Literal Latte Essay Contest Scholarships





Writing contests are a great way for the beginning writer to get his or her work through the slush pile and read with fair consideration. There are plenty of contests out there to choose from, and many of them now offer added perks on top of prize money for the winner, such as publication for the finalists or copies of the prize issue to all entrants. To help you pick through the abundance of contests out there, I put together this page as a starting point for anyone interested in entering a contest or two. Or more.

The bulk of info on this page appears in the contest calendar, which gives data on deadlines, entry fees, and prizes. It also provides a link to the host website for each contest so you can get the specific details for the contests that most interest you. Awards that have no application or submission process, such as MacArthur Fellowships (Genius Grants), are not included in the listings. After the contest calendar, there are two shorter sections on Avoiding Scams and Events that Include Writing Contests.

If you know of something that should be added to this page or discover that something has changed with one of the contests, please drop me a note. Click HERE to send me an e-mail message.




WRITING CONTEST CALENDAR
Please verify contest particulars at individual websites. Contest rules may change. If you find altered rules or a defunct contest, please notify me so I may update the information. Click HERE to drop me an e-mail.

YEARLONG CONTESTS

Minotaur Book Awards
Minotaur Books runs four FREE contests for book-length mystery manuscripts (no less than 220 typewritten pages or approximately 60,000 words).
Deadline: (1) Hillerman Mystery Contest (postmarked no later than June 1); (2) Best Private Eye Novel Competition (postmarked no later than July 2); (3) Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel Competition (postmarked no later than October 17); (4) First Crime Novel Competition (postmarked between Nov 30 - Dec 15).
Prizes: Each contest offers a $10,000 advance on royalties for a standard book contract.
Entry fee: free.

Spark: A Creative Anthologythemed Contests
Spark runs quarterly contests for a poem, short story, or personal essay on a given theme. Limits for poetry are 150 lines and 12,000 words for prose.
Deadline: Varies.
Prizes: First prize wins $500, second $100, and third $20. Additionally awarded are subscriptions of varying lengths to Spark, American Poetry Review, Duotrope, Poets & Writers, and The Writer.
Entry fee: FREE.

Glimmer Train Fiction Contests
Glimmer Train Stories runs contests throughout the year for short fiction. Limits range from a 2,000 words to 20,000 words, depending upon the particular contest.
Deadline: Varies.
Prizes: Generally, first prize wins $1,200, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue; second place wins $500 and third wins $300. Prizes for the "Fiction Open" category are higher ($2,500 for 1st; $1,000 for 2nd; $600 for 3rd).
Entry fee: $15; $20 for "Fiction Open."

Writer's Digest Contests
Writer's Digest runs contests throughout the year for all categories of writing.
Deadline: Varies.
Prizes: The main contest, which has deadlines occuring in May, awards $30,000 in prize money.
Entry fee: varies.

Literal Latte Awards
Literal Latte runs contests throughout the year for short stories (up to 8,000 words), short-short stories (up to 2,000 words), poetry, essays, and "food verse."
Prizes: Generally, first wins $1,000, second wins $300, and third wins $200. However, for the short-short contest and the food verse contest, a single prize of $500 is awarded. All entries considered for publication.
Entry fee: $10 for a single submission; $15 for two submissions.

North Carolina Writers' Network Competitions
North Carolina Writers' Network awards prizes in the $250-1,000 range and publication in various journals through the following competitions (deadlines in brackets; see website for full detils): Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition (January 5), Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize (January 30), Doris Betts Fiction Prize (February 15), The Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition (March 1).

Omnidawn Book & Chapbook Contests
(Note: One is listed here as an example)
The First/Second Book Contest is open to any poet writing in English who has not published a second book of poetry, not counting chapbooks.
Deadline: June 30.
Prize: Prize includes $3,000 and publication of winning manuscript, 100 complimentary copies of winning book, and display advertising in various publications.
Entry fee: $25.

WritersType First Chapter, Short Story, & Flash Fiction Competitions
Open monthly contest in all three categories. Each month, the top two submissions in each category advance to the annual competition.
Deadline: Monthly.
Prize: Annual prize: $250. Monthly prize: winners in the categories of First Chapter, Short Story, & Flash Fiction receive a $25 honorarium, online publication, and comments from readers.
Entry fee: $10.

JANUARY DEADLINES

The Discovery/Boston Review Annual Poetry Contest
Open contest for a group of poems (up to 10 pages) by a poet who has not yet published a book.
Deadline: January 14.
Prizes: Four prizes of $500 and publication in the Boston Review. Winners also receive a one-night hotel stay and transportation to and from New York City to read at the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center.
Entry fee: $12.

The William Matthews Poetry Prize
Open contest for a poem. Submit 1-3 poems, any length.
Deadline: January 15.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000, publication in Asheville Poetry Review, and a featured reading at Wordfest Literary Festival. Second place receives $250, publication, and a featured reading at Wordfest Literary Festival. Third place receives publication, and a featured reading at Wordfest Literary Festival. All submissions will be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $20.

The G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction
and
The John Ciardi Prize for Poetry

Open contest for the best book-length collections of poetry and of short fiction in English by a living author. Poetry manuscripts should be 50-110 pages, single-spaced. Short fiction collections should be 125-300 pages, double-spaced.
Deadline: January 15.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000 and publication by BkMk Press. All entrants receive a copy of the winning book in their genre when it is published.
Entry fee: $25.

Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award
Contest is open to any poet. Entrants should submit 48-84 pages of poetry.
Deadline: January 31.
Prize: $1,200, publication, and 50 complimentary copies.
Entry fee: $25 by mail or $27 online.

The Lamar York Prize for Nonfiction
Open contest for an essay of 5,000 words or less. No theoretical, scholarly, or critical essays will be considered, but all other approaches and topics are welcome.
Deadline: January 31.
Prizes: $1,000 and publication in The Chattahoochee Review.
Entry fee: $15.

The Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction
Open contest for book-length manuscripts of short stories and/or novellas. Fiction must be between 150 and 300 typed pages.
Deadline: January 31.
Prize: $1,500 advance against royalties and publication by Ohio State University Press.
Entry fee: $20.

FEBRUARY DEADLINES

The Paterson Poetry Prize
Award for a book of poetry published in the prior year. The book must have 48 or more pages and a minimum press run of 500 copies.
Deadline: February 1.
Prize: $1,000. Winner will be asked to give a reading at the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College.
Entry fee: Publisher must submit three copies of book.

The VCU First Novelist Award
This award honors the best debut novel published during the previous calendar year.
Deadline: February 8.
Prize: $1,000 as well as travel expenses and lodging accomodations to attend the annual First Novelist Ceremony at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Entry fee: Three copies of the book must be submitted. The book must have been published the year before submission to the contest.

The Nelson Algren Award
The Nelson Algren Award goes to an unpublished short story up to 10,000 words.
Deadline: February 15.
Prize: One $5,000 prize and three runner-up prizes of $1,500 will be awarded.
Entry fee: Free.

