G&A: The Contest Blog

Paz Prize for Poetry

Submissions are currently open for the Paz Prize for Poetry, sponsored by the Miami Book Fair and the National Poetry Series. An award of $2,000 and publication by Akashic Books is given biennially for a poetry collection originally written in Spanish by a U.S. resident. The winning manuscript will be translated into English and published in a bilingual edition. Rigoberto González, a contributing editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, will judge.

Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages by June 15. There is no entry fee. The finalists will be announced at the end of July, and the winner will be announced in September.

Established in 2012, the Paz Prize for Poetry is named for late Nobel Prize–winning poet, essayist, and diplomat Octavio Paz. Past winners include Miami Century Fox by Legna Rodríguez Iglesias and translated by Eduardo Aparicio; Nine Coins / Nueve Monedas by Carlos Pintado and translated by Hilary Vaughn Dobel; and Colaterales / Collateral by Dinapiera Di Donato and translated by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado.

Upcoming Writing Contest Deadlines

As we head into the holiday weekend, consider submitting to these writing contests, all of which are given for stories, groups of poems, and essays. Each contest offers an award of at least $1,000 and publication and has a deadline of June 1.

American Short Fiction Halifax Ranch Fiction Prize: A prize of $2,500 and publication in American Short Fiction will be given annually for a short story. ZZ Packer will judge. Entry fee: $20.

Boston Review Poetry Contest: A prize of $1,500 and publication on the Boston Review website is given annually for a poem or group of poems. Mary Jo Bang will judge. 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. Entry fee: $16.

Southern Humanities Review Auburn Witness Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern Humanities Review is given annually for a poem of witness in honor of the late poet Jake Adam York. The winner also receives travel expenses to give a reading at Auburn University in Alabama in October with the contest judge; this year's judge is Camille T. Dungy. Entry fee: $15. 

Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition: A prize of $5,000, publication in the 87th annual Writer's Digest Competition Collection, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Writer's Digest Conference in New York City to meet one-on-one with four agents or editors is given annually for a poem, a short story, or an essay. Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in the Writer's Digest Competition Collection will also be given for a rhyming poem, a non-rhyming poem, a short story, and an essay. Entry fee: $25–$35.

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 Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize

Submissions are currently open for the Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize. A prize of $1,000 and publication by Gaudy Boy, an imprint of the literary nonprofit Singapore Unbound, will be given annually for a poetry collection by an Asian writer. Poet and artist Wong May will judge.

The contest is open to emerging and established Asian poets residing anywhere in the world. Submit a manuscript written in English of 50 to 100 pages with a $10 entry fee by May 31. Visit the website for complete guidelines. Five finalists will be announced in August, and the winner will be announced in September.

Established in 2017, Gaudy Boy publishes “poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction of extraordinary merit by Asian voices.” The inaugural title is Alfian Sa’at’s story collection Malay Sketches.

To learn more about Singapore Unbound, read Melynda Fuller’s article on the organization from the March/April 2017 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Indiana Review Launches Fiction Book Prize

Submissions are currently open for the Don Belton Fiction Reading Period. Sponsored by Indiana Review and Indiana University Press, a prize of $1,000 and publication in the Blue Lights Books series will be given for a story collection, novel, or novella. The editors and Michael Martone will judge.

The editors seek “literary fiction that has an intelligent sense of language, assumes a degree of risk, and has consequence beyond the world of its narrators.” Using the online submission manager, submit an unpublished manuscript of up to 80,000 words with a $25 entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to Indiana Review, by May 31. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Established this year, the prize honors award-winning fiction writer and teacher Don Belton, who died in 2009. Belton wrote the novel Almost Midnight (Beech Tree Books, 1986) and edited the anthology Speak My Name: Black Men on Masculinity and the American Dream (Beacon Press, 1995). Listen to poet Ross Gay read his elegy for Belton, “Spoon.”

(Photo: Don Belton)

Upcoming Poetry Deadlines

Poets, consider submitting your poems, chapbooks, and full-length collections to the contests below, which offer prizes ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 and publication. The deadline is May 31.

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. The winner is also invited to participate in a reading tour at select colleges in Florida. Entry fee: $25

Munster Literature Center Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,230) and publication by the Munster Literature Center is given annually for a poetry chapbook. The winner receives accommodations and some travel expenses to give a reading at the Cork International Poetry Festival in February 2019. Entry fee: €25 (approximately $30)

Backwaters Press Backwaters Prize: A prize of $2,500, publication by Backwaters Press, and 30 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Kwame Dawes will judge. Entry fee: $30

Bridport Arts Centre Bridport Prize: A prize of £5,000 (approximately $7,000) and publication in the Bridport Prize anthology is given annually for a poem. A second-place prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,400) and publication is also given. Daljit Nagra will judge. Entry fee: £9 (approximately $13) 

Southern Poetry Review Guy Owen Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern Poetry Review is given annually for a poem. Entry fee: $20 

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. Entry fee: $25

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.

