G&A: The Contest Blog

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 Using the online submission manager, submit an unpublished manuscript of up to 80,000 words with a $25 entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to Indiana Review, by May 31.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)

Upcoming Fiction and Nonfiction Deadlines

Prose writers, if you have a short story, essay, novel, or book of nonfiction ready to submit, consider the following contests with deadlines of April 30 and May 1, each offering a prize of at least $1,000 and publication.

Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for an essay collection, memoir, or book of narrative nonfiction. Florencia Ramirez will judge. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: April 30

Winning Writers Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction and Essay Contest: Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication on the Winning Writers website are given annually for a short story and an essay. Dennis Norris II will judge. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: April 30

Nimrod International Journal Literary Award: A prize of $2,000 and publication in Nimrod International Journal is given annually for a work of short fiction. A runner-up prize of $1,000 and publication is also given. The winner and runner-up also receive transportation and lodging to attend an awards ceremony and writing conference in Tulsa in October. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: April 30

Glimmer Train Press Fiction Open: A prize of $3,000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies of the prize issue is given twice yearly for a short story. A $1,000 second-place prize is also given. The editors will judge. Entry fee: $21. Deadline: April 30

Glimmer Train Press Very Short Fiction Award: A prize of $2,000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 10 copies of the prize issue is given three times a year for a very short story. Entry fee: $16. Deadline: April 30

Southwest Review David Nathan Meyerson Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southwest Review is given annually for a short story by a writer who has not published a full-length book of fiction. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: May 1

Leapfrog Press Fiction Award: A prize of $1,150 and publication by Leapfrog Press is given annually for a short story collection, a novel, or a novella. Marie-Helene Bertino and the Leapfrog editors will judge. Entry fee: $33. Deadline: May 1

Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grants: Up to six grants of $40,000 each are given annually for creative nonfiction works-in-progress to enable writers to complete their books. Creative nonfiction writers under contract with a publisher and at least two years into their contract are eligible. There is no entry fee. Deadline: May 1

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.

BOAAT Press Poetry Contests

Submissions are currently open for the 2018 BOAAT Press Chapbook and Book Prizes. Two awards of $1,000 each, publication by BOAAT Press, and 50 author copies are given annually for a poetry chapbook and a full-length poetry collection. The deadline for both contests is April 30.

The Chapbook Prize is given to an emerging or established poet. Using the online submission manager, submit a manuscript of 15 to 30 pages of poetry with a $17 entry fee. Camille Rankine will judge. The Book Prize is given for a debut poetry collection. Using the online submission manager, submit a manuscript of 48 to 75 pages of poetry with a $25 entry fee. Nick Flynn will judge.

BOAAT Press is an independent poetry publisher based in Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to administering its annual prizes, the press publishes the bimonthly online journal BOAAT

Alfredo Aguilar won the 2017 Chapbook Prize for What Happens on Earth, selected by Natalie Diaz. Jessica Field won the 2017 Book Prize for Redwork, selected by Dean Young. Visit the BOAAT website for more information, and check out our Grants & Awards Database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

(Photos: Camille Rankine, Nick Flynn)

Frank Bidart and Andrew Sean Greer Win 2018 Pulitzer Prizes

Today at Columbia University in New York City, the winners of the 102nd annual Pulitzer Prizes were announced. Seven prizes in letters are awarded annually for works of literature published in the previous year. Each winner receives $15,000.  

Frank Bidart won the prize in poetry for Half-Light: Collected Poems 1965–2016 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The finalists were Evie Shockley’s semiautomatic (Wesleyan University Press) and Patricia Smith’s Incendiary Art (TriQuarterly Books).

Andrew Sean Greer won the prize in fiction for his novel Less (Lee Boudreaux Books). The finalists were Elif Baufman’s The Idiot (Penguin Press) and Hernan Diaz’s In the Distance (Coffee House Press).

Caroline Fraser won the prize in biography for Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Metropolitan Books). The finalists were John A. Farrell’s Richard Nixon: The Life (Doubleday) and the Kay Redfield Jamison’s Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character (Knopf)

Visit the Pulitzer Prize website for a complete list of winners and finalists in each of the twenty-one categories, including general nonfiction, journalism, history, drama, and music.

Hungarian-American newspaper publisher and journalist Joseph Pulitzer established the Pulitzer Prizes in 1911, and the first prize was awarded in 1917. The 2017 winners included poet Tyehimba Jess and fiction writer Colson Whitehead.

Read an interview with Frank Bidart from the May/June 2013 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, and listen to an excerpt of Andrew Sean Greer’s third novel, The Story of a Marriage.

(Photo: Frank Bidart; Credit: Webb Chappell)

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