Short Story Award For New Writers

Submissions open until August 30th

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Welcome to our 2021 Summer Short Story Award for New Writers, an annual contest that recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers.  Judging this year’s contest is author of With Teeth and Mostly Dead Things Kristen Arnett! The winning story will be awarded $3000 and publication online. Second and third place stories will be awarded publication and $300 and $200 respectively. All winning stories and any notable Honorable Mentions will receive agency review by the following: Nat Sobel from Sobel Weber, Victoria Cappello from The Bent Agency, Andrea Morrison from Writers House, Sarah Fuentes from Fletcher & Company, Heather Schroder from Compass Talent, and Siohban McBride from Carnicelli Literary Management. We want you to succeed, and we want your writing to be read. It’s been our mission to support emerging writers since day one.

Guidelines:

  • Winner receives $3000, publication, and agency review
  • Second and third place prizes ($300 / $200, publication, and agency review)
  • Stories under 6000 words
  • Previously unpublished stories only
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed
  • Emerging writers only (We are interested in offering a larger platform to new writers. Self-published writers and writers with story collections are welcome to submit. Writers with novels published with small circulations (around 5000 copies) can also submit.)
  • International English submissions allowed
  • $20 entry fee
  • Deadline: August 30th, 2021
  • Please, no identifying information on your story
  • All stories are considered for publication
  • If requesting an editorial letter, please indicate on your cover letter if the submissions is fiction or creative nonfiction
  • A significant portion of the editorial letter fees go to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA

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.

Kristen Arnett is the NYT bestselling author of the debut novel Mostly Dead Things (Tin House, 2019) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction. She is a queer fiction and essay writer. She was awarded Ninth Letter’s Literary Award in Fiction and her work has appeared at The New York Times, The Cut, Guernica, Buzzfeed, Electric Literature, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, Salon, and elsewhere. Her story collection, Felt in the Jaw, was published by Split Lip Press and was awarded the 2017 Coil Book Award. She was a Spring 2020 Shearing Fellow at Black Mountain Institute. Her next two books (With Teeth: A Novel and an untitled collection of short stories) will be published by Riverhead Books (Penguin Random House). She has a Masters in Library and Information Science from Florida State University and currently lives in Miami, Florida.

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.

Benjamin Woodard’s class on Skillshare, “Crafting Complex Characters (Quickly) for Short Fiction,” is available with a free 14-day trial (through a link in your confirmation e-mail).

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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// PAST AWARD WINNERS //

2020 Winter Award Winners:

Judged by Helen Oyeyemi.

Winner
“Straight to My Heart” by Dean Jamieson

Second Place
“Collection of the Artist” by Corey Flintoff

Third Place
“You’re Not the Only One” by William Hawkins

Honorable Mention
“Celestial Navigation” by Heather Marshall

2020 Summer Award Winners:

Judged by Kali Fajardo-Anstine.

Winner:
“Burning” by Adeline Lovell

Second Place Story:
“Matchbox” by Nancy Ludmerer

Third Place Story:
“Como La Flor” by Dayna Cobarrubias

Honorable Mention:
“Petrified” by Clare Howdle

2019 Winter Award Winners:

Judged by Kimberly King Parsons.

First Place Story:
“The Driver” by Samantha Xiao Cody

Second Place Story:
“Joe Blake” by Raeden Richardson

Third Place Story:
“The Easiest Thing in the World” by Taylor Grieshober

Honorable Mention:
“Rapture” by Chloe Seim

2019 Summer Award Winners:

Judged by Tope Folarin.

First Place Story:
“Ghost Story” by Becca Anderson

Second Place Story:
“Escape Velocity” by Karisa Tell

Third Place Story:
“Mutts” by Shane Page

Honorable Mention:
“Terraforming Mars” by Emmett Knowlton

2018 Winter Award Winners:

Judged by Aimee Bender.

First Place Story:
“Damico” by Joe Bond

Second Place Story:
Caretaker Needed by Meghan Daniels

Third Place Story:
Narada’s Ears by Sanjena Sathian

Honorable Mention:
“At This Late Hour” by Rebecca Turkewitz

2018 Summer Award Winners:

First Place Story:
Confirmation by Alina Grabowski

Second Place Story:
Portrait of a Virgin by Rachel Cochran

Third Place Story:
A Country Where I Am Beautiful by Patricia Smith

Honorable Mentions:

Headshot” by Charles Ullmann
We Are The Horizon” by Laura Fletcher

2017 Winter Award Winners:

First Place Story:
“Drop Zone Summer” by Nick Fuller Googins

Second Place Story:
“A History That Brings Me To You”
by Katie M. Flynn

Third Place Story:
“Birth Stories” by Sarah Harris Wallman

2017 Summer Award Winners:

First Place Story:
“Demonman” by Juliacia Case

Second Place Story:
“The Devil is a Liar” by Ngwah-Mbo Nkewti

Third Place Story:
“Iron Boy Kills The Devil” by Sheldon Costa

Honorable Mentions:

“Private Affair” by D.S. Englander
“Bluebeard” by Rayna Jensen

2016 Winter Award Winners:

First Place Story:
“Operation” by Scott Gloden

Second Place Story:
“White Out” by Caitlin O’Neil

Third Place Story:
“Malheur Refuge” by Rick Attig

2016 Summer Award Winners:

First Place Story:
“Red”
by Katie Knoll

Second Place Story:
“Ledgers”
by Claire Boyles

Third Place Story:
“The First Location”
by Molly Reid