Archive April 2018

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)

Danez Smith Wins Inaugural Four Quartets Prize

Poet Danez Smith has won the inaugural Four Quartets Prize for “summer, somewhere,” a sequence of poems from the collection Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017). Sponsored by the T. S. Eliot Foundation and Poetry Society of America, the new $20,000 award is given annually for a unified and complete sequence of poems published in the United States in the previous two years. Linda Gregerson, Ishion Hutchinson, and Jana Prikryl judged.

The finalists, who each received $1,000, were Geoffrey G. O’Brien for “Experience in Groups” from Experience in Groups (Wave Books, 2018), and Kathleen Peirce for Vault: a poem (New Michigan Press, 2017).

Actor Jeremy Irons announced the winner this afternoon at a ceremony at the National Arts Club in New York City. Of Smith’s work, the judges said: “‘Do you know what it’s like to live / on land who loves you back?’ In “summer, somewhere,” Danez Smith imagines just such a land for the black boys who have died by violence in our time: the violence of vigilantism, of police brutality, of stigmatized poverty and illness, of despair. From a bitter landscape, this unblinking sequence manages to wrest a celebration of black lives, fusing metaphor and emotion in a transformative whole.”

Don’t Call Us Dead, Smith’s second collection, was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award. Smith’s first collection, [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award. Smith has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, and the McKnight Foundation.

The Poetry Society of America, based in New York City, is dedicated to promoting poetry in American culture. The T. S. Eliot Foundation, based in London, is dedicated to celebrating poetry, literacy, and “all things Eliot.” The inaugural Four Quartets Prize celebrates the seventy-fifth anniversary of the U.S. publication of Eliot’s Four Quartets.

(Photo: Danez Smith; Credit: David Hong)

Deadline Approaches for Passages North Prose Contests

Submissions are currently open for Passages North’s biennial fiction and short-short contests. Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Passages North are given for a short story and a short-short story, prose poem, nonfiction piece, or hybrid work.

To submit to the Waasnode Short Fiction Prize, using the online submission system submit a story of up to 10,000 words with a $15 entry fee. To submit to the Neutrino Short-Short Prize, using the online submission system submit up to 1,000 words of prose with a $15 entry fee. Anne Valente will judge the fiction contest and T. Fleischmann will judge the short-short contest. The deadline for both contests is April 15. All entries are considered for publication.

The 2016 winner of the Waasnode Short Fiction Prize was Alex McElroy for “Responsible Fear;” The 2016 winner of the Neutrino Short-Short Prize was Jonathan Escoffery for “In Flux.”

Established in 1979, Passages North is an annual literary journal published at Northern Michigan University. The journal’s 2019 literary prizes will be given in poetry and nonfiction. Visit the website for more information.

Upcoming Poetry Deadlines

Poets! If you have a single poem or a full-length manuscript ready to submit, consider the following contests with upcoming deadlines, each of which offers a prize of at least $1,000 and publication.

Oberon Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Oberon is given annually for a poem. Entry fee: $18. Deadline: April 10

Chautauqua Editors Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Chautauqua, the Chautauqua Institution’s literary journal, will be given annually for a poem, a short story, an essay, or a piece of flash fiction or nonfiction that captures the issue’s theme as well as the spirit of the Chautauqua Institution. The theme of the 2019 issue is “Moxie.” The editors will judge. Entry fee: $3. Deadline: April 15

Spoon River Poetry Review Editors’ Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Spoon River Poetry Review is given annually for a poem. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: April 15

New Ohio Review Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in New Ohio Review is given annually for a poem or group of poems. Kevin Prufer will judge. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: April 15 

Press 53 Prime Number Magazine Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Prime Number Magazine is given annually for a poem. Terri Kirby Erickson will judge. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: April 15

Cave Canem Foundation Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Northwestern University Press is given biennially for a second book of poetry by an African American poet. Matthew Shendoa will judge. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: April 16

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.