Walrus Publishing, Inc.

Writing Contests for January

International Publication Opportunity

Domestic Publication Opportunities

Fish Publishing Short Memoir Contest

David Shields, the Judge for the inaugural Fish Short Memoir Contest famously said – It’s all in the art, you get no credit for living. Isn’t that the case? It is often said that everyone has a novel in them, even if it is only one. Not true. But everyone must have a memoir. A memoir gives license – to interpret, to create, to fabricate, to make sense of a life, or part of that life. Go for it! Write a piece of your life, send it to Fish. Who knows, it might be published. David Shields might look at it and think that this life, this piece of writing, has something that needs to be said. Needs to be heard. Might be the start of something. The Fish Short Memoir Contest is a new venture. A chance to get your memoir published in the 2012 Fish Anthology. The Anthology will be launched during the West Cork Literary Festival, Bantry in July 2012. David Shields, author of “Reality Hunger” (will be selecting 10 memoirs to be published in the 2012 anthology. The Fish Short Memoir Contest welcomes memoirs written in English, with a maximum of 4,000 words Competition Summary 2011/12  Deadline: 30th January 2012; Results announced: 30 March 2012; Anthology published: July 2012

Fees: Online Entries: €15 (€10 subsequent entries). Postal entries: €17 (€12 subsequent entries) Euros.

Prizes: The winner and nine runners-up will be published in the 2012 Fish Anthology.

  • First Prize – €2,000(of which €1,000 is for travel expenses to the launch of the Anthology.)
  • Second Prize – one week’s accommodation at Writers’ Retreat Casa Ana, Las Alpujarras, Spain plus €300 towards travel expenses.

The Rules: No entry form is needed. Entry is mostly on-line, or by post if required. 

  • You may enter as many times as you wish.
  • The competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English.
  • There is no restriction on theme or style.
  • Maximum number of words is 4,000.
  • The winning memoirs must be available for the anthology and, therefore, must not have been published previously.
  • Fish holds publishing rights for one year after publication. Copyright then reverts to the author.
  • Notification of receipt of entry will normally be by email.
  • The judges’ verdict is final.
  • No correspondence will be entered into once work has been submitted.
  • Memoirs cannot be altered or changed after they have been entered. Judging at all stages is anonymous. Names or addresses must not appear on the stories, but on a separate sheet if entering by post, or in the appropriate place if entering online.
  • The memoir competition is open to writers of any nationality writing in English.
  • Overall winners of the Fish Short Memoir Prize may enter again, but will not be eligible for the first prize
  • A writer who has had two memoirs in Fish Anthologies from the Short Memoir Prize, may not enter for three years. They may enter other Fish Prizes in that time. (This is designed to give opportunities to emerging writers)
  • Entry is taken to be acceptance of these rules

See http://author.fishpublishing.com/ for more information.

Wednesday Club of St. Louis – Poetry Contest

Deadline:  February 1, 2012

Fee:  FREE!

First Prize:  $500

Second Prize:  $300

Third Prize:  $150

Eligibility: Adults over 18 years, living within a 50-mile radius of St. Louis. Any person having won first prize in the contest twice with the last five years is ineligible for further cash awards but may be cited for honors

Rules: Submit two-typed poems, which have never been published or won an award; use 81/2″ X 11″ pager with no more than one poem to a page; sign with pen name only. Type real name, address, e-mail address and telephone number on a separate sheet of paper and enclose with poems. NO manuscripts returned. Send to: Carol Layton, Original Poetry Contest, 112 Swan Ave., St. Louis, MO 63122; Judge Mark Halliday professor at Ohio University.

Ohio State University Press Prize in Short Fiction

Rules: This annual award is given to the manuscript collection of short fiction selected by an independent judge to be the best submitted. The winning author will receive publication under a standard book contract that includes a cash prize of $1,500 as an advance against royalties. The winner and finalists will be announced before June 30.

Eligibility Requirements: Submissions may include short stories, novellas, or a combination of both (but a single novella is not an eligible submission).

  • The competition is open to all writers in English.
  • Previously published stories or novellas may be included in the manuscript.
  • Current students and employees of The Ohio State University are ineligible.
  • Manuscripts must be between 150 and 300 typed pages (approx. 40,000 to 80,000 words).
  • Individual stories or novellas in the collection may not exceed 125 pages (approx. 35,000 words).
  • No translations unless done entirely by the author.

