Archive for the ‘Contest’ Category

The Masters Review Volume IV Shortlist Announcement

Congratulations to the following authors whose stories and essays were selected for our shortlist. Our guest judge Kevin Brockmeier will select ten for publication, which will be announced in May, and later published in volume IV of our anthology. Also, an enormous thanks to everyone who submitted. We received the most submissions in our anthology’s history, and this year’s writing was extremely impressive. Our staff is thankful for the opportunity to read such quality work, and is looking forward to Mr. Brockmeier’s final selections.

shortlist _2015 draftShortlist Authors

CB Anderson, “Ghost”

Chris Arp, “To The Snail”

Courtney Bird, “The Tenshi Project”

Eric Boyd, “Then Comes Disgrace”

Daniel Bullard-Bates, “Rituals”

Ezra Carlsen, “False Fronts”

Megan Clark, “Berserker”

Stephanie Devine, “Pas de Trois”

Joe Dornich, “The Continuing Controversy of the Snuggle Shack”

Michael Erickson, “Walking Woman”

Kate Finlinson, “The Lion House Near Temple Square”

Camellia Freeman, “Real Americans”

Adam Gardner, “Theft”

Robert Glick, “Instar”

Nick Greer, “With It, He Goes on All Fours”

Ah-Reum Han, “River Home”

Hillery Hugg, “Ghosts Doing Ordinary Things”

Brianne Kohl, “Places Still on Fire”

Kristin Leclaire, “Inside the Labyrinth”

Christina Milletti, “The Erratic”

HL Nelson, “A Creature Comes Home”

Rebecca Nison, “#theorderofyouth”

Frances Phillips, “Bay Rhum Christmas”

Matthew Pitt, “The Uncanny Valley”

Erin Kate Ryan, “Fourth Grade Boyfriend in a Coffee Can”

Sarah Smith, “Someday Soon, You’ll Be On Fire”

Jennifer Stern, “Part and Counterpart”

Lindsay Tigue, “Rockhounds”

Ricky Tucker, “Constant Erasure”

Emily Wortman-Wunder, “Trespassing”


Honorable Mentions

Sarah Curry, “Forever in the Mall of America”

Christopher Fox, “A Light-Year is a Measure of Distance Not Time”

Jo Hsu, “Forest for the Trees”

Brent van Staallduinen, “Declination”

Last Day to SUBMIT! The Masters Review Scary Story Contest

october widgetToday marks the deadline of our scary story contest. Lucky (or unlucky) $13 earns you a chance at $500 and publication in The Masters Review, which will post on Halloween Day.

Got something in mind? We want to see it. Here are the details:

To put it simply, creep us out. Make our palms sweat. Scare us with the unsettling, the horrible, the surprising, and the terrible. Make the hair on the back of our necks stand up. We want to think twice before turning out the lights. Whether your writing invokes Mary Shelley, Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, Karen Russell, or Edgar Allen Poe we want to read it. We’re open to all styles and ideas, but your story must be well-constructed. We will show a particular interest in those pieces with some literary merit; stories that push themselves beyond the strangeness of their premise.

– Up to 5,000 words
– Previously unpublished work only
– Simultaneous submissions okay but please inform us if your story is picked up elsewhere
– $13 to enter
– Wow us. Scare us.


One Week to Submit – Scary Story Contest!

ad_october_2There’s only one week left to submit to our scary story contest. Lucky (or unlucky) $13 earns you the chance at a $500 prize and publication in The Masters Review. The winning story will be published on Halloween Day. Send us your best disturbing, freaky, chilling, and scary fiction under 5000 words by October 15, 2014.


Magazines and Contests with Deadlines in September

Goodbye summer school, hello normal school. Fall means a wealth of huge literary contests. There might be money; there will almost definitely be publication. But you don’t do it for any of those things, I know. You do it for the mail. So enter some of these here contests. Digital or snail, there will certainly be mail involved.