AWP Award Series
The Association of Writers and Writing Programs hosts an annual contest for book-length manuscripts.
Deadline: Feb 28.
Prizes: Publication and $5,500 for poetry and short fiction, $2000 for novels and creative non-fiction.
Entry fee: $20 for AWP members and $30 for nonmembers.
*NOTE: The judge may choose no winner if he or she finds no manuscript that, in his or her estimation, merits publication and the award.

The Ledge Fiction Awards Competition
Open contest for short fiction up to 7,500 words.
Deadline: February 28.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000; second place receives $250; third place receives $100; also, top three will be published in The Ledge Magazine.
Entry fee: $10 for the first story; $6 for each additional story.

The Snowbound Chapbook Award
Poetry chapbook contest for manuscripts between 20-30 pages.
Deadline: February 28.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000, publication of the winning manuscript by Tupelo Press, 50 copies of the book, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. All finalists will also be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $23.

MARCH DEADLINES

Hunger Mountain Writing Contests
Four contests: Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize, and Katherine Paterson Prize for YA and Children's Writing.
Deadline: March 1.
Prize: Each contest awards $1,000 and publication in Hunger Mountain to a winner and two honorable mention prizes of $100 (3 HM prizes for Katherine Paterson Prize).
Entry fee: $20.

The Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest
Contest for short stories up to 1,200 words. Open to all writers who have not yet published a book of fiction.
Deadline: March 1.
Prize: The winning short story will be published in The Kenyon Review and the author will be awarded a scholarship to attend their Writers Workshop in mid-June in Gambier, Ohio.
Entry fee: $18, which includes a one-year subscription to The Kenyon Review.

The Sawtooth Poetry Prize
Book contest for 48-100 pages of original poetry.
Deadline: March 1.
Prize: $1,500, publication by Ahsahta Press, and 25 copies.
Entry fee: $25.

James Jones First Novel Fellowship
Awarded to an American author of a first novel-in-progress (two-page outlines and first 50 pages) by the James Jones Literary Society. Novellas and collections of closely linked short stories may also be considered for the competition.
Deadline: March 1.
Prizes: $10,000 for first place; $750 for two runners-up.
Entry fee: $25.

The Pinch Literary Awards in Fiction and Poetry
Open contest for poetry (groups of three poems) and short stories (up to 7,000 words).
Deadline: March 15.
Prizes: Fiction First Prize is $1,500; Poetry First Prize is $1,000. Both will be published in The Pinch; all other entries will also be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a subscription to The Pinch. Each additional entry is $10.

The Tusculum Review Poetry Chapbook Contest
Open contest for 20-30 pages of poetry.
Deadline: March 15.
Prizes: $1,000, publication, and 10 copies of chapbook.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a subscription to The Tusculum Review.

The Bellday Poetry Prize
Book contest for 60-90 pages of original poetry in any style.
Deadline: March 15.
Prize: $2,000, publication, and 25 copies.
Entry fee: $25. Bellday Books reserves the right not to select an award winner, in which case all reading fees will be refunded.

The Wabash Prize for Fiction
Open contest for short fiction up to 10,000 words.
Deadline: March 15.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in the Sycamore Review. Entries of honorable mention also published.
Entry fee: $10.

The Gulf Coast Prizes in Fiction, Non-Fiction, & Poetry
This award is for previously unpublished stories or essays (25 double-spaced pages max) or up to five previously unpublished poems (10 pages max).
Deadline: March 15.
Prize: $1,500 and publication in Gulf Coast for winner of each genre. $250 for second and third place in each genre.
Entry fee: $20 (or $23 for online submission), which includes a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast.

The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction
This award goes to a short story or novel excerpt up to 8000 words.
Deadline: March 15.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in the Bellingham Review. Finalists may also be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $18, which includes a two-issue subscription to Bellingham Review. Each additional entry is $10.

The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction
This award goes to a work of creative non-fiction up to 8000 words.
Deadline: March 15.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in the Bellingham Review. Finalists may also be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $18, which includes a two-issue subscription to Bellingham Review. Each additional entry is $10.

49th Parallel Award for Poetry
This award goes to a group of three poems up to 8000 words.
Deadline: March 15.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in the Bellingham Review. Finalists may also be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $18, which includes a two-issue subscription to Bellingham Review. Each additional entry (of three poems) is $10.

The Tusculum Review Poetry Contest
Open contest for 3-5 poems (no more than 10 pages total).
Deadline: March 15.
Prize: $1,000; winner and all finalists will be published in The Tusculum Review.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a one-year subscription to The Tusculum Review.

The Arts & Letters Prizes
Four awards given to a short story, essay, one-act play, and poem.
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in Arts & Letters.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a two-issue subscription to Arts & Letters.

The Tor House Prize for Poetry
Open contest for unpublished poetry (up to three pages).
Deadline: March 17.
Prize: $1,000; Poets whose work is chosen for Honorable Mention will also receive $200.
Entry fee: $10 for the first three poems, $15 for up to six poems, and $2.50 for each additional poem.

Memoir & Personal Essay Contest
Contest for unpublished memoirs and personal essays (7,500 word limit) by writers who have not been published in 5 or more times.
Deadline: March 20.
Prizes: Top three receive $1,000, $350, and $150; All winners will be considered for publication by Quarterly West.
Entry fee: $20.

The Four Way Books Intro Prize in Poetry
Contest for poetry manuscripts open to U.S. citizens who haven't published a book of poetry yet.
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: $1,000 and publication by Four Way Books. Finalists not chosen as the winner by the judge will be considered by the editors for publication outside of the contest.
Entry fee: $25.

The Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize
Open contest for poetry manuscripts between 48 and 64 typed pages.
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: $1,000 and publication by University of Utah Press. Winner also receives an all-expenses-paid trip to Salt Lake City to give a reading as part of the Guest Writers Series.
Entry fee: $25.

The Thurber Prize for American Humor
This award honors a book of humorous fiction or nonfiction published during the preceding year.
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: $5,000.
Entry fee: $65. Publisher must also submit four copies of the book.

The National Translation Award
This award honors a translator whose work has made an extraordinary contribution to literary translation during the preceding year.
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: $2,500.
Entry fee: $25. Applicant must also submit a letter of nomination and four copies of the book.

Indiana Review's Poetry Prize
Open contest for a group of three poems.
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: Winner receives $1,000 and publication in Indiana Review. All entries considered for publication.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a one-year subscription.

The Marjorie J. Wilson Best Poem Contest
Open contest for a group of three poems (60-line limit per poem).
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: Winner receives $2,500 and publication in Margie. All entries considered for publication.
Entry fee: $15 for three poems; additional poems may be submitted for $5 each.

The Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award
Competition for book-length manuscripts of poetry (approx. 60-90 pages) written by African Americans.
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: $500 and publication of the manuscript by Lotus Press.
Entry fee: Free.