Fiction and Nonfiction Contests With May 31 Deadlines

Prose writers, polish up your stories, essays, and full-length manuscripts by May 31! The following contests offer prizes of at least $1,000 and publication.

Bridport Arts Centre Bridport Prize: A prize of £5,000 (approximately $7,000) and publication in the Bridport Prize anthology is given annually for a short story. A second-place prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,400) and an additional prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,400) for a work of flash fiction are also given. Monica Ali will judge. Entry fee: £10 (approximately $14) for fiction and £8 (approximately $11) 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. Amina Gautier will judge. Entry fee: $40

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

Nowhere Magazine Travel Writing Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Nowhere Magazine is given twice yearly for a short story or essay that “possesses a powerful sense of place.” Porter Fox will judge. Entry fee: $20

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. Entry fee: $25

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.

Inaugural Franz Wright Poetry Prize Open for Submissions

Submissions are currently open for Eyewear Publishing’s inaugural Franz Wright Prize for Poetry. An award of $2,000 and publication by Eyewear will be given annually for a poetry collection. Kaveh Akbar will judge.


The winning collection will be published on March 18, 2019, which would have been Wright’s sixty-sixth birthday. The Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, who was the son of poet James Wright, died in 2015.

Poets of any nationality writing in English and at any stage in their careers are eligible for the prize. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 48 to 120 pages with a $15 entry fee by June 6.

London-based Eyewear Publishing aims “to build bridges between cultures and continents and to support authors young and old.” Visit the website for more information.

Listen to Kaveh Akbar, one of the poets included in Poets & Writers’ 2018 Debut Poetry feature, read from his collection, Calling a Wolf a Wolf  (Alice James Books, 2017).

(Photo: Franz Wright; Credit: Aaron Skinner)

Upcoming Poetry Deadlines

April showers bring May poetry contests! If you have a single poem or full-length collection ready to submit, check out the following contests with May 15 deadlines, each of which offers a prize of at least $1,000 and publication.

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

Breakwater Review Perseroff Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Breakwater Review is given annually for a single poem. Jill McDonough will judge. Entry fee: $10

Georgia Review Loraine Williams Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Georgia Review is given annually for a poem. Entry fee: $15

Lynx House Press Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Lynx House Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Entry fee: $28

Ruminate Magazine Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Ruminate Magazine is given annually for a poem. Ilya Kaminsky will judge. Entry fee: $20 

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. Piotr Florczyk will judge. Entry fee: $28

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 BOMB Poetry Contest

Submissions are currently open for BOMB Magazine’s 2018 Poetry Contest. A prize of $1,000 and publication in BOMB’s literary supplement, First Proof, is given biennially for a group of poems by an emerging writer. Dawn Lundy Martin will judge.


Using the online submission system, submit up to five poems totaling no more than ten pages with a $20 entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to BOMB for U.S. entrants, by May 6. The winner will be announced on July 31.

Previous winners of the contest include Marwa Helal, Daniel Poppick, and Steve Dickison. BOMB’s literary prize is given in alternating years for fiction and poetry; the 2019 award will be given in fiction. Visit the website for more information.

(Photo: Dawn Lundy Martin)

Courtney Zoffness Wins £30,000 Short Story Award

American writer Courtney Zoffness has won the 2018 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award for her story “Peanuts Aren’t Nuts.” The annual award of £30,000 (approximately $41,300) is the world’s richest prize for a single short story written in English.

The winning story will be published in Britain’s Sunday Times on Sunday, April 29, and can also be found on the award website.

The finalists for the prize, who each received £1,000 (approximately, $1,380), were Allegra Goodman for “F.A.Q.s,” Victor Lodato for “Herman Melville, Volume 11,” Miranda July for “The Metal Bowl,” Molly McCloskey for “Life on Earth,” and Curtis Sittenfeld for “Do-Over.”

Tessa Hadley, Petina Gappah, Sebastian Faulks, Mark Lawson, and Andrew Holgate judged. Of Zoffness’s story, Faulks said: “It was a high-tariff endeavor, exactly brought off. And at its heart it had that precious thing that underlies the best fiction. It’s not just about giving a voice to the overlooked; it is about valuing the inner world above the outer —dramatically reminding us that this quiet place is where lives are shaped.”

Zoffness lives in Brooklyn, New York, and directs the creative writing program at Drew University in New Jersey. She is currently writing her first novel, which is based on the winning story. 

Established in 2010 by Lord Matthew Evans of EFG International banking group and Cathy Galvin of the Sunday Times, a weekly newspaper published in Britain since 1822, the annual prize is open to writers across the world and aims to promote and celebrate the excellence of the modern short story.

Zoffness is only the second woman to win the award, after Yiyun Li won in 2015. Other past winners include Bret Anthony Johnston, Jonathan Tel, and Junot Díaz. Visit the website for more information.

(Photo: Courtney Zoffness)

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