American Academy In Berlin  Whoa, hit the ground running, eh? How ambitious of you. Though are you sure you want to take time out of your life that could be spent applying to literary journals and contests that might be a better fit for . . . what’s that? They give the Berlin Prize Fellowship recipients a $5000 monthly stipend, airfare, and lodging in beautiful Berlin?! Go ahead, submit. NO ENTRY FEE Due: September 29

California State University – Perhaps this is more our speed: a domestic contest, with prizes that include payment and publication. CSU’s Anhinga Press awards the Phillip Levine Prize in Poetry annually to the best poetry collection. Check it. Entry fee: $25. Due: September 30

Glimmer Train Press – What would a deadlines post be without the Train gang? This month, their Family Matters contest seeks the best stories about “families of all configurations.” All they ask, in no uncertain terms, is that you don’t throw anyone under the bus too flagrantly. Submit here. Entry: $15. Due: September 30

Puritan Magazine  The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize in Literary Excellence is awarded to the single best submission in the respective categories of poetry and fiction. The judges for this year’s prize are Margaret Atwood (for poetry) and Zsuzsi Gartner (for fiction). Submit now! Entry: $15. Due: September 30

Hackney Literary Awards – Thirty bucks by the thirtieth to get dirty and flirty with the Alabama hurdy gurdy. Oh my god, that makes no sense, I’m so sorry. This contest is for an unpublished novel. Peep the deets. Entry: $30. Due: September 30

American Literary Review – “Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in American Literary Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay.” I know that deep in the heart of Texas they do everything bigger, but the ALR website states some explicit maximum word lengths for this contest. Check out the details here.  Entry: $15. Due: October 1

Zoetrope: All Story – At this point, Zoetrope is a name that is synonymous with quality short fiction. Winning submissions of their Short Fiction Contest are considered for representation by some of the most prestigious literary agencies in the world. Go for it. Entry: $20. Due: October 1

Harvard University – If you simply must know what all the fuss is about, I suggest you apply for one of Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute Fellowships. It’ll net you $75,000 and office space at the Institute. Details are here, in case you’re a world famous writer perusing our lowly deadlines round-up. If that is the case, please also check out the Guggenheim Fellowships, the Cullman Fellowships, or those damn Pulitzers, which are also due at the end of the month in case you have any juice left in your iWatch to send the applications. All of these fall under the category of If You Win, It Goes In Your Obit. NO ENTRY FEE. Due: October 1

The Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize  This is a big one. The Missouri Review awards $5000 to the winning work of fiction, $5000 to the winning poetry submission, and $5000 to the winning essay. This contest is heading into its 24th year and previous champions have gone on to be published in the Best American series, among other publications. Guidelines here. Entry: $20. Due: October 1

Masters Review – “In honor of our favorite month of the year, we’re holding a contest for the best short story that embodies the hair-raising, spine-chilling, disturbing, and scary nature of October.” That’s me quoting the royal We, as in the Masters Review Crew. Which is to say we’re hosting a damned fine writing contest about the damned. There is a $$$ prize and !!! publication for the lucky so-and-so who can bring the pain to our cranial. Enter here. Entry: $13. Due: October 15

by Andrew Wetzel

Scare The Hell Out of Us – October Contest

??????????????????????????????????In honor of our favorite month, we’re holding a contest for the best short story that embodies the hair-raising, spine-chilling, disturbing, and scary nature of October. Whether your writing invokes Mary Shelley, Stephen King, Shirley Jackson, Bram Stoker, Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, Karen Russell, or Edgar Allen Poe we want to read it. We’re open to all styles and ideas, but your story must be well-constructed. We will show a particular interest in those pieces with some literary merit; stories that push themselves beyond the strangeness of their premise. Lucky (or unlucky) number $13 earns you a shot at our $500 prize and publication on The Masters Review. The winning story will publish on Halloween Day.

Guidelines (Deadline October 15,2014):

To put it simply, creep us out. Make our palms sweat. Scare us with the unsettling, the horrible, the surprising, and the terrible. Make the hair on the back of our necks stand up. We want to think twice before turning out the lights.

– Up to 5,000 words
– Previously unpublished work only
– Simultaneous submissions okay but please inform us if your story is picked up elsewhere
– $13 to enter
– Wow us. Scare us.


The St. Lawrence Book Award – Deadline August 31

blp100Each year Black Lawrence Press will award the St. Lawrence Book Award for an unpublished collection of poems or short stories. The St. Lawrence Book Award is open to any writer who has not yet published a full-length collection of short stories or poems. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes will be awarded on publication. Past winners include Marcel Jolley (fiction), Stefi Weisburd (poetry), Jason Tandon (poetry), Fred McGavran (fiction),  Yelizaveta P. Renfro (fiction), Brad Ricca (poetry), Katie Umans (poetry), and Adrian Van Young (fiction).


In order to reduce the costs of printing and postage and in the spirit of being a bit greener, Black Lawrence Press now accepts electronic submissions rather than hard copies for our contests. Please submit your manuscript and submission fee via Submittable.

