G&A: The Contest Blog

Bellevue Literary Review Prizes Open for Submissions

Submissions are open for the Bellevue Literary Review Prizes in Poetry and Prose. The annual contest seeks submissions from poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers whose work addresses “themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body.” One winner in each genre will receive $1,000 and publication in the Bellevue Literary Review.

Using only the online submission system, submit up to three poems totaling no more than five pages or up to 5,000 words of prose with a $20 entry fee by July 15. Jen Bervin will judge in poetry, Dan Chaon will judge in fiction, and Kay Redfield Jamison will judge in creative nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Founded by a group of physician-writers in 2000, the Bellevue Literary Review seeks to explore “human existence through the prism of health and healing, illness and disease.” Published by the New York University Langone Medical Center, the publication’s offices are located in New York City’s Bellevue Hospital, the oldest public hospital in the country. Previous contributors to the magazine include Leslie Jamison, Celeste Ng, and Rick Moody.

Deadline Approaches for the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize

Submissions are open for the 2021 Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, presented by the Feminist Press and TAYO Literary Magazine. “Granted to a manuscript that follows in the tradition of Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner, one of the first contemporary American novels featuring a young Black girl as the protagonist,” the prize honors a debut work of prose by a woman of color or a nonbinary author of color. The winning writer will receive $5,000 and publication of their book by the Feminist Press in the spring of 2021.

To submit, email a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction between 30,000 to 80,000 words and a cover letter by June 30. There is no entry fee. Feminist Press executive director and publisher Jamia Wilson, TAYO Literary Magazine editor in chief Lis P. Sipin-Gabon, author and professor Bridgett M. Davis, and past prize winner Melissa Valentine will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Louise Meriwether is the author of several books and is also a journalist, antiwar activist, professor, and essayist. She has been a member of the Harlem Writers Guild since its beginning, and has won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mellon Foundation. Meriwether received a lifetime achievement award in 2016 from the Before Columbus Foundation. That same year Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president, declared May 8 to be Louise Meriwether Appreciation Day. In celebration of the impact of Meriwether’s literary career, the prize furthers her “legacy of telling much-needed stories that shift culture and inspire new writers.” Finalists for the first book prize will be notified in October of this year, and the winner will be announced in March 2021. Past prize winners include YZ Chin, Claudia D. Hernández, and Cassandra Lane.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Close out the month by submitting to contests with deadlines of June 30 or July 1. These national and international awards are given for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid work. All offer cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to as much as $100,000.

Autumn House Press Literary Prizes: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Autumn House Press are given annually for a poetry collection, a book of fiction, and a book of creative nonfiction. Each winner also receives a $1,500 travel and publicity grant. Ilya Kaminsky will judge in poetry, Dan Chaon will judge in fiction, and Jaquira Díaz will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $30.

Claremont Graduate University Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards: The $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually to honor a book of poetry by a midcareer U.S. poet. The winner spends one week in residence at Claremont Graduate University in California. The $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award is given annually to honor a first book of poetry by “a poet of genuine promise.” Deadline: July 1. Entry fee: none.

Feminist Press/TAYO Literary Magazine Louise Meriwether First Book Prize: A prize of $5,000 and publication by the Feminist Press is given annually for a debut book of fiction or narrative nonfiction by a woman of color or a nonbinary writer of color. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: none.

Finishing Line Press New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Finishing Line Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook by a woman who has not yet published a full-length collection. Leah Maines will judge. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $16.

Futurepoem Other Futures Award: A prize of $1,000, publication by Futurepoem, and 25 author copies will be given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or hybrid-genre work. The editors will judge. Deadline: July 1. Entry fee: $28.

Hidden River Arts William Van Wert Memorial Fiction Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Hidden River Review of Arts & Letters is given annually for a short story or a novel excerpt. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $17.

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation website is given annually for a single poem that explores “positive visions of peace and the human spirit.” Deadline: July 1. Entry fee: $15.

The Moth International Short Story Prize: A prize of €3,000 (approximately $3,364) is given annually for a short story. A prize of a weeklong retreat at Circle of Missé in Missé, France, with a €250 (approximately $281) travel stipend, and a prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,122) are also given. The winners will all be published in the Moth. Mark Haddon will judge. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: €15 (approximately $17).

University of North Texas Press Katherine Anne Porter Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of North Texas Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $25.

University of Pittsburgh Press Drue Heinz Literature Prize: A prize of $15,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Writers who have published at least one previous book of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in nationally distributed magazines or literary journals are eligible. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: none.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Pass the early days of summer by submitting to contests with a deadline of June 15. These poetry, fiction, and nonfiction awards include a special opportunity for writers in Maryland and several small press awards. All offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more.

Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Bitter Oleander Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Entry fee: $28.

New American Press Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,500, publication by New American Press, and promotional support is given annually for a book of fiction. Nick White will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Towson University Prize for Literature: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction by a current resident of Maryland who has lived in the state for at least three years. Books published within the past three years or scheduled for publication in 2020 are eligible. Entry fee: none.

