The Masters Review Chapbook Open

Submissions Open Through December 31st!


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This year, The Masters Review is holding an open call for chapbooks. We want to publish your collections of flash, your mini novellas, your 40 page short stories. We want to publish your braided essays, your eclectic brainchildren, your experiments. However you want to tell your story, we want to read it. (As long as it’s between 25-40 double-spaced pages.) Matt Bell will be deciding this year’s winner! The submission window will be open for the final four months of the year, and The Masters Review staff will select a small shortlist of our favorites to pass along to a Matt Bell, who will select the winning book.

The winning writer will be awarded $3000, manuscript publication, and 50 contributor copies. We’re seeking to celebrate bold, original voices within a single, cohesive manuscript of 25 to 40 pages. We’re interested in collections of short fiction, essays, flash fiction, novellas/novelettes, longform fiction or essays, and any combination thereof, provided the manuscripts are complete (no excerpts, chapters, works-in-progress, or other incomplete work). We are NOT interested in poetry. (We’re sure your poetry is fantastic, but we’re not qualified to judge its merit!)

The Masters Review staff will select a shortlist of 5-10 chapbooks to pass along to our guest judge, who will select the winning manuscript. Our judge will provide a brief introduction for the manuscript upon publication. The published manuscript will be available for sale as a physical copy and distributed digitally through our newsletter. Check back soon for an announcement of this year’s judge! Last year’s winning book, Mastersplans by Nick Almeida, selected by Steve Almond, will be published this fall, and is available to pre-order now through any submission category. Digital and print copies will be available.

Guidelines:

  • Winner receives $3000, manuscript publication, and 50 contributor copies
  • Second and third place finalists will be acknowledged on our website
  • Manuscripts should be between 25-40 pages (not including front/back matter) with each story beginning on a new page
  • Manuscripts should be double-spaced and paginated
  • Manuscripts should include a Table of Contents (if necessary) and an acknowledgements page listing any previously published material within the manuscript
  • Manuscripts may contain some previously published work, but the published work cannot have appeared in any other chapbook or full-length collections
  • Self-published chapbooks are previously published and therefore ineligible
  • No poetry chapbooks, please (we will consider chapbooks which contain some prose poetry)
  • Electronic submissions only
  • Single author manuscripts only
  • International English submissions allowed (No translations)
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed (Please withdraw submissions if they are accepted elsewhere.)
  • 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 (fewer than 5000 copies) are welcome to submit.)
  • Entry fee: $25
  • Deadline: December 31, 2021
  • Individual stories or essays within the manuscript may be considered for publication in our New Voices series
  • We are not requiring blind submissions for this contest
  • Editorial letters for up to 3 individual pieces within the manuscript may be requested
  • A significant portion of the editorial letter and manuscript consultation fees go to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA
  • Please e-mail contact at mastersreview.com with questions

We don’t have any preferences topically or in terms of style. We’re simply looking for the best. We don’t define, nor are we interested in, stories identified by their genre. We do, however, consider ourselves a publication that focuses on literary fiction. Dazzle us, take chances, and be bold.

Matt Bell’s latest novel, Appleseed, was published by Custom House in July 2021. His craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to novel writing, rewriting, & revision, will follow in March 2022 from Soho Press. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur’s Gate II, and several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Tin House, Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

INCLUDED UNIQUE OPPORTUNITIES AND DISCOUNTS:

To thank you for your continued support of The Masters Review, we’re excited to offer you the following opportunities with your submission:

WritingWorkshops.com is offering 15% off any of their classes this year, and the discount code will be included in the confirmation e-mail when you submit.

Literature & Latte is offering a 20% discount on their incredibly helpful Scrivener writing software for macOS and Windows users. There will be a discount code in the confirmation e-mail when you submit.

The Writing Salon is offering every submitter a 10% off discount code on a writing class with a discount code included in your confirmation e-mail!

Winner update: Joe Bond earned representation from Sarah Fuentes of Fletcher & Company, and Caitlin O’Neil earned representation from Victoria Marini and our 2016 Fall Fiction winner, Ruth Joffre, selected by Kelly Link sold her story collection to Grove Atlantic with our winning piece as the title story. Awesome.


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Congratulations to Nick Almeida and his winning chapbook, Masterplans, selected by Steve Almond! Masterplans will be published later this fall.


Interested in chapbooks but don’t know where to start? Check out these handy resources!

What Are Chapbooks? and Why Should You Read Them? by Lyndsie Manusos at Book Riot

Creating a Fiction Chapbook by Bonnie ZoBell

Meg Tuite on the Flash Fiction Chapbook at The Chapbook Interview


2020 Chapbook Contest Results

Winner

Masterplans by Nick Almeida

Finalists

Deep Blue by Jay Allison

Oscillations by Tanya Perkins