All manuscripts should include a title page, table of contents, and when appropriate, an acknowledgments page. Manuscripts should be paginated and formatted in an easy-to-read font such as Garamond or Times New Roman. Manuscripts should be 45-90 pages in length (poetry) or 120-280 pages in length (fiction), not including front and back matter (table of contents, title page, etc.). Please include a brief bio or something about yourself in your cover note on Submittable.

Details here.

Deadline: August 31, 2014

Literary Links: Magazines and Contests with Deadlines in July

Hope you had a hearty Fourth. Let us now put these fireworks in our rearview and phoenix our way into the guts of summer. Don’t be the only kid at camp (or Iowa Writers’ Workshop, or wherever) who hasn’t applied for these lit contests! A handful of these are short notice, so look sharp.

New GuardThe New Guard literary review awards $1000 prizes and publication to the winners of their Machigonne Fiction and Knightville Poetry contests, though the submission period ends soon, so by the end of this sentence you should already have planned your next move starting noooooooow. More details hereEntry Fee: $15. DUE DATE: July 14th

Tethered by LettersTethered by Letters offers generous prizes and free professional edits for every finalist. PLUS a website positively chockablock with helpful resources. They’re accepting submissions in multiple categories: Short Story ($250 prize), Flash Fiction ($50), and Poetry ($100). But the deadline is hella soon. So don’t knock the hustle. Please don’t knock it. Remember that I asked you not to.  Apply hereEntry Fee: $4-12. DUE DATE: July 15th

Rattle – Listen, if you became a writer in order to make money . . . you should talk to some writers. But maybe just maybe you’re in it for the glory of the written word, the fear of the blank page, the adrenalin-pumping thrill of pressing SEND on your entry to the Rattle Poetry Prize, which just happens to include a $5000 purse. And I mean purse in the pugilist sense, not the haute couture handbag sense. Did I mention there were runner-up prizes too? Entry Fee: $20 (includes subscription). DUE DATE: July 15th

The Cincinnati Review – The Robert and Adele Schiff Prose and Poetry Awards are given to the best poem and prose piece (fiction or creative nonfiction). Another day, another mid-July deadline. Check itEntry Fee: $20, includes subscription. DUE DATE: July 15th

Sixfold Sixfold is a writer-voted journal. You pay the criminally low entry fee of $3 to submit your story or poem for their upcoming contest. Then you can read the rest of the entries and vote on what piece should win and who should be included in the next Sixfold publication. Which, natch, is completely free for anyone to read. This is what democracy looks like. Submit hereEntry Fee: $3. DUE DATE: July 24th

Glimmer Train – Okay, you know the deal. This is the beloved triannual publication that is faithfully running contest after contest. Perhaps that is why they are so beloved. This time it is for their Very Short Fiction Award (max length: 3000 words). Entry Fee: $15. DUE DATE: July 31st

Journal Of Experimental Fiction – The Kenneth Patchen Award was reinstated in 2011 after a years-long hiatus. The Journal Of Experimental Fiction (or JEF, perhaps) bestows the prize upon the most innovative novel of the previous calendar year. Please visit their website if you would like to read inventive, boundary-pushing descriptions of inventive, boundary-pushing fiction. Go ahead, apply. Entry Fee: $25. DUE DATE: July 31st

Narrative – Last but not least, the nonprofit organization Narrative is closing their submission period for the Spring 2014 Story Contest at the end of this month. They are looking for stories with “a strong narrative drive, with characters we can respond to, and with effects of language, situation, and insight that are intense and total.” Entry Fee: $22. DUE DATE: July 31st

by Andrew Wetzel

Literary Links: Magazines and Contests with Deadlines in June

Deadline time is every time. Once again, a collection of deadlines for magazines and writing contests. Most of these end June 30th/July 1st, but make sure to double-check the corresponding websites for any updated information.