Bayou Magazine's Nonfiction Bonanza
Open contest for essays up to 7,500 words.
Deadline: March 31.
Prize: Winner receives $250 and publication in Bayou.
Entry fee: $10.

The Bevel Summers Prize for the Short Short Story
Word limit is 1000. Writers may submit up to three stories, two copies each (one with name and address and one without).
Submission window: March 1-March 31.
Prize: $250 and publication of the winning story in Shenandoah.
Entry fee: $2 per story.

APRIL DEADLINES

The William Faulkner Medal
The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. has seven competition divisions ranging from high school short stories to adult novels.
Deadline: April 1.
Prizes: $7,500 for novels, $2,500 for novellas, $2,000 for novels-in-progress, $1,500 for short stories, $1,000 for essays, $750 for poetry, and $750 for high school short stories.
Entry fee: Each entry in Category One (novel) will be accompanied by a $35 administrative fee. Each entry in Categories Two (novella) and Three (novel-in-progress) will be accompanied by a $30 administrative fee. Each entry in Categories Four (short story), Five (essay) and Six (single poem) will be accompanied by a $25 administrative fee. Category Seven, High School Short Stories, will be accompanied by a $10 fee, provided by the sponsoring school. Note: High School Short Stories must have a sponsoring teacher and sponsoring school. Exceptions are made for a home-schooled student with a letter of explanation.

Cowles Poetry Prize
Contest for a full-length collection of poetry. Entrants will submit manuscripts between 48-100 pages.
Deadline: April 1.
Prizes: $2,000, publication of the winning manuscript by Southeast Missouri State University Press, and 30 copies to the author.
Entry fee: $25. Those who pay an additional $4 will receive a copy of the winning book.

The Paterson Fiction Prize
Award for a novel or collection of short fiction published in the prior year.
Deadline: April 1.
Prize: First place wins $1,000..
Entry fee: Publisher must submit three copies of book.

The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award
Open contest for individual poems.
Deadline: April 1.
Prize: First place wins $1,000; second wins $200; third wins $100. Winners will be asked to participate in a reading in the Paterson Historic District.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a subscription to The Paterson Literary Review.

The Bluecat Screenplay Competition
A contest for aspiring screenwriters.
Deadline: April 1.
Prizes: First place wins $10,000. Four finalists receive $1,500 each. Every writer also receives a written script analysis of their screenplay.
Entry fee: $60.

Tupelo Press/Crazyhorse First Book of Poetry Contest
Contest for poets who have not yet published a full-length collection of poetry. Entrants will submit full-length poetry manuscripts between 48-80 pages.
Deadline: April 15.
Prizes: First place receives $3,000, publication of the winning manuscript, and national distribution. All previously unpublished poems in each submitted manuscript will be considered individually for inclusion in a future edition of Crazyhorse.
Entry fee: $25. All who enter receive a copy of the winning book.

FutureCycle Poetry Book Prize
A juried full-length poetry book competition open to any poet writing in the English language. Entrants will submit full-length poetry manuscripts between 48-70 pages, excluding front or back matter such as title page, acknowledgments, etc.
Deadline: April 15.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000, publication in both print and ebook formats, and 20 copies of the printed book. Top finalists are sometimes offered publishing contracts for their manuscripts.
Entry fee: $25. All who enter receive a copy of the winning book.

The Spoon River Poetry Review Editors' Prize
Open contest for a group of three poems (up to ten pages total).
Deadline: April 15.
Prize: One winning poem will be awarded $1000 and two runners-up will be awarded $100 each. Winning poem, runners-up, and honorable mentions will be published in the 2008 fall issue of The Spoon River Poetry Review.
Entry fee: $16, which includes a one-year subscription to the The Spoon River Poetry Review.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
Open contest for the worst opening line for a story. Each entry must consist of a single sentence but you may submit as many entries as you wish.
Deadline: April 15.
Prize: The grand prize winner will receive . . . a pittance.
Entry fee: Free.

The 24-hour Short Story Contest
Open contest for first 500 entrants.
Deadline: Writing begins at noon on April 26.
Prize: Top three will be published on the WritersWeekly.com website. First wins $300; second wins $250; third wins $200.
Entry fee: $5.

The Mudfish Poetry Prize
Open contest for a group of poems.
Deadline: April 29.
Prize: $1000 and publication in Mudfish. Every poem entered is considered for publication.
Entry fee: $15 for three poems; $3 for each additional poem.

The Writer's Short Story Contest
Award for a short story (2,000 words or less).
Deadline: April 30.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000, publication, and a free 10-week creative writing workshop offered online by Gotham Writers' Workshop ($420 value). Second place receives $300, online publication, and a four-week Gotham class. Third place receives $200, online publication, and a four-week Gotham class.
Entry fee: $10.

Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction
Award for a short story (7500 words or less).
Deadline: April 30.
Prizes: First place receives $2,000, publication, and a trip to Tulsa for the Awards Celebration. Second place receives $1,000, publication, and a trip to Tulsa for the Awards Celebration.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a one year subscription to Nimrod.

The Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry
Award for 3-10 pages of poetry.
Deadline: April 30.
Prizes: First place receives $2,000, publication, and a trip to Tulsa for the Awards Celebration. Second place receives $1,000, publication, and a trip to Tulsa for the Awards Celebration.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a one year subscription to Nimrod.

The Crab Orchard Literary Prizes
These prizes go to a group of three poems (up to 100 lines each), a short story (6,000-word limit), and an essay (6,500-word limit).
Deadline: April 30.
Prize: $1,500 and publication in Crab Orchard Review for the winner in each category.
Entry fee: $10, which includes a copy of the prize issue.

The Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize
Contest for poetry manuscripts (48-100 pages). Open to any poet who has not had a full-length book published previously.
Deadline: April 30.
Prize: $5,000 plus publication of the winning book by University of Pittsburgh Press.
Entry fee: $25.

SaraBande Books Awards
Open contest for manuscripts of short fiction (between 150-250 pages) and poetry (minimum of 48 pages).
Deadline: April 30.
Prizes: $2,000 and publiction by SaraBande Books for winner in each category.
Entry fee: $28.

The Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize
Contest for poetry manuscripts (at least 48 pages).
Deadline: April 30.
Prize: $1250 plus publication of the winning book by by Saturnalia Books.
Entry fee: $25.

The Ledge Poetry Awards Competition
Open poetry contest.
Deadline: April 30.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000; second place receives $250; third place receives $100; also, top three will be published in The Ledge Magazine.
Entry fee: $10 for first three poems; $3 for each additional poem.

The Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize
Open contest for poetry manuscripts (48-70 pages).
Deadline: April 30.
Prizes: $1,000 plus publication of the winning book.
Entry fee: $20.

MAY DEADLINES

The Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize
Contest for poetry manuscripts (50-70 pages) by poets who have not previously published a book-length collection of poems.
Deadline: May 1.
Prize: $2,000 and publication by Kent State University Press. Winner will also give a reading with the contest judge at the Kent State campus.
Entry fee: $20.

