Short Story Award For New Writers


//Submissions open Dec. 1st!//

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Winter is coming! The Masters Review’s Short Story Award for New Writers is a bi-annual contest that recognizes the best fiction from today’s emerging writers. Judging 2022-2023’s winter contest is Morgan Talty, author the story collection Night of the Living Rez. Winners and honorable mentions receive agency review from five agencies as well as publication. The winning story earns $3000, while the second and third place runners up receive $300 and $200, respectively. Participating agents include: Nat Sobel from Sobel Weber, Victoria Cappello from The Bent Agency, Andrea Morrison from Writers House, Sarah Fuentes from Fletcher & Company, and Heather Schroder from Compass Talent. Our mission from day one has been to support emerging writers. We want you to succeed. We want your words to be read.

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  • Previously unpublished stories only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; writers with book-length work published or under contract with a major press are ineligible. (We are interested in offering a larger platform to new writers. Authors with short story collections are free to submit new, unpublished work, as are writers with books published by indie presses or self-published.)
  • International English submissions allowed. No translations.
  • Double-spaced, 12 pt easy-to-read font (i.e., Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.) please!
  • $20 entry fee
  • Deadline: January 31, 2023
  • All stories are considered for publication
  • All submissions will receive a response by the end of April
  • Winners will be announced by the end of May
  • Friends, family and associates of the final judge are not eligible for this award. Consider submitting to the Summer contest!
  • 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.

Judging

Morgan Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation where he grew up. He is the author of the critically acclaimed story collection Night of the Living Rez from Tin House Books, which won the New England Book Award, was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers, and is a finalist for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. His writing has appeared in Granta, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, TriQuarterly, Narrative Magazine, LitHub, and elsewhere. A winner of the 2021 Narrative Prize, Talty’s work has been supported by the Elizabeth George Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts (2022). Talty is an Assistant Professor of English in Creative Writing and Native American and contemporary Literature at the University of Maine, Orono, and he is on the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA in creative writing as well as the Institute of American Indian Arts. Talty is also a Prose Editor at The Massachusetts Review. He lives in Levant, Maine.


The Summer Shortlist has been announced! Check back in December for this year’s winners.

Winner update: Joe Bond earned representation from Sarah Fuentes of Fletcher & Company, 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 //

2021 Winter Award Winners:

Judged by Ye Chun.

Winner:
“Russian Thistle”
by Laura Farnsworth

Second Place Story:
“A Single Mark” by Reena Shah

Third Place Story:
“Creeper”
by Taylor Sykes

Honorable Mention:
The Crown Prince of Koi” by Daniel Abiva Hunt

2021 Summer Award Winners:

Judged by Kristen Arnett.

Winner:
“Night Stencils” by Sherine Elbanhawy

Second Place Story:
“Wish You Were Here” by Carlee Jensen

Third Place Story:
“All This is Yours to Lose” by Marcus Tan

Honorable Mention:
“Degenerate Matter” by Jen Galvao

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