Salamander – This Boston-based nonprofit literary organization (with ties to Suffolk University) publishes a magazine twice a year. Their 2014 Fiction Prize will be judged by Jennifer Haigh. The reading fee includes a one-year subscription. The mid-month deadline is creeping up. More details here. Entry Fee: $15. DUE DATE: June 15

 Writer’s Digest – WD’s Annual Writing Competition was in last month’s list but they’ve extended their deadline, which gives you a bit more time to polish and submit your work of memoir, poetry, YA, genre shorts, literary shorts, etc. The Grand Prize is a whopping $3000 and includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the next Writer’s Digest Conference. Submit now. Entry Fee: $30 for the first manuscript; $25 for each additional entry. DUE DATE: June 16th 

Literary Arts – The Portland non-profit literary center is responsible for bringing some of the world’s best writers to Portland to read as well as sharing Portland’s best writers with our public high schools through their Writers In The Schools outreach program. And they also offer Oregon Literary Fellowships, a prize of $2500 awarded to Oregon writers who “initiate, develop, or complete literary projects in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.” They also offer the annual Women Writers Fellowship to “an Oregon woman writer of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction whose work explores experiences of race, class, physical disability, or sexual orientation.” More details here. No Entry Fee. DUE DATE: June 27th

Glimmer Train – This triannual writing journal, which also shares our hometown, has a fiction contest for June that is open to all writers, subjects, and themes. First prize gets you $2500 and 20 copies of the issue in which you’ll be published. Considering every issue sells out, that’s a generous detail. There are second and third prizes as well. Entry Fee: $20 per submission (three max). DUE DATE: June 30th

Red Hen Press – The Short Story Award is given annually by this LA-based literary press. It includes a $1000 prize and publication in the Los Angeles Review. This is a bliNd read, sO doN‘t leAve identifying inforMation in your EntrieS, winkwink. Go ahead, apply. Entry Fee: $20 per two-story submission. DUE DATE: June 30th

National Poetry Review Press – We’ve gone local, we’ve gone West Coast. Now we go national (even though they’re based in CA), with the National Poetry Review Press’s Book Prize, given every year for a poetry collection. This year’s judge is C.J. Sage. Manuscripts should be between 45 to 80 pages. Check it out. Entry Fee: $25. DUE DATE: June 30th

Bellevue Literary Review – Ooh boy, BLR is bringing the heat in terms of judging caliber. Their annual prizes of $1000 are awarded to a poet, a fiction writer, and a creative nonfiction writer for works “about health, healing, illness, the body, and the mind.” The Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry will be judged by Major Jackson, the Goldenberg Prize for Fiction by Chang-Rae Lee, and the Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction by Anne Fadiman. Submit now! Entry Fee: $20 (the $30 rate includes a subscription). DUE DATE: July 1st


Submit! Magazines and Contests with Deadlines in May

Deadlines for various end-of-the month contests and reading periods are upon us once again. Put your last bit of polish on those long-percolating projects. Entry fees, freebies – it’s all below. 

Glimmer Train – “Come on, ride the Train. Hey, ride it.” And thusly did the Quad City DJ’s bring forth this month’s fiction submissions. First Prize for the Short Story Award for New Writers nets you a cool $1500 and publication in Glimmer Train. Details can be found on their website, though I’ll note right off the bat that the contest is open to any writer whose fiction (no novels, poetry, or stories written for children, please) has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation greater than 5000. Them’s the rules. DUE DATE: May 31, 2014. Entry Fee: $15

American Short Fiction – “Only God can judge me,” you say? That’s perfect, because ASF got God — a.k.a. Amy Hempel, modern master of the form — to judge. It’s a blind read, so make sure to leave any identifying information off of the manuscript itself. More details here. DUE DATE: June 1, 2014. Entry Fee: $20 per submission.

Ploughshares – If you can type or polish fast, and are a new or emerging writer, Ploughshares invites you to submit up to 6000 words by May 15, for a chance to win $1000 and publication in this very prestigious journal. If you have not yet published a book, you qualify, so submit up to one piece of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Here are the details. DUE DATE: May 15. ENTRY FEE: $24 includes subscription.

Southern Indiana Review – Here’s a Creative Nonfiction contest to mix it up. The winner of the Thomas A. Wilhelmus Editors’ Award receives $2000 and publication in SIR. This contest is open to anyone, be they published or unpublished. DUE DATE: June 2, 2014. Entry Fee: $20 for first submission, $5 for each additional submission.

BOA Editions – If you have an entire collection of short stories that you believe to be the bees’ knees, then check out BOA Editions’ contest. Their Short Fiction Prize includes a $1000 honorarium and publication. Submission guidelines here. DUE DATE: May 31, 2014. Entry Fee: $25.

Graywolf Press – Here’s another Nonfiction prize for those who crave truth over beauty. If you have a project that “tests the boundaries of literary nonfiction,” look their way. The only major catch for indie non-profit Graywolf’s contest this month is that you must have already published a book (in any genre). Inquire withinNo Entry Fee. DUE DATE: May 31, 2014. 