The David Nathan Meyerson Fiction Prize
Contest for short stories (up to 8,000 words) open only to writers who have not yet published a book.
Deadline: May 1.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in Southwest Review.
Entry fee: $25.

The Leapfrog Press Fiction Prize
Contest for a novel, novella, or short story collection (22,000 + words).
Deadline: May 1.
Prizes: Winner receives finalist prize plus publication by Leapfrog Press with advance payment. Finalists receive $150 and two critiques of the manuscript from contest judges. Semi-finalists receive choice of a free Leapfrog book.
Entry fee: $30.

Fugue's Annual Prose & Poetry Contest
Open contest for short stories (up to 10,000 words) and poetry (3 poems; limit of 5 pages total).
Deadline: May 1.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000; top three will be published in Fugue.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a copy of the prize issue.

The Journal's Annual Short Story Contest
Open contest for short stories (up to 7,500 words).
Deadline: May 1.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000 and publication in The Journal. All manuscripts will be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $10.

The Robert Dana Prize for Poetry
The award is open to poets trying to publish a first or second book of poetry (48-80 pages, excluding front matter). Previous publication of self-published books and chapbooks do not make a poet ineligible.
Deadline: May 1.
Prize: $2,000, publication of the winning manuscript by Anhinga Press, and a reading tour of Florida after the book comes out.
Entry fee: $25.

The Sow's Ear Press Poetry Chapbook Competition
Open contest for poetry manuscripts of 22-26 pages. No length limit on poems, but no more than one poem on a page.
Deadline: May 1.
Prize: $1,000, publication by Sow's Ear Press, and 25 copies of the chapbook.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a subscription to the Sow's Ear Poetry Review.

The Novello Literary Award
Open only to residents of North and South Carolina. Prize for book-length (200-400 pages) works of literary fiction or non-fiction.
Deadline: May 1.
Prizes: First place receives publication and a $1,000 advance against royalties.
Entry fee: Free.

The International Poetry Competition
Open contest for individual poems.
Deadline: May 9.
Prizes: Winner receives $2008. Top 20 finalists will be published in The Atlanta Review.
Entry fee: $5 for the first poem; $3 for each additional poem.

The Spokane Prize for Short Fiction
This story collection series is for short fiction manuscripts (no less than 98 pages; no fewer than 3 stories).
Deadline: May 15.
Prize: $1,500 and publication by Eastern Washington University Press. Finalists will each receive $50 worth of EWU Press books.
Entry fee: $25.

The Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry
This poetry book series is for book-length poetry manuscripts (no less than 48 pages).
Deadline: May 15.
Prize: $1,500 and publication by Eastern Washington University Press. Finalists will each receive $50 worth of EWU Press books.
Entry fee: $25.

The Idaho Prize for Poetry
This competition is open to unpublished collections of poetry (48 or more pages; no more than one poem per page).
Deadline: May 15.
Prize: $1,000 plus publication by Lost Horse Press.
Entry fee: $25.

Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition
This competition is open to writers who have not published a collection of poems in book or chapbook form. Entrants should submit a collection of poems or one long poem (16-20 pages).
Deadline: May 15.
Prize: $1,000 cash award, publication, ten complimentary chapbooks, and a reading at The Hudson Valley Writers' Center. At the discretion of the judges, a second chapbook may be selected for publication with an award of $250.
Entry fee: $15.

The Richard Snyder Memorial Publication Prize
This poetry book series is for book-length poetry manuscripts (50-80 pages).
Deadline: May 15.
Prize: $1000 and 100 copies of the published book.
Entry fee: $25.

Poetry Contest for Emerging Writers
Poetry contest for a group of three poems, any length. Open to writers who have not yet published a book of poetry with a nationally distributed press.
Deadline: May 15.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in Boulevard.
Entry fee: $15. Includes a one-year subscription to Boulevard.

The Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
Competition for short stories (up to 3,500 words) open to writers who have not had their fiction appear in publications with a circulation of 5,000 or more.
Deadline: May 15.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,500 and publication in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts. Second and third place will each receive $500.
Entry fee: $15 before May 1; $20 afterwards.

The James Laughlin Award
Recognizes and supports a poet's second book of poetry that is currently under contract with a publisher.
Deadline: May 15.
Prize: $5,000.
Entry fee: $Free. Publisher must submit four copies of manuscript to the Academy of American Poets.

New Letters Literary Awards
Open contests for poetry (3-6 poems), short fiction (8,000 words), and essays (8,000 words).
Deadline: May 18.
Prizes: Winner in each category receives $1,500.
Entry fee: $15 for first entry; $10 for each entry thereafter. All entrants receive a one-year subscription to New Letters.

The Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction
This award goes to unpublished manuscripts of short fiction (40,000 to 75,000 words).
Deadline: May 31.
Prize: Two winners receive $1,000 and publication by University of Georgia Press.
Entry fee: $25.

Society of Southwestern Authors Writing Contest
Open contest for poetry (40 lines), short fiction (2,500 words), short stories for children (1,500 words), and essays (2,500 words).
Deadline: May 31.
Prizes: Cash awards in each category. $300 for first; $150 for second; $75 for third; $25 for honorable mention. Winning entries will be published in The Story Teller
Entry fee: $10.

River Styx International Poetry Contest
Open contest for a poem. Entrants may submit up to 3 poems (14 pages max).
Deadline: May 31.
Prize: $1,500 and publication in River Styx. All poems submitted to the contest will be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a one-year subscription to River Styx.

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest
Open contest for literary short stories up to 6,000 words.
Deadline: May 31.
Prize: First prize is $1000; second is $750; third is $500; there will also be two editor's choice prizes of $250 each. Winners will also be published in Carve Magazine.
Entry fee: $15.

The Field Poetry Prize
This poetry book series is for book-length poetry manuscripts (50-80 pages).
Deadline: May 31.
Prize: $1000, publication, and standard royalties on sales.
Entry fee: $28, which includes a one-year subscription to FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics.

JUNE DEADLINES

The Boston Review's Annual Poetry Contest
Open contest for a poem. Entrants may submit up to 5 poems (no more than 10 pages).
Deadline: June 1.
Prizes: $1,500 and publication in the Boston Review. All poems submitted to the contest will be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a one-year subscription to the Boston Review.

The -K Prize
Open contest for a poem or work of fiction under 500 words.
Deadline: June 1.
Prize: Winner receives $1,000 and publication in Indiana Review. All entries considered for publication.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a one-year subscription.

The Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize
Recognizes the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year.
Deadline: June 15.
Prize: $25,000.
Entry fee: $25. Also, The publisher must submit four copies of the book to the Academy of American Poets.

The Guy Owen Prize
Open contest for a poem. Entrants may submit up to 3-5 poems (10 pages max).
Deadline: June 15.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in Southern Poetry Review. All poems submitted to the contest will be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a one-year subscription to Southern Poetry Review.

