Short Story Award For New Writers

Opens on December 1st!

Welcome to our 2020-2021 Winter Short Story Award for New Writers, an annual contest that recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers.  This year’s judge is the phenomenal Helen Oyeyemi! 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  • Previously unpublished stories only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 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 English submissions allowed
  • $20 entry fee
  • Deadline: January 31, 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
  • 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.

portrait,photographer,Korea,Manchul Kim,Seoul

Helen Oyeyemi is the author of the story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, winner of the PEN Open Book Award, along with six novels, including Gingerbread and Boy, Snow, Bird, which was a finalist for the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. photo credit: Manchul Kim

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.


// PAST AWARD WINNERS //

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