Chapbook Contest

Submissions Open Through November 15th

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The Masters Review is proud to announce our first chapbook contest! The winning writer will be awarded $3000, manuscript publication, a subscription to Journal of the Month, and 50 contributor copies. The incredible Steve Almond is judging the inaugural contest! 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), and function cohesively. The Masters Review staff will select a shortlist of 5-10 chapbooks to pass along to Steve Almond, who will select the winning manuscript. Steve Almond will provide a brief foreword/introduction for the manuscript upon publication. The published manuscript will be available for sale as a physical copy and distributed digitally through our newsletter.

Guidelines:

  • Winner receives $3000, manuscript publication, a subscription to Journal of the Month, 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 should be but the published work cannot have appeared in any other chapbook or full-length collections
  • Self-published collections are previously published and therefore ineligible
  • As we are a prose-focused journal, we are not interested in poetry chapbooks, but will consider chapbooks which contain 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 are welcome to submit. Writers with novels published with a circulation of fewer than 5000 copies can also submit.)
  • Entry fee: $25
  • Deadline: November 15, 2020
  • 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 individual pieces within the manuscript may be requested, but we are unable to provide full manuscript consultations at this time

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.

Steve Almond is the author of eleven books of fiction and non-fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers Candyfreak and Against Football. His stories and essays have appeared in the Best American Short Stories, the New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives outside Boston with his wife, his children, and his anxiety.


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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

Nathan Elias on the Process of Building a Chapbook of Poems and a Chapbook Novelette at The Chapbook Interview*

*Although we are not considering poetry for the chapbook contest, Nathan’s thoughts on the novelette are valuable!