The Drue Heinz Literature Prize
The Drue Heinz Literature is for unpublished manuscripts of short fiction. Manuscripts may be no fewer than 150 and no more than 300 typed, double-spaced pages.
Deadline: June 30.
Prize: Prize is $15,000 and publication of a book-length collection of fiction by the University of Pittsburgh Press.
Entry fee: Free.

The Red Hen Press Short Story Award
Open contest for short stories up to 25 double-spaced pages.
Deadline: June 30.
Prize: Winner receives $1,000 and publication in Los Angeles Review.
Entry fee: $20 for two stories.

The Autumn House Press Book Prizes
Open contests for a poetry collection (50-80 pages), a book of fiction (200-300 pages), and a book of creative non fiction (200-300 pages).
Deadline: June 30.
Prize: $1,000 in each category, publication of the winning book, and a $1,500 travel grant to participate in an Authors Series in Pittsburgh.
Entry fee: $30.

JULY DEADLINES

Muriel Craft Bailey Award
Contest for poems up to 40 lines.
Deadline: July 1.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000; runner-up receives $250; third-place receives $100. All Prize Winners, Honorable Mentions, and Special Merit Poems will be published in Comstock Review.
Entry fee: $5 per poem.

F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story Award
Contest open to Mid-Atlantic residents. Submitted stories should be 3,000 words or less.
Deadline: July 15.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000 and publication in the Potomac Review; three runners-up receive $200 each.
Entry fee: $25.

William Stafford Award for Poetry
Open contest for 3-5 poems. Each poem should be no longer than one page.
Deadline: July 15.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000 and publication in the Rosebud; three runners-up receive $100 each.
Entry fee: $12.

Narrative Magazine Spring Story Contest
Contest for stories up to 15,000 words.
Deadline: July 31.
Prizes: First Prize is $3,250, Second Prize is $1,500, Third Prize is $750, and ten finalists will receive $100 each. All entries will be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $20, which includes three months of complimentary access to Narrative Backstage.

Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize
The Chicago Tribune's Heartland prizes are awarded to a novel and a book of nonfiction that embody the spirit of the nation's Heartland.
Deadline: Publishers submit books published between August 1 of the previous year and July 31 of the current year.
Prize: $7,500 for each winning book.
Entry fee: Free.

The Chicago Tribune Young Adult Fiction Prize
The Chicago Tribune Young Adult Fiction Prize is given to the author of a book or body of work that the Chicago Tribune deems worthy for a young adult audience.
Deadline: Publishers may submit books published between August 1 of the previous year and July 31 of the current year.
Prize: $5,000.
Entry fee: Free.

Adele Schiff Prose and Poetry Prize
Contest for up to 8 pages of poetry or 40 pages of prose.
Deadline: July 31.
Prizes: Winner receives $300 and publication in The Cincinnati Review. All entries are considered for publication.
Entry fee: $15 (contest only) or $25 (contest + one-year subscription to The Cincinnati Review).

AUGUST DEADLINES

The Rattle Poetry Prize
Submit up to four poems, no limit on length.
Deadline: August 1.
Prizes: First prize wins $5,000. Ten Finalists will receive $100 each. All eleven will be published in Rattle and subscribers and entrants will vote for their favorite, which will receive an additional $1,000.
Entry fee: $18, which includes a one-year subscription to Rattle.

The Bellevue Literary Review Prizes in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry
Open contests for short stories (up to 5,000 words), creative nonfiction (up to 5,000 words), and poetry (up to 3 poems; limit 5 pages).
Deadline: August 1.
Prize: Winner in each category receives $1,000 and publication in The Bellevue Literary Review.
Entry fee: $15. For an additional $5, entrants will receive a one-year subscription to the Bellevue Literary Review.

The Transcontinental Poetry Award
Book contest for 48-70 pages of poetry.
Deadline: August 15.
Prize: $1,000, publication by Pavement Saw Press, plus 5% of profits from 1,000-book press run.
Entry fee: $20. All contributors receive books, chapbooks and journals equal to, or more than, the entry fee.

SEPTEMBER DEADLINES

The Good Housekeeping Essay Contest
Open contest for a personal essay on a theme, which changes each year (see website for current theme; 2014 theme is "All About Love"). Essay should be 2,500-3,000 words.
Deadline: September 1.
Prize: Winner receives $2,000 and possible publication in Good Housekeeping.
Entry fee: Free.

Barthelme Prize for Short Prose
Send up to three pieces of prose poetry, flash fiction, or micro-nonfiction of 500 words or fewer.
Deadline: September 1.
Prize: Winner in each category receives $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast.
Two honorable mentions will also be published, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on their website. Entry fee: $17, which includes a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast.

American Literary Review Writing Contests
Open contests for short stories (up to 8,000 words), creative nonfiction (up to 6,500 words), and poetry (up to 3 poems).
Deadline: September 1.
Prize: Winner in each category receives $1,000 and publication in American Literary Review.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a one-year subscription to American Literary Review.

The Erskine J. Poetry Prize
Open poetry contest.
Deadline: September 1.
Prizes: Winner receives $200. Top three poets and all finalists (usually about 10) are published in Smartish Pace.
Entry fee: $5 for 3 poems; each poem thereafter is an additional $1.

The Dogfish Head Poetry Prize
Open contest for a book-length manuscript of poetry by Mid-Atlantic residents (DE, MD, VA, PA, NJ, NY, WVA, NC and District of Columbia).
Deadline: Labor Day (~Sept 4).
Prize: Winner receives $500, two cases of Doghead Fish Beer and book publication by Broadkill Press.
Entry fee: Free.

The Doug Fir Fiction Award
Open contest for unpublished short stories up to 5,000 words relating to the natural world, sense of place, or environmental issues.
Deadline: September 8.
Prize: Winner receives $1000 and publication in Bear Deluxe.
Entry fee: $15. All entrants receive a copy of the Doug Fir Award issue.

The Real Simple Life Lessons Essay Contest
Open contest for a personal essay on a theme, which changes each year (see website for current theme). Limit 1,500 words.
Deadline: September 15.
Prize: Winner receives $3,000, publication in Real Simple, and an all-expenses paid trip to NYC to meet with the editors.
Entry fee: Free.

The David Nathan Meyerson Fiction Prize
Poetry contest open only to poets who have not yet published a book. Contestants should submit no more than six poems in a "traditional" form (e.g. sonnet, sestina, villanelle, rhymed stanzas, blank verse, etc.).
Deadline: September 30.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000 and second receives $500; both will be published in Southwest Review.
Entry fee: $5 per poem entered.

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Poetry Contest
Contest open to poetry in any style or theme. Poems that have won prizes elsewhere or been previously published submissions are acceptable as long as you own the online publication rights.
Deadline: September 30.
Prizes: First prize: $3,000. Second prize: $1,000. Third prize: $400. Fourth prize: $250. Bonus prize for humorous verse: $250. There will also be six Most Highly Commended Awards of $150 each. The top 11 entries will be published on the Winning Writers website (over one million page views per year).
Entry fee: $8 per 25 lines.

