Submissions

Submissions open July 1st – August 28th

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Summer is for Short Stories! 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 this year’s summer contest is Chelsea Bieker, author of GODSHOT and the new collection Heartbroke. The winner receives a $3,000 prize and agency review, and their story will be published online in late winter/early spring. Second and third place finalists will be awarded publication, agency review and $300/$200 prizes. 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  • Previously unpublished stories only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 Authors with short story collections are free to submit unpublished work, as are writers with books published by indie presses.)
  • 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: August 28th, 2022
  • All stories are considered for publication
  • All submissions will receive a response by the end of November
  • Winners will be announced by the end of December
  • Friends, family and associates of the final judge are not eligible for this award. Consider submitting to the Winter 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

Chelsea Bieker is the author of two books, the novel GODSHOT which was a finalist for both the Oregon and California Book Award, longlisted for The Center For Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and named a Barnes and Noble Pick of the Month, and the story collection, HEARTBROKE. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, The Cut, McSweeney’s, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, and others. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award, as well as residencies from MacDowell and Tin House Books. Originally from California’s Central Valley, she lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children where she is writing her third book.

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Cost: $299

Participants receive personalized feedback on a story or essay, detailed suggestions for improvement, and resources for submitting—all from an experienced instructor. The asynchronous workshop allows writers to work with instructors remotely and strives to provide a workshop experience that can easily fit into their lives. Enrollment is open until August 31, 2022.

Participants Receive:

  • an editorial letter from your instructor with specific suggestions and developmental edits that will help elevate your story to the next level
  • PDF of materials including craft essays from The Masters Review, editorial notes on what we see from the slush pile, information on submission strategies, and additional advice on submitting
  • free submission in a forthcoming Masters Review contest
  • suggestions on literary magazines and contests that would be a good fit for your work, along with reading recommendations from your instructor
  • an archived copy of The Masters Review anthology
  • Writers will receive feedback no later than October 30. Early submissions may yield earlier feedback.

Guidelines

Our New Voices category is open year round to any new or emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length with a wide distribution. Authors with short story collections are free to submit, as are writers with books published by indie presses. We accept simultaneous and multiple submissions but ask that you inform us immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. We pay New Voices authors $200 for short fiction and narrative non-fiction, and $100 for flash-length narratives (up to 1,000 words). While we do not charge submission fees, we are highly selective. To read previously published stories, or to submit a piece of fiction or narrative nonfiction up to 7000 words, please see our New Voices page.

To view a list of our most commonly asked questions about submitting to The Masters Review, please see our FAQ page.

If you have further questions about submissions after reading through the FAQ or would like to query a current submission, please send an email to: contact (at) mastersreview (dot) com

New Voices Submission Options:

  • NEW VOICES – We pay for all of our stories all of the time and are proud to offer a free category for those writers who are not interested in a fast response or editorial letter. Response times in this category are usually approximately twelve weeks.
  • EDITORIAL LETTER – If you’re interested in knowing a little bit more about what we thought of your writing, utilize our Editorial Letter add-option. When we’ve reviewed your piece we will include up to two pages of feedback on what we liked and didn’t like about your story, suggestions for revision, where it might be a good fit, and other comments about craft. It’s nice to get feedback from the editors reviewing your work… and now you can. There is a reading fee for this option, a significant portion of which goes to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA. See a sample Editorial Letter
  • FAST RESPONSE – There’s a saying in publishing: “If you need to know now, the answer is no.” Well friends, we’re offering an exception to the rule. If you want to hear back regarding your New Voices story within two weeks, consider ponying up a few bucks to hear back right away and we’ll respond with an acceptance or rejection within two weeks of receiving your story. There is a reading fee for this option.

Curious about submission fees? It’s an interesting issue and the camp is divided. Here’s our take.

To submit a story or learn more about our guidelines, click the submit button:
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2022 Contests and Awards

To see a full calendar of contests and awards available this year, CLICK HERE.


Want to Write for The Masters Review?

We accept book reviews, interviews, and editorial pieces to publish on our blog. Contact cole [at] mastersreview [dot] com with completed reviews/interviews/essays or pitches. Our book reviews focus on authors with forthcoming titles and generally we like to review titles from debut authors. Reviews should include quotes from the text, comparisons to other titles, and are typically between 700 – 1200 words. For a look at the interviews and editorial content we publish, please visit: mastersreview.com/blog.

Submission questions, concerns, and inquiries can be sent to a staff member at: contact [at]  mastersreview [dot] com


Author’s Rights

The Masters Review holds first publication rights for three months after publication. Authors agree not to publish, nor authorize or permit the publication of, any part of the material for three months following The Masters Review’s first publication. For reprints we ask for acknowledgement of its publication in The Masters Review first.