University of Georgia Press – UGA Press gives out the annual Flannery O’Connor Award for outstanding collections of short fiction. That can include longer stories or novellas, as long as the entry does not go over 75,000 words. Contest details hereDUE DATE: May 30, 2014. Entry Fee: $25.

Writer’s Digest – WD’s Annual Writing Competition promises one heckuva payout: $3000 for first place and an all-expenses-paid trip to the next Writer’s Digest Conference, where you can meet one-on-one with editors and agents. Plus, they’re not too picky about the type of work they’re looking for; memoir, poetry, YA, genre shorts, and literary shorts are all game. Submission guidelines. DUE DATE: June 2, 2014. Entry Fee: $30 for the first manuscript; $25 for each additional entry submitted during the same transaction. 

Mark Your Calendars – 10 Deadlines This Month

We’re back in the saddle. The Holidays are over and it’s time to get serious about your submissions. Here is a worthy list of lit mags and contests with deadlines this month.

Third Coast Fiction Contest – Winners receive $1000 and publication in the Fall of 2014 for up to 9,000 words of fiction. Guest judge Ramona Ausubel. Submit here. DUE DATE: January 15, 2013. $16 Entry Fee.

H.E. Francis Short Story Competition – Winners receive $2000 for a short story up to 5000 words. Submissions are read by an all-volunteer staff of established writers and editors. More details on submissions available on the website. DUE DATE: January 15, 2013. $20 Entry Fee.

Literal Latte Fiction Awards – Otherwise known as the K. Margaret Grossman Fiction Awards, this prestigious contest awards $1000 for First Prize, and cash prizes for runners up. All entries must be postmarked by January 15, 2014 to the following address: Literal Latté Awards 200 East 10th Street, Suite 240 New York, NY 10003 . Fiction up to 8000 words is acceptable. Details here. DUE DATE: Postmark January 15, 2013. $10 Entry Fee for one story; $15 for two.

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize – A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story. The winning story is considered for publication in Thomas Wolfe Review. Submit two copies of a story of up to 12 pages. DUE DATE: January 30, 2014. $25 Entry Fee.

The Lamar York Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction – Sponsored by The Chattahoochee Review, two prizes of $1,000 are awarded to a winning story and essay up to 5,000 words. Winners to be published in the Spring Issue and announced in March. Details here. DUE DATE: January 31, 2014. $15 Entry Fee. (more…)

Contest – Late Night Library’s Virgin Awards


Attention emerging authors! Late Night Library, a literary arts organization dedicated to new and established authors is now accepting submissions for their first ever Virgin Awards. The contest, with entries due by November 30, accepts submissions in fiction, narrative nonfiction, and poetry. With cash prizes, publication, and free copies of work from authors in your category, this is a great opportunity to test your talents with a group of readers who focuses entirely on debut authors. For a full list of submission guidelines, click here.

Writing guidelines quick look: 5000 word max, $10 reading fee, completely blind entries.


Three Writing Contests Open Now



The first writing contest we’re featuring this week, is PRI’s very own, Selected Shorts. This year, PRI is looking for great works of fiction no more than 750 words that address the theme of, “Complicated Families.” The winning story will be selected by Jim Shepard and will be read as part of the Selected Shorts performance at Symphony Space on June 12, 2013. The winner will also receive $1000 and a 10-week class from Gotham Writers’ Workshop. There are a few stipulations on this contest aside from word count and theme. For example there is an entry fee of $25, and the contest is specific about formatting. Entries are due March 15, 2013. To learn more, check out the full contest rules.



The Kenyon Review needs no introduction. This literary magazine based out of Gabier Ohio has been publishing short stories since 1939. They’re well known for the quality of work that they publish and for publishing early works from highly regarded authors. Their Short Fiction Contest is open for one month (Feb 1 – Feb 28) to all authors who have not yet published a work of novel length. Authors can submit a story on any theme as long as it does not exceed 1200 words. There is no cost to enter and winners will be announced in late spring. For additional information, check out their contest details.



Creative Nonfiction Magazine aims to publish the best narrative nonfiction from writers of all backgrounds. This magazine draws largely from unsolicited submissions, which means many new and emerging authors have had success publishing through them. Right now they’re currently holding a writing competition that awards $10,000 to the best narrative nonfiction essay not to exceed 4,000 words on the subject of “The Human Face of Sustainability.” Their deadline is May 31, 2013 and they do charge a $20 reading fee. For more information on this contest and other open submissions from Creative Nonfiction Magazine, check out their submission details, here.