Ohio State Press Poetry Book Awards
Open contest for book-length manuscripts of poetry (at least 48 typed pages).
Deadline: September 30.
Prize: $3,000 and publication of winning book by Ohio State University Press.
Entry fee: $25, which includes a one-year subscription to The Journal.

Green Rose Prize
Poetry book contest for those who have already published at least one book of poetry (at least 48 typed pages).
Deadline: September 30.
Prize: $2,000 and publication of winning book by New Issues Press.
Entry fee: $25.

Chautauqua Literary Journal Literary Awards
Open contest for poetry (up to 6 poems; maximum of 500 lines) and prose (fiction or creative nonfiction; up to 7,000 words).
Deadline: September 30.
Prize: Winner in each category receives $1,500 and publication in Chautauqua Literary Journal.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a copy of the prize issue.

OCTOBER DEADLINES

Zoetrope Short Fiction Contest
Open contest for unpublished short fiction up to 5,000 words.
Deadline: October 1.
Prizes: First prize is $1,000; second prize $500; and third prize $250. Winner published in Zoetrope. Winners and honorable mentions will be considered for representation by noted agencies.
Entry fee: $20.

The Missouri Review Editors' Prize in Fiction, Essay and Poetry
Open contest for short stories (25-page limit), essays (25-page limit), and poetry (10-page limit; no limit on number of poems).
Deadline: October 1.
Prizes: $5,000 for winner in each category, plus publication in The Missouri Review. Three finalists in each category also receive cash awards and will be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a one-year subscription to The Missouri Review.

The Barry Hannah Fiction Prize and The Yellowwood Poetry Prize
Open contest for a short story (no length restriction) or three poems (no length restriction).
Deadline: October 1.
Prize: $500 and publication in The Yalobusha Review.
Entry fee: $10.

The Aura Estrada Short Story Contest
Open contest for an unpublished short story of 4,000 words or less.
Deadline: October 1.
Prizes: $1,500 and publication in The Boston Review.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a one-year subscription to The Boston Review.

The Georgetown Review Prize
Open contest for stories, essays, and poems on any subject. No length restrictions.
Deadline: October 15.
Prizes: Winner receives $1,000. Winner and runners up receive publication in Georgetown Review
Entry fee: $10 for first entry; $5 for each additional entry.

The James Hearst Poetry Prize
Open contest for poetry (up to five poems; no length restrictions).
Deadline: October 31.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000, second receives $100, and third receives $50. Winners will also be published in the North American Review.
Entry fee: $18, which includes a one-year subscription to the North American Review.

The Dana Awards
The Dana Awards offer three $1,000 awards for Novels (first 50 pg), Short Fiction (a story up to 50 pg), and Poetry (5 poems), plus a $3,000 Portfolio Award for a body of work (3 manuscripts).
Deadline: Oct 31.
Entry fee is $15 per 5 poems, $15 per short story, $25 per novel, plus an additional $5 if entering 3 manuscripts for the Portfolio Award.

The Ledge Poetry Chapbook Competition
Open contest for poetry (16-28 pages).
Deadline: October 31.
Prizes: Winning poet will receive a $1,000 cash award and 50 copies of the published chapbook.
Entry fee: $18. All entrants will receive a copy of the winning chapbook.

NOVEMBER DEADLINES

The Danahy Fiction Prize.
Open contest for a short story (500-5,000 words).
Deadline: November 1.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000 and publication in Tampa Review. All entries considered for publication.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a one-year subscription to Tampa Review.

Bakeless Literary Prizes
An annual book series competition for new authors of literary works in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Authors must have not yet published a book in their entry's genre. Poetry manuscripts must contain at least 50 pages of text; fiction, both novels and short-fiction collections, must have 150-450 pages; creative nonfiction, 150-300 pages.
Deadline: November 1.
Prizes: Winners will have their book-length manuscripts published by Graywolf Press* and receive a fellowship to attend the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in Middlebury, VT.
Entry fee: $10.
*NOTE: No judge is mandated to pick a winner if he or she does not deem the finalist manuscripts ready for publication.

The Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize
This award goes to the best short story, either published (in a periodical) or unpublished, 2000-8000 words.
Deadline: November 1.
Prize: $1,200, publication in a Del Sol Press anthology, and 20 copies of the anthology that features their story. The top ten finalist stories will be published in an anthology and be invited to submit book-length manuscripts for consideration by Del Sol Press.
Entry fee: $16, which includes a copy of the anthology, and $5 for additional entries.

The Sow's Ear Press Poetry Competition
Open contest for poetry (up to 5 poems; no length limit on poems).
Deadline: November 1.
Prize: $1,000 and publication in the Sow's Ear Poetry Review. Approximately twenty finalists will also receive the option of publication.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a subscription to the Sow's Ear Poetry Review.

Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize
Poetry book contest for manuscripts of at least 48 pages.
Deadline: November 15.
Prize: $2,000 and publication of winning book by Pleiades Press and distribution by LSU Press.
Entry fee: $25, which includes a subscription to Pleiades.

The Graybeal-Gowen Prize for Virginia Poets
A contest for a single poem by a writer born in or with current established residence in Virginia. Entrants may submit up to three previously unpublished poems, two copies each (one with name and address and one without).
Deadline: November 15.
Prize: $500 and publication of the winning poem in Shenandoah
Entry fee: None (yea!).

America�s Next Author
Open contest for a short story (2,500-5,000 words) to be voted on by the public ala American Idol. The competition includes eight nomination rounds in which the top-ranked author of each week will be nominated for the finals.
Deadline: September 13-November 27.
Prize: Winner receives $5,000; second and third place receive $500 each.
Entry fee: FREE!

New Issues Poetry Prize
First book contest for manuscripts of at least 48 pages.
Deadline: November 30.
Prize: $2,000 and publication of winning book by New Issues Press.
Entry fee: $20.

The Walt Whitman Award
A contest for Americans who have never before published a book of poetry.
Deadline: November 30.
Prize: $5,000, first-book publication by Louisiana State University Press, and a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center.
Entry fee: $25.

The A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize
This award is for a poet's first full-length book of poetry (48-100 pages).
Deadline: November 30.
Prize: A $1,500 and book publication by BOA Editions, Ltd.
Entry fee: $25.

The James Dickey Prize for Poetry
Open contest for poetry (up to three poems; no longer than 50 lines each).
Deadline: November 30.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000 and publication in Five Points.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a one-year subscription to Five Points.

DECEMBER DEADLINES

The W. Y. Boyd Literary Award
An award from the American Library Association presented to the best war novel published that year. The story must be set in a period when the United States was at war.
Deadline: December 1.
Prize: $5,000 and a 24k gold-framed citation of achievement.
Entry fee: Publishers or authors must submit seven copies of the book.

