January Deadlines: 15 Lit Mags & Contests with Deadlines This Month

January 1, 2018

Happy 2018, everyone! Anything could be around the corner—including these contests. Hold on to the promise of a fresh new year, and submit your work for consideration!

FEATURED! Winter Short Story Award for New Writers

This one is our own contest, and it’s featured for so many good reasons! The Masters Review is looking for stories under 7000 words, written by emerging writers who have a way with words and a love for language! The winner receives $3000, publication, and agency review, and the runners-up also receive cash prizes, publication, and review. Don’t let this chance slip by! Details here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 15

Poetry and Fiction Prizes

This is a compilation of Bayou Magazine’s two wonderful awards, the James Knudsen Prize for Fiction and the Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry! Fiction entries, judged by Kiese Laymon, should be less than 7500 words, and poetry entries, judged by the titular Kay Murphy (!), may include up to three poems. The winners will both receive $1000, and all entries will be considered for publication. Check it out!
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 1

The 2018 MR Prize

Awarded through Mississippi Review, this prize is available to prose writers and poets alike! Winners receive $1000 and publication for the categories of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Prose entries should be 1000-8000 words, and poetry should be less than 10 pages, but there is no limit on the number of entries! Learn more here.
Entry Fee: $16 Deadline: January 1

Christopher Doheny Award

As a memorial to Chris Doheny, this contest is looking for excellence in fiction or creative nonfiction on the topic of serious medical illness. The award includes $10,000, production of the book in an audio edition, and promotion. Entries need to include a bibliography of previously published work, a personal statement, a synopsis, and the full manuscript. Get started here.
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: January 2

Glimmer Train Family Matters Contest

This is the annual installment of Glimmer Train’s Family Matters contest! It’s open to all writers, writing about families of all configurations, and entries can run from 1000 to 12,000 words. The winner receives $2500, the runner-up receives $700, and both are published in Glimmer Train Stories. Authors receive 10 copies of that issue. Submission guidelines here.
Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: January 2

Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Contest

Don’t worry, this isn’t déjà vu! 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. Submit here!
Entry Fee: $16 Deadline: January 2

Steinbeck Fellowships in Creative Writing

The Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University, endowed by Martha Heasley Cox, is looking for emerging writers of any age and background! Their creative writing fellowship accepts work in fiction, drama, creative nonfiction, and biography (but not in poetry). Accepted fellows will receive a $10,000 stipend, interaction with other writers and faculty, and monthly readings. Each application needs to include a prospectus, resumé, three letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. Learn more here!
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: January 2

Tony Hillerman Prize

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with your unpublished murder mystery manuscript, there couldn’t be a more perfect contest than this! Sponsored by St. Martin’s Press and Western Writers of America, this annual prize awards $10,000 and publication to the winning author’s entry. The story’s central theme needs to be the solution for a serious crime, it must be set in the American Southwest, and it must be longer than 220 pages. What are you waiting for? Submit here!
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: January 2

Desert Writers Award

Established to honor the memory of Ellen Meloy, the Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers is devoted to creative nonfiction work about the desert. The Fund provides support to writers whose work brings deeper meaning to the body of desert literature, awarding $5000 every spring! To be considered, entrants must include the completed application form, a biographical statement, a project proposal, and a 10-page writing sample. More details here!
Entry Fee: FREE Deadline: January 15

Crazyhorse Prizes

These are actually three contests offered by Crazyhorse, looking for exceptional prose and outstanding poetry! The judges are Vijay Seshadri for poetry, Jo Ann Beard for nonfiction, and our friend Kelly Link for fiction. Submissions may be up to 25 pages, or a set of 1-3 poems, and the winner of each contest receives $2000 and publication. Make sure to select the correct contest for your submission! Submit here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 31

GCWA Writing Contest

There are so many categories for these prizes, it would be unthinkable to let them slip by! There are four categories, consisting of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s stories. The winner of each category will receive $100 and publication in the Fall Issue of Ft. Myers Magazine. Enter here!
Entry Fee: $10 Deadline: January 31

Lamar York Prizes for Fiction and Nonfiction

Georgia State University sponsors these prizes, through The Chattahoochee Review, and awards $1000 and publication to the winners in fiction and nonfiction. There are no theme restrictions, but entries must be under 6000 words to qualify! Fiction is judged by Alexander Weinstein and nonfiction is judged by Sarah Gerard. More details here.
Entry Fee: $18 Deadline: January 31

The Big Moose Prize

If you’ve recently finished writing a novel, here is an opportunity to get published! Black Lawrence Press is awarding this prize, and it’s open to new, emerging, or established authors. The winner receives $1000, book publication, and 10 copies of their book. Learn more here.
Entry Fee: $25 Deadline: January 31

The Iowa Review Awards

In this threefold contest offered by The Iowa Review, contestants can submit entries for fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Alexander Chee is judging fiction, Kiese Laymon is judging nonfiction, and Elizabeth Willis is judging poetry! Prose submissions may be up to 25 pages, and poetry submissions may be up to 10 pages. The winners in each category receive $1500 and publication. Choose the correct category when you submit, and good luck! Details here.
Entry Fee: $20 Deadline: January 31

Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest

This awesome little submissions category is only open in January. All stories must be 1200 words or fewer. Submissions are open to fiction writers who don’t yet have a published book. Melinda Moustakis will judge. The winner will be published in The Kenyon Review and will receive a scholarship to the 2018 Writers Workshop in Gambier, Ohio. Learn all about it here.
Entry Fee: $24 Deadline: January 31

by Kimberly Guerin


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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