Submission Format:

  • Manuscripts must be typed, double-spaced, on quality white 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, 250–300 words per page, one side only, pages numbered consecutively.
  • Crisp photocopies are acceptable.
  • Your identity is not revealed to the judges, so your name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Instead, please include the following with your submission:
    • a cover sheet with name, street and email address, and phone numbers
    • an acknowledgement page with publication history for any previously published work
    • a title page listing title and approx. word count
    • a table of contents page listing only the stories and/or novellas and page numbers
  • Include a self-addressed stamped envelope so we can notify you of the contest results.
  • Include a self-addressed stamped postcard if you wish to receive confirmation of receipt of your manuscript.
  • OSU Press assumes no responsibility for lost or damaged manuscripts.
  • Do not send your only copy. Manuscripts will not be returned.

Deadline information Manuscripts must be postmarked in the month of January, 2012 and be accompanied by a nonrefundable fee of $20 (U.S. dollars). Send check or money order (no cash) made payable to The Ohio State University.

Mail to:

Fiction Editor
The Ohio State University Press
180 Pressey Hall
1070 Carmack Road
Columbus, OH 43210-1002

North Carolina Writers Network

Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize The Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize honors internationally celebrated North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe. The winner receives $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review. The competition is open to all writers regardless of geographical location or prior publication. This prize is administered by poet Anthony S. Abbott, the Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of English at Davidson College in Davidson, NC.   Josephine Humphreys (Dreams of Sleep) will judge the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize. Postmark deadline: January 30, 2012

Fee: An entry fee must accompany the manuscript: $15 for NCWN members, $25 for nonmembers.

Eligibility and Guidelines:

  • The competition is open to all writers regardless of geographical location or prior publication.
  • Submit two copies of an unpublished fiction manuscript not to exceed 12 double-spaced pages (1″ margins, 12-pt. font).
  • Author’s name should not appear on manuscripts. Instead, include a separate cover sheet with name, address, phone number, e-mail address, word count, and manuscript title.
  • You may pay the member entry fee if you join the NCWN with your submission. $75 individual fee; $55 for seniors (65 or older), students, persons with disabilities. Checks should be made payable to the North Carolina Writers’ Network.
  • Entries will not be returned.
  • The winner is announced each April.
  • Send submission to: Professor Tony Abbott,  PO Box 7096
    Davidson College, Davidson, NC 28035

The Madison Review hosted by University of Wisconsin-Madison

Manuscripts must be previously unpublished and should be typed, double-spaced, with standard 1″ margins. We consider short stories with a maximum of 30 pages. We consider up to 5 poems with a combined 15 page maximum. Simultaneous submissions are welcome as long as you notify us of publication elsewhere. Submissions should include a cover-letter complete with contact information and the name(s) of your story or poem(s). A note on the submission fee:  Although we hate the idea of further burdening penniless poets, we have decided to charge two dollars per submission. Rest assured, the change we’ll be collecting (about what you would have spent on postage) will be put to good use. Thanks for understanding. And your money.

The Madison Review also hosts two prize contests: The Madison Review annually hosts the Phyllis Smart-Young Prize in Poetry and the Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction. The finest unpublished short story (30 page max), and the finest group of three unpublished poems (5 pages each max) will be awarded $1,000 with publication in an issue of The Madison Review. Deadline: The Madison Review accepts contest submissions from December 1st through February 1st. Writers may submit one entry per genre (one short story and/or group of three poems).

Phyllis Smart Young Prize in Poetry

Fee: $10.00

Size limit: 15 page max (pdf, .doc files) The finest triad of poems are awarded $1,000 and publication in the fall issue of The Madison Review! Submissions accepted December 1st-February 1st. Manuscripts must be previously unpublished and should be double-spaced, with standard 1″ margins and 12 pt font. 15 page maximum for combined 3 poem. Only one submission is allowed per person per contest.

For more information see http://madisonreview.submishmash.com/submit/9422.

Chris O’Malley Prize in Fiction

Fee:  $10.00

Size limit: 30 page max (pdf, .doc files) The finest unpublished short story is awarded $1,000 and publication in the fall issue of The Madison Review! Submissions for the prize are accepted December 1st- February 1st. 30 page maximum for short stories. Only one submission is allowed per person per contest. Manuscripts must be previously unpublished and should be double-spaced, with standard 1″ margins and 12 pt font.

