Short Story Award For New Writers

The Masters Review Summer Short Story Award

Judged by Tope Folarin!

$3000 + Publication + Agency Review

Submissions are closed

Stay tuned for our shortlist!

The Summer Short Story Award judged by Tope Folarin is closed for submissions. Thank you to all our lovely submitters. We expect to have our responses to you in 4-10 weeks. 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 winners and honorable mentions will receive agency review by: Nat Sobel from Sobel Weber, Victoria Cappello from The Bent Agency, Andrea Morrison from Writers House, Sarah Fuentes from Fletcher & Company and Samantha Fingerhut from Compass Talent. 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  • Previously unpublished stories only
  • Translations allowed, providing the story has not been published in another language
  • 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 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.)
  • International submissions allowed
  • $20 entry fee
  • Deadline: August 31, 2019
  • 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
  • To view a list of our most commonly asked questions regarding submitting to The Masters Review, please see our FAQ page.
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.

Tope Folarin is a Nigerian-American writer based in Washington, DC. He won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013 and was shortlisted once again in 2016. He was also recently named to the Africa39 list of the most promising African writers under 40.  He was educated at Morehouse College and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Masters degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. His debut novel, A Particular Kind of Black Man, will be published by Simon & Schuster in August.

Winner update: Caitlin O’Neil earned representation from Victoria Marini and our 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.


// PAST AWARD WINNERS //

Winter Award Winners 2018:

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

Summer Award Winners 2018:

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

Winter Award Winners 2017:

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

Summer Award Winners 2017:

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

Winter Short Story Award Winners 2016:

First Place Story:
“Operation” by Scott Gloden

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

Third Place Story:
“Malheur Refuge” by Rick Attig

Summer Short Story Award 2016:

First Place Story:
“Red”
by Katie Knoll

Second Place Story:
“Ledgers”
by Claire Boyles

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