December Deadlines – 12 Lit Mags and Contests With Deadlines This Month

November 29, 2016

It’s hard to believe 2016 is coming to a close, and because it’s a busy time of year it might be easy to let these deadlines slip — but don’t let them! Here are 12 awesome opportunities for writers this month.


Featured! The Masters Review Short Story Award For New Writers

Technically this contest doesn’t close until January 15, but we wanted to include it here because the winter award is new to our publication and because all three agencies that reviewed stories this summer are participating again. That means Amy Williams, Victoria Marini, and Laura Biagi will review the winners. $2000 and publication to the first place story. $200 and $100 for second and third place, and agency review to any honorable mentions. Details here. Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 15

Stanford’s Wallace Stegner Fellowship

Stanford’s venerable Stegner Fellowship closes to applications on December 1 and this one is a must for writers serious about their craft. From the website: “Unique among writing programs, Stanford offers ten two-year fellowships each year, five in fiction and five in poetry. All the fellows in each genre convene weekly in a 3-hour workshop with faculty.” There’s a lot to know, so check out their details page, here. The nitty gritty? Manuscripts of fiction up to 9,000 words and poetry up to 15 pages are accepted. Entry Fee: $85 Deadline: December 1

Fiddlehead Annual Literary Contest

$2000 for the best story and poem, as well as $250 awards for honorable mentions in each category. For full guidelines click here. Entry Fee: $30 includes subscription Deadline: December 1

Five Points Submissions  – James Dickey Prize For Poetry, Flash Fiction, and More!

If you love short short fiction, submit up to 250 words by December 1. Essays, Nonfiction, and Fiction of normal lengths are also considered before the start of the month, so polish up that work or consider a simultaneous submission here. Lastly, the James Dickey Prize for Poetry also closes on Dec 1. So many awesome ways to submit before the end of the year. Details and guidelines here. Entry Fee: $2.50 reading fee; $25 for the Poetry Prize Deadline: December 1

Iowa Prize in Literary Nonfiction

Meghan Duam is judging the best unpublished literary nonfiction manuscript between 40,000 -90,000 words, including essay collections. Full details can be found at the University of Iowa Press page. Entry Fee: $10 Deadline: December 10

Creative Nonfiction Essay Contest

This is a big one. Nonfiction writers, submit up to 5000 words on the topic of “The Dialogue Between Science & Religion” for a chance at $10,000 and publication in the magazine. The runner up will also receive publication and a $5000 prize. The lit mag’s staff will judge entries. Their site says: “We’re looking for original narratives illustrating and exploring the relationships, tensions, and harmonies between science and religion—the ways these two forces productively challenge each other as well as the ways in which they can work together and strengthen one another.” Full details here. Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: December 12

Electric Literature General Submissions – OPEN

Electric Literature is at the top of our reading list for online lit mags and Dec 1 marks the date when they are open to general submissions for previously unpublished works of fiction. They aren’t open year-round, so mark your calendars. You have two weeks to submit. For full guidelines click here. Entry Fee: None. Deadline: December 15

Redivider Blurred Genre Contest

From the website: “Flash Fiction, Flash Nonfiction, Prose Poetry, and all experimental work between and beyond. This contest explores the porous genre boundaries between flash fiction, flash nonfiction, and prose poetry. We also welcome other experimental forms including, but not limited to, brief drama, graphic narrative, illustrated poetry, and more.” Submit up to 750 words. Judged by Claudia Rankine! Full contest details can be found here. Entry Fee: Tiered. $6 for first, $11 for second, and so on. Deadline: December 15

Crazyhorse General Submissions CLOSE

That’s right. It’s your last chance to submit poetry, fiction, and nonfiction outside of contest fees to Crazyhorse until next year, so polish up your work and submit now. Full guidelines including word count and other details can be found here. Entry Fee: $3 reading fee Deadline: December 31

Boulevard Short Fiction Contest For Emerging Writers

$1,500 and publication in Boulevard will be awarded to the winning story (up to 8000 words) by a writer who has not yet published a book of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press. For full guidelines click here. Entry Fee: $16 Deadline: December 31

Lascaux Review Prize in Short Fiction

This one is unique because it allows for slightly longer stories (up to 10,000 words) and it allows previously published stories to be considered. $1000 and publication will be awarded to the winner. Full details here. Entry Fee: $10 Deadline: December 31

Restless Book’s Prize For New Immigrant Writing

This $10,000 prize alternates each year between fiction and narrative nonfiction. This year, the publication seeks memoirs, essay collections, and works of narrative nonfiction by writers who are first-generation residents of the United States and who have not published a work of nonfiction with a U.S. publisher. Excerpts and essays up to 25,000 words are welcome, and full entry guidelines and additional details can be found here. Entry Fee: None Deadline: December 31

Looking ahead? Check out these early January publications that we have our eye on: The Mississippi Review Prize, The Steinbeck Fellowship, and Poets and Writers’ Mauren Egen Writers Exchange Award.


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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