For submission, go to: http://madisonreview.submishmash.com/submit/9422/account

The Iowa Review Contest

Each January, The Iowa Review holds a writing contest in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. Judges for the 2012 Iowa Review Awards are Timothy Donnelly (poetry), Ron Currie, Jr. (fiction), and Meghan Daum (nonfiction).

Fees: Enclose a $20 entry fee; make checks payable to The Iowa Review.

Prizes:  Winners receive $1,500; first runners-up receive $750. Winners and runners-up are published in our December 2012 issue.


  • Submit up to 7,500 words of prose (double-spaced) or 10 pages of poetry (one poem or several, but no more than one poem per page). Work must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are fine assuming you inform us of acceptance elsewhere.
  • Judges will select winners from a group of finalists chosen by Iowa Review editors. All manuscripts, whether selected as finalists or not, are considered for publication.
  • Manuscripts must include a cover page listing your name, address, e-mail address and/or telephone number, and the title of each work, but your name should not appear on the manuscript itself.
  • Enclose an additional $10 for a yearlong subscription to the magazine (optional).
  • Label your envelope as a contest entry, for example Contest: Fiction.
  • One entry per envelope. (If you submit more than one entry, even within the same genre, you must enclose a $20 entry fee with each entry.)
  • Postmark submissions between January 1 and January 31, 2012.
  • Enclose a SASE for final word on your work. (Manuscripts will not be returned.)

Mail submissions to:
The Iowa Review, 308 EPB
University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242

Eligibility and Conflicts of Interest
Current students, faculty, or staff of the University of Iowa are not eligible to enter the contest. Work is ineligible to win our contest if it is slated for publication before December 2012, whether in another magazine or as part of a book, or if it has been named winner or runner-up in any other contest. Please withdraw work from our contest immediately if these conditions apply. Judges are instructed not to award the prize to entrants with whom they have had a personal or professional relationship. Despite reading the entries with author names removed, judges may sometimes be able to guess the identity of the entrant. Even if they can’t tell during the judging process, they have the right to change their decision if it turns out that the entrant is someone with whom there is any appearance of conflict of interest. Therefore, we advise entrants not to enter the contest if the judge is someone they know personally or have worked with professionally.

Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award

Guidelines for the Very Short Fiction Award Category: We are interested in reading your original, unpublished very short stories.

Fee: $15 per story

Prizes: 1st place wins $1,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue. 2nd-place: $500. 3rd-place: $300.

Deadline: January 31, 2012.

  1. We don’t publish stories for children, I’m sorry.
  2. It’s fine to submit more than one story or to submit the same story to different categories.
  3. When we accept a story for publication, we are purchasing first-publication rights. (After we’ve published it, you can include it in your own collection.)
  4. To make a submission, Please send your work via our new on-line submission procedure. It’s easy, will save you postage and paper, and is much easier on the environment. Just go to Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award and click the yellow Submissions button to get started.
  5. Dates: The category will be open for one full month, from the first day through midnight (Pacific time) of the last day of the month. Results will be posted at www.glimmertrain.org. January results will be posted on March 31.
  6. Open to all writers. We look forward to reading your work!

One of the most respected short-story journals in print, Glimmer Train Stories is represented in recent editions of the Pushcart Prize, New Stories from the Midwest, O.Henry, New Stories from the South, Best of the West, and Best American Short Stories anthologies. In a year’s time we pay writers over $47,000, nearly a third of that going to new writers.

Chattahoochee Review; Lamar York Prize

Deadline: January 31, 2012

Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Chattahoochee Review is given annually for an essay.

Entry Fee: $15

Submit an essay of up to 5,000 words with a $15 entry fee, which includes a subscription to Chattahoochee Review, by January 31. Send an SASE or visit the website for complete guidelines  (which are currently being revised).Chattahoochee Review, Lamar York Prize, Georgia Perimeter College, 555 North Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021. Anna Schachner, Editor.

Website: www.chattahoochee-review.org; E-mail address:  gpccr@gpc.edu

Black Lawrence Press: Big Moose Prize

Each year, Black Lawrence Press will award The Big Moose Prize for an unpublished novel. The prize is open to new, emerging, and established writers. The winner of this contest will receive book publication, a $1,000 cash award, and ten copies of the book. Prizes will be awarded on publication.

Deadline: January 31, 2012 ; to enter, please refer to the guidelines below.

How to submit:


In order to reduce the costs of printing and postage and in the spirit of being a bit greener, Black Lawrence Press now accepts electronic submissions rather than hard copies for our contests. Please submit your manuscript