University of Akron Press Akron Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication by University of Akron Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Additional manuscripts may also be considered for publication in the series. Philip Metres will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Willow Springs Books Spokane Prize for Short Fiction: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Willow Springs Books is given annually for a short story collection. Entry fee: $27.50.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Deadline Approaches for the Richard J. Margolis Award

Submissions are open for the 2020 Richard J. Margolis Award. Established in the memory of journalist, essayist, and poet Richard J. Margolis, the annual prize awards $5,000 and a one-month residency at Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, to a journalist or essayist whose work “combines warmth, humor, and wisdom and sheds light on issues of social justice.”

Submit a cover letter, a project description that includes details of current and anticipated work, a short bio, and two to three writing samples totaling no more than thirty pages by July 1. There is no entry fee. The winner will be announced in November, with the Blue Mountain Center residency to take place in summer or fall 2021. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Over the course of his career, Richard J. Margolis worked as a writer, educator, editor, and activist. He wrote widely on education, healthcare, poverty, rural America, and racial justice, among other topics, and his articles appeared regularly in such publications as the New York Times and Washington Post. His friends and family founded the Richard J. Margolis Award in 1992, a year after he died due to sudden heart failure at age sixty-one.  The award’s most recent winner is memoirist Mansoor Adayfi, who received the honor for work that turns his “fourteen-plus years of captivity at Guantánamo Bay Prison Camp into compelling narratives of human connection and hope.”

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

With a new month approaching, contests with a deadline of June 1 are upon us. These poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translation awards are meant for college students, established authors, and everyone in between. All offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more. You could even win the opportunity to have a free glass of wine every day for a year!

American Short Fiction Halifax Ranch Fiction Prize: A prize of $2,500 and publication in American Short Fiction is given annually for a short story. Manuel Gonzales will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: $20.

Boulevard Emerging Poets Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Boulevard is given annually for a group of poems by a poet who has not published a poetry collection with a nationally distributed press. The editors will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: $16 (subscription included).

Crook’s Corner Book Prize: A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a debut novel set in the American South. The winner will also be entitled to a complimentary glass of wine every day for a year at Crook’s Corner Café & Bar in Chapel Hill. The author may live anywhere, but eligible novels must be set primarily in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, or Washington, D.C. Monique Truong will judge. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: $35.

McGill University Montreal International Poetry Prize: A prize of $20,000 CAD (approximately $14,500) and publication in the 2020 Global Poetry Anthology is given biennially for a poem. Yusef Komunyakaa will judge, and Jordan Abel, Kaveh Akbar, CAConrad, Wendy Cope, Susan Elmslie, Steven Heighton, John Leonard, Marilène Phipps, Sridala Swami, and Gillian Sze will serve as jurors. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: $25 CAD (approximately $18).

PEN America PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants: Grants of $2,000 to $4,000 each are given annually to support the translation of book-length works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that have not previously appeared in English or have appeared only in an “outdated or otherwise flawed translation.” An additional $5,000 grant, the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature, will be given to support the translation of a book of fiction or nonfiction from Italian into English. Manuscripts with up to two translators are eligible. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: none.

Salamander Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Salamander is given annually for a short story. Elliot Ackerman will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: $15.

Stony Brook Southampton Undergraduate Short Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story by a college student. The winner also receives a full scholarship to attend the Southampton Writers Conference in July 2021, and their winning work will be considered for publication in Southampton Review. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: none.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

The end of May has a wealth of contests for poets and fiction writers alike. With deadlines of either May 30 or May 31, these awards include several opportunities to publish book-length work. All offer a prize of $1,000 or more.

Anhinga Press Anhinga–Robert Dana Prize for Poetry: A prize of $2,000, publication by Anhinga Press, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Major Jackson will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25 entry fee ($28 for electronic submissions).

BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by BOA Editions is given annually for a short story collection. Peter Conners will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25.

Bridport Arts Centre Bridport Prizes: Two prizes of £5,000 (approximately $6,450) each and publication in the Bridport Prize anthology are given annually for a poem and a short story. Two second-place prizes of £1,000 (approximately $1,290) each and publication are given in each category. A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,290) and publication is also given for a work of flash fiction. Mimi Khalvati will judge in poetry and Nell Leyshon will judge in fiction and flash fiction. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: £10 (approximately $13) for poetry, £12 (approximately $15) for fiction, and £9 (approximately $12) for flash fiction.

Elixir Press Fiction Award: A prize of $2,000, publication by Elixir Press, and 25 author copies is given annually for a short story collection or a novel. Christy Stillwell will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $40.

Gival Press Novel Award: A prize of $3,000 and publication by Gival Press is given biennially for a novel. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $50.

Milkweed Editions Max Ritvo Poetry Prize: A prize of $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions is given annually to a U.S. poet for a debut poetry collection. Henri Cole will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25.

Oversound Chapbook Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Oversound, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. francine j. harris will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $18 (subscription included).

Southern Poetry Review Guy Owen Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern Poetry Review is given annually for a single poem. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $20 (subscription included).