American Short Fiction Short Story Contest
Open contest for short stories up to 6,000 words.
Deadline: December 1.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000 and publication in American Short Fiction; second place receives $500.
Entry fee: $20, which includes a copy of the prize issue.

The Best Poetry Contest
Contest for Virginia residents. Poets may submit up to four original, never-published poems. A poet may enter only once.
Deadline: December 15.
Prize: Winner receives $500, publication of winning poem(s) in Richmond Magazine, and a ticket to the James River Writers Conference. Two finalists will each receive $200.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a copy of the prize issue.

Short Fiction Contest for Emerging Writers
Open short story contest for writers who have not yet published a book of fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction with a nationally distributed press. There is no maximum length for the stories submitted.
Deadline: December 15.
Prize: $1,500 and publication in Boulevard.
Entry fee: $15, which includes a one-year subscription to Boulevard.

The Kurt Vonnegut Fiction Prize
Open contest for short stories up to 7,000 words.
Deadline: December 31.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000, second receives $100, and third receives $50. Winners will also be published in the North American Review.
Entry fee: $18, which includes a one-year subscription to the North American Review.

The Harold Morton Landon Translation Award
Recognizes a published translation of poetry from any language into English.
Deadline: December 31.
Prize: $1,000.
Entry fee: Free. Publisher must submit three copies of the book to the Academy of American Poets.

The Dzanc Books Short Story Collection Competition
Open contest for story collections.
Deadline: December 31.
Prizes: First place receives $1,000 advance and publication by Dzanc Books.
Entry fee: $20.

The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry.
Open contest for poetry collections (min. 48 pages).
Deadline: December 31.
Prizes: First place receives $2,000 advance and publication in both hardback and paperback.
Entry fee: $25, which includes a one-year subscription to Tampa Review.

The Dorset Prize
Open poetry book contest. Entrants will submit full-length poetry manuscripts between 48-88 pages.
Deadline: December 31.
Prizes: First place receives $3,000, publication of the winning manuscript by Tupelo Press, a book launch, and national distribution with energetic publicity and promotion. All finalists will also be considered for publication.
Entry fee: $28.


AVOIDING SCAMSScience Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America warning on scams

Getting the Scoop on Poetry Contest Scams, by Linda Alice Dewey

Poetry Contest Scams - Don't Pay to See Your Work in Print, by Sandra Grauschopf


EVENTS WITH INCLUSIVE CONTESTS





Jenine Bockman, Co-Editor/Publisher of Literal Latté

Jendi Reiter conducted this exclusive email interview with Jenine Bockman, co-editor/publisher of Literal Latté. Launched in 1994 as a free literary magazine for the New York City area, Literal Latté switched from tabloid-newsprint format to an online-only publication in 2004. The journal offers five annual writing contests: the Fiction Awards (deadline January 15), the Food Verse Contest (January 31), the Short Short Contest (June 30), the Poetry Awards (July 15), and the Essay Awards (September 15). Top prizes are $500 for flash fiction and food verse, $1,000 for the other three contests. In 2009 Literal Latté released an anthology of poetry and prose from their 15 years of publishing.

Jenine Gordon Bockman has worked for a variety of publishing houses and arts organizations, including HarperCollins, Henry Holt, the 92nd Street Y, and the Theatre Development Fund. She has a Masters in art history and Bachelors in English, both from Williams College.

Literal Latté, founded by Jenine and Jeff Bockman in 1994, had a unique recipe mixing the content of a top-quality literary magazine with the structure of a local, free paper. This enabled it to offer great new writers unparalleled exposure in the publishing capital and avid readers extraordinary entertainment free of charge. Now it maintains those goals by offering literature free online to the world. For fifteen years now, this exciting brew has been caffeinating minds and careers. Literal Latté has received a Pushcart Prize, Best American Poetry, Best American Essay and Mystery honors.

 

Q: Your website says that you and co-editor/publisher Jeff Bockman started Literal Latté as "a community literary paper featuring mind-stimulating stories, essays and poems for consumption by New York editors, agents, writers and readers." Can you share some success stories of writers who were discovered in Literal Latté, or other significant connections that were made?
 

A: I love telling these stories as they remind me that the recipe really works. Jeff and I saw coffeehouses opening all over New York City. We realized these spots offered us a venue for bringing hot literature all over the "publishing capital," which did not yet have a unique literary recipe for the public. So we created a top quality literary magazine, poured it into a friendly free format and offered it in coffeehouses, bookstores and arts organizations. With 30,000 copies per issue, six times per year, we were reaching a lot of readers, not just the folks who usually search out litmags in the dusty back corners of bookstores, but people who had not read a poem since high school and editors who were relying too heavily on agents.

So, first story. We published a story by G.K. Wuori. He had been published in literally dozens of literary magazines over the previous twenty years and had been featured in the very first Pushcart Collection in 1976. But it was not until his story appeared in Literal Latté that an agent called us, he got an anthology with Algonquin and Algonquin came back to advertise it with us. One of the other ways we "caffeinated" the literary equation was offering publishers a place to advertise literary stuff that was cheaper than the New York Times yet still reached a concentrated New York literary audience.

Next story. Robert Bly is sitting at a café in SoHo and picks up a copy of Literal Latté. He selects one of our poems for the Best American Anthology he is currently editing. Again, the crème is getting lifted straight to the top!! Sorry for all the coffee humor, it comes with the territory...
 

Q: How do you publicize your site and your authors, both online and in the New York literary community?
 

A: I am still learning how to do online promotion! I have interns sending out updates via Facebook... It is an exciting open road. I am thrilled that we can promote our authors' work on the site by linking to their websites and selling their books if they have them. Someone can discover a work we published from years ago, and instantly get more by that author, ask them questions, buy their books. That's a great advantage of the web. As always, we are having readings and events here that we also use to keep Literal Latté in people's minds and to promote our writers. We had one at KGB Bar this weekend that was terrific.
 

Q: How have your audience and mission changed, if at all, since you switched to the online format?
 

A: Actually, the web really mirrors and enhances our original efforts. We were always about being free, unimposing and available to a large audience...and that is what the web is all about too. You no longer have to commit to a $15 literary magazine to taste what litmags offer. That was and still is what we are about. Of course our audience is not as New York–centric anymore. That was the key for selling ads in the hardcopy days. We'll have to see if we reach as many of the "publishing capital" folks, editors and agents. I am happy with being free to more readers. The biggest change for us is I yell at the computer more.
 

Q: What are the pros and cons of online versus print publishing, in your experience?
 

A: Well, I am an old-fashioned print person at heart, no matter how much I sing the praises of the web. I do miss the tactile aspects of the old days and getting out to all the cafés and coffeehouses more. But the pros I've listed above, the accessibility, the interactive nature of the web, those are hugely appealing factors. And of course there is cost. Paper and ink are horribly expensive. I don't have to worry about that anymore. That is liberating.
 

Q: Many literary publishing ventures fold after a couple of years. What are some factors that have helped Literal Latté survive?
 

