackson judges poetry, and Sheila Kohler judges nonfiction. Prose may be up to 4000 words, and up to three poems may be submitted. First place in each category receives $100 and publication, but all entries are considered for publication! Submit here.

Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: February 15

Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction

Sarabande Books is celebrating 25 years of publishing excellence, and you can be a part of the celebration! Their contest is open to any short fiction writer in English, and submissions can vary from short story collections to novellas. Judged by Sarabande’s founders Sarah Gorham and Jeffrey Skinner, they’re awarding $2000, publication of the manuscript, a Sarabande Writing Residency, and a standard royalty contract to the winner! All finalists are considered for publication. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: $28 Deadline: February 15

William Van Dyke Short Story Prize

If you have a story to tell, Ruminate wants to hear it! The first-place prize is $1500 and publication, and the runner-up receives $200 and publication. Submissions need to be 5500 words or less, but there are no limits on the number of entries per person. Submit here.

Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: February 15

Flash Fiction Prize

This annual contest from Fish Publishing is a true challenge – can you write a compelling and resolved story in 300 words or less? Judged by Pamela Painter, first place receives $1354 and publication, and the other nine finalists are published as well. See more here!

Entry Fee: $19 Deadline: February 28

Glimmer Train Fiction Open

Occurring twice a year, this is the winter installment of Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open contest! It’s open to all writers, all subjects, all themes, and entries can run from 3000 to 28,000 words. The winner receives $3000, the runner-up receives $1000, and both are published in Glimmer Train Stories, along with 10 copies of that issue. Submission guidelines here.

Entry Fee: $21 Deadline: February 28

Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Contest

Don’t worry, it’s alright to do a double take! Glimmer Train currently has two contests open, and this one is specifically for short fiction! The contest is open to all writers, but entries must be between 300 and 3000 words. First place is $2000 and publication, as well as 10 copies of that issue, and second place receives $500. Submit here!

Entry Fee: $16 Deadline: February 28

Women’s Prose Prize

This is the second year for Red Hen Press’ contest, whose prize is for any and all women writers with a previously unpublished, original work of prose! Acceptable submissions include novels, short story collections, memoirs, and essay collections, between 45,000 and 80,000 words. The winner, selected by judge Elizabeth Bradfield, receives $1000 and publication by Red Hen Press. Learn more here!

Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: February 28

by Kimberly Guerin

Jan 28

New Voices: “Casino Night” by Gabriel Welsch

In today’s addition to our New Voices catalog, Gabriel Welsch explores what it means to hold yourself accountable for your actions. Zeke, on his first night back, helps his aunt Cici with a charity event at her restaurant. But then the judge who sent him to juvie pulls in. Read the excellent “Casino Night” below.

“I think, Does he have any fucking clue? I could drive this car away. I could ram it into a telephone pole.”

I’m not there five minutes and Cici’s going off on me: Big college boy. Too smart to clear a few tables. Too good to work in the kitchen. I thought she’d go after me for wearing a shirt with a collar, but she didn’t go that way. That’s not how it was going to go down.

“Why you giving me shit? Why you gotta be that way?”

She grins as if it’s supposed to disarm me. It makes me even more pissed, but she is surrounded by a bunch of volunteer firefighters moving cases of soda and beer in from a truck. Church ladies are straightening their blouses every time they do anything. One is stacking napkins. One is making piles of ones and fives for change, and another is taking the cellophane off stacks of playing cards. Night’s coming, and I can see that they are all working hard and don’t care to notice me one way or the other.

“What do you need me to do?”

She nods her head toward the front of the restaurant. “Sweep,” she says. And I do. I tap myself a pitcher of beer for inspiration, and before long, it’s easy to sweep in long, easy pushes, like I am getting all Zen in a world competition of sweeping. For the first time in weeks it feels like I am good at something.

To read the rest of “Casino Night” click here.

Jan 25

Kate Bernheimer to judge The Masters Review Volume VIII

Kate Bernheimer will be selecting stories for The Masters Review Volume VIII

Each year we pair with a guest judge to select stories for our anthology, which acts as a showcase for today’s best emerging writers. The experience and expertise of our judge guides our selections, and we’re excited to work with “one of the living masters of the fairy tale” for our eigth volume.

Kate Bernheimer is the author of two story collections, including How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales and Horse, Flower, Bird, as well as three novels, and editor of the World Fantasy Award winning and bestselling collection My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales and the World Fantasy Award nominee xo Orpheus: 50 New Myths. She both founded and edits Fairy Tale Review.

Her nonfiction has been published in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and elsewhere, as well as heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and Weekend Edition. With Laird Hunt, she was recently a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award for the co-authored novella Office at Night, a joint commission of Coffee House Press and The Walker Art Center. With her brother, she co-curates the Places series “Fairy Tale Architecture.” Her children’s books, edited books, and short stories have been translated into many languages including Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Greek, Hebrew, Turkish, and Japanese.

She is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she teaches creative writing and fairy tale classes.

Submissions for our anthology will open next week! We accept stories and essays up to 7000 words. Thirty writers are chosen for the shortlist and Kate Bernheimer will select ten to publish. See our anthology page for information on past volumes.


SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:
  • Previously unpublished works of fiction and narrative nonfiction only
  • Up to 7000 words
  • We accept simultaneous submissions as long as work is withdrawn if it is accepted elsewhere
  • Multiple submissions are allowed
  • Writers must not have published a novel-length work at the time of submission (authors of short story collections and self-published titles can submit as can authors with work with a low distribution, about 5000 copies)
  • Standard formatting please (double-spaced, 12 pt font, pages numbered)
  • $20 reading fee
  • Submissions are not limited to writers in the US. All English-language submissions are welcome
  • Writers who have earned an Anthology Prize before and whose work appears in our printed book cannot submit to this category but are welcome to send us work in other open categories.
Jan 24

Last Week: Winter Short Story Award for New Writers judged by Aimee Bender

This is it: the last week to submit to our Winter Short Story Award for New Writers, with winners selected by Aimee Bender. This is one of our most popular categories. The winner receives $3000, publication on The Masters Review site, and review from multiple agencies. The second and third place stories receive $300 and $200, respectively, publication, and agency review. This is a great opportunity for emerging writers. We have included some guidelines below, but you can find all the details here.

$3000 + Publication + Agency Review

SUBMIT NOW.

Guidelines:

  • Winner receives $3000, publication, and agency review
  • Second and third place prizes ($300 / $200, publication, and agency review)
  • Stories under 7000 words
  • Previously unpublished stories only
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed
  • Emerging writers only (We are interested in offering a larger platform to new writers. Self-published writers and writers with story collections and novels with a small circulation are welcome to submit. Writers with works published with a circulation of less than 5000 copies can also submit.)
  • International submissions allowed
  • $20 entry fee
  • Deadline: January 31, 2019
  • Please no identifying information on your story
  • All stories are considered for publication
  • To view a list of our most commonly asked questions regarding submitting to The Masters Review, please see our FAQ page.

Use this link to add a reminder to your calendar!