University of Georgia Press Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction: A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Georgia Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Roxane Gay will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $30.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Deadline Approaches for Auburn Witness Poetry Prize

The deadline is just around the corner for this year’s Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. Named for the late poet Jake Adam York and sponsored by Southern Humanities Review, the prize is given annually for a “poem of witness.” The winner of the prize will receive $1,000 and publication in Southern Humanities Review, as well as travel expenses to give a reading at Auburn University in October. This year’s judge is Paisley Rekdal.

Using only the online submission system, submit up to three poems with an entry fee of $15 by May 8. The entry fee includes a copy of the magazine. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Auburn Witness Poetry Prize was established after Jake Adam York’s untimely death in 2012. York, an alumni of Auburn University whose writing flourished during his time as a student, “went on to write poems that, with both love and anguish, examined race relations in the South, celebrating the triumphs of the Civil Rights movement and questioning, as a native son of the South, his own complicity in its tragedies.” The award celebrates this work and his legacy. Previous winners of the prize include Teresa Dzieglewicz, Amanda Gunn, and Laura Sobbott Ross.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Get a head start this month by submitting to contests with a deadline of May 15. These poetry, fiction, and nonfiction awards include several contests for emerging writers and a prize for a documentary project that features both images and text. All offer a prize of $1,000 or more.

Academy of American Poets James Laughlin Award: A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a second book of poetry by a living poet to be published in the coming calendar year. The winner also receives an all-expenses paid weeklong residency at the Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Copies of the winning book are purchased and distributed to members of the Academy of American Poets. Rick Barot, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, and Honorée Jeffers will judge. Entry fee: none.

Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize: A prize of $25,000 is given annually for a poetry collection by a living poet published in the United States during the previous year. The winner also receives an all-expenses paid ten-day residency at Glen Hollow in Naples, New York. Copies of the winning book are purchased and distributed to members of the Academy of American Poets. Garrett Hongo, Carol Muske-Dukes, and Tim Seibles will judge. Entry fee: $75.

American Poetry Review Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in American Poetry Review is given annually for a single poem by a poet under the age of 40. The editors will judge. Entry fee: $15 (includes a copy of the prize issue).

Carve Raymond Carver Short Story Contest: A prize of $2,000 and publication in Carve is given annually for a short story. The winning story will also be read by three literary agents. Pam Houston will judge. Entry fee: $15 ($17 for electronic submissions).

Center for Documentary Studies Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize: A prize of $10,000 and publication in the Center for Documentary Studies digital periodical is given annually for a documentary project that incorporates images and text in any genre. The winning piece will also be placed in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University’s Rubinstein Library. Independent and collaborative fieldwork projects are eligible. Entry fee: $60.

Gaudy Boy Press Poetry Book Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Gaudy Boy Press, an imprint of the literary nonprofit Singapore Unbound, is given annually for a poetry collection by an Asian writer. Cyril Wong will judge. Entry fee: $10.

Lost Horse Press Idaho Prize for Poetry: A prize of $1,000, publication by Lost Horse Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection by a U.S poet. Entry fee: $28.

Pittsburg State University Cow Creek Chapbook Contest: A prize of $1,000, publication by Pittsburg State University, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Marcus Wicker will judge. Entry fee: $15.

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest: Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Ploughshares are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Each winner also receives a consultation with the literary agency Aevitas. Writers who have not published a book or chapbook are eligible. Ilya Kaminsky, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and Esmé Weijun Wang will judge for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, respectively. Entry fee: $24 (includes subscription).

Ruminate Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Ruminate is given annually for a single poem. Katie Peterson will judge. Entry fee: $20 (includes a digital copy of Ruminate).

University of Nebraska Press Backwaters Prize: A prize of $2,000, publication by University of Nebraska Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. An honorable mention prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Nebraska Press will also be given. Matt Mason will judge. Entry fee: $30.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

We Need Diverse Books Emergency Fund Open for Applications

To help writers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be highlighting emergency funds available to writers. For more sources of support, read our running list of resources for writers in the time of coronavirus.

We Need Diverse Books is issuing grants of $500 to members of the children’s literature publishing community “who are experiencing dire financial need,” specifically diverse authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals whose incomes have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Writers and illustrators who have lost income due to canceled school or library visits, and who have published at least one book-length title for children or teens at a traditional publishing house, are eligible; children’s publishing professionals who have been furloughed or recently laid off from a publisher or literary agency are also eligible. All applicants must identify as people of color, as Native American, or as LGBTQIA+, or have a disability or belong to a marginalized religious or cultural minority; additionally, they must be U.S. residents and at least eighteen years of age.

Using online the online application system, submit information about personal finances, a statement of need, and a recent bank statement. Author and illustrator applicants must also list publication history and provide evidence of the cancellation of at least three school or library visits. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

We Need Diverse Books estimates that applications will be processed within two to three weeks. Applications will be capped at seventy but may be reopened after the judging committee has reviewed the first round.

We Need Diverse Books first emerged as a social media campaign and protest in 2014, which called out the publishing industry for the lack of diversity in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books has since become a nonprofit organization with the vision to build “a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.”

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