A: Insanity! I feel like we got that first issue out (by the way, it paid for itself via ads I sold door to door at stores and restaurants in New York) and it has dragged us along beside it for fifteen years. I am not sure how. I think being free of constraints from either funders or universities helped a lot. No one told us what to publish, or how. So we kept shifting quickly with the times. We had a lot of music advertisers for a while. When they started suffering, we started attracting more publishers. Also we were different. We were really just about the writing, not who knew whom or who was hot.
 

Q: Though you're an online journal, you only accept postal submissions. Are you looking to add an online submission feature in the future? Why or why not?
 

A: Yes, I would love to save the paper and make things easier for writers. I am carefully researching it right now. There are a lot of issues from the publisher's perspective that perhaps the writer doesn't think about. How do we read thousands of submissions online? If we need to print out, that is a huge expense for us and the green effect is negated. Will writers be more likely to send off inappropriate work if it is easier for them to do so? We will probably end up charging a small fee (less than it would cost the writer to print and mail the manuscript) to cover our printing costs.
 

Q: How has Literal Latté been funded, both now and when you had a print edition? What's your advice for other publishers who might be weighing the benefits of a paid subscription base versus reaching a broader audience?
 

A: When I first moved to New York, I went to a party organized by my alumni association. It was a cocktail party at the Guggenheim and they were charging $20 per person in the 1980s. It was expensive. It was a fancy, tiny event. I went to an organizational meeting for the next year's event and said, why not just get some jugs of wine and a big wheel of cheese and charge $5 per person. They said, sure, you organize it if you think it will work. They were obviously not convinced. But I did do it and it did work. Their way they had brought in about 20 people and made no money. My way, they had over a hundred people come, they made money and it was more fun and effective. That is my economic and literary theory in a nutshell.

Of course, it is different when you have big costs. As I have mentioned, paper and ink are expensive and they cannot be replaced with cheap wine (although wine helps!). But now you can replace your paper and ink costs with cheap online production costs, bringing in not just new but larger audiences.

In the old days we were funded by advertisements, subscriptions (even though we were free we had subscribers outside of New York City and folks who did not want to miss a copy) and finally writing contests: the magic litmag triumvirate (although most have grants instead of ads as the primary income).

Now, we still have contests. We will soon have ads on the site as well. I am still prepping for that (learning the lingo). We just eliminated the subscription income. We also hope to make money from sales of our new anthology in both hardcover and paperback. That is exciting for us as the newsprint format, although more tangible than web format, was never as eternal as the book format. So we have gone virtual and more eternal this year.

To get back to your question...As you can imagine, I am all for the broader audience if a magazine can swing it. Of course if you are affiliated with a university, there will be more issues with a virtual format, I imagine—access and privacy issues. If you are getting grants, they may also demand a more tangible subscriber base or prefer a local thrust.

But I think paid subscriptions are getting more and more limiting as more is available free online. I find, to my delight and horror, that I spend too much time reading free content online. How are traditional mags going to battle that if they expect readers to pay? The literary world is already small, we need to bring in as many readers as possible. We will never be popular in a romance novel kind of way. But we can try to be as inclusive as possible by being free and friendly.
 

Q: How would you describe the aesthetic of Literal Latté? Are there genres and styles that would not be appropriate for your pages? Conversely, is there a type of work that you wish you received more often?
 

A: Eclectic. I always say a great meal comes in a feast of flavors and textures and we try to achieve that in Literal Latté. We don't accept issue by issue. We accept what we love and put together a tasty combo each issue from what we have. There is not any style that would not be appropriate. Literary horror, intelligent children's stories...we love to find great writing in any flavor. I am always surprised that the percentage of essays we receive is smaller than the number of poets. Wouldn't you think there would be more memoirists than poets out there?
 

Q: Why "food verse"? Tell us some of the more imaginative ways that your authors have handled this topic. What don't you want to see?
 

A: We say for the Food Verse Awards that we want poems with "food as an ingredient." The poem doesn't have to be about food, although it can be. It just needs to use food wisely, even if the poem is about politics. I make a lot of bad food puns playing with the name Literal Latté (stimulating careers, caffeinating minds). I hope the poets do a better job than I do! We just decided it would be a fun award to run as we were in so many food joints and had a foodie name.
 

Q: Who screens the contest entries, and what criteria are uppermost in their minds?
 

A: One of the great things about contests for writers is that the magazine must pick a winner from what they have. That means they can have a better chance of success than in a general submission pile. I think it is important to have one person do the first screen of all the contest entries so that there is a level playing field. For a contest you are picking not just the best work, but the best within a limited group. My mom or I do the first screen on contests. She was an editor at Dell when I was a baby and we think very much alike. It is weird. After the first screen we go through again and again. Looking for lyrical language, unique visions, pearls of any sort. We are purely looking for quality and creativity. When we accept something and it turns out the writer has never or rarely been published, we are thrilled. I find that it is the writing that sticks with me that works best. If I read a pile of maybes and come back to them a week later and find that one is still vivid in my mind, that means a lot. I think if the work is sharp, it sticks!
 

Q: How many submissions do you receive for each contest, how many make it to the final judges, and how many are offered publication?
 

A: We receive 100-400 submissions per contest. It really depends on the year and the contest. The short short and food verse are inherently smaller groups, self-limiting in their particular natures. That is why the prizes are $500 instead of $1,000. But considering we accept 1% of submissions in general, it ups your chances. Even in a large batch, I am committed to taking at least three (first, second and third prize) and frequently do honorable mentions as well, from that group, so the writer's chances are enhanced. If I strongly feel two pieces tie, I will split an award to give both credit. Usually about ten make it to the final stages of deliberation. That's where the agonizing starts. All pieces are considered for publication, so sometimes something that doesn't win or get honorable mention still gets published as it satisfies us, or harmonizes with other work, in a different way.
 

Q: What's the best advice you ever received as a writer? As an editor?
 

A: I am really not a writer although I write the occasional review or essay. Jeff is the writer in the family and I am the editor. It is a great balance. Probably the best advice I get is from Jeff who always makes me keep going no matter how much I want to flag!!
 

Q: What other literary journals or contemporary writers would you recommend to writers seeking to get published in Literal Latté?
 

A: I don't think reading other specific litmags or writers prepares one for getting published in Literal Latté. What is important is keeping a balance. Reading—exposing yourself to classics and contemporaries—as you keep writing and sending out. It is probably as enlightening to read the things that are not like us as things that are. It is important for me as I read manuscripts too. To keep reading many other things, varied things, so I keep perspective. It seems to me that asking what to read to prep for Literal Latté is like asking who they should date to prepare them for dating one particular person. No one date will prepare them, but many will, giving a broad spectrum of what is out there. What they want and don't want. Need and don't need. If you read enough, you will get a better sense of where your work fits in and how. And where it doesn't fit. If you think it fits in Literal Latté, I hope we hear from you!

 

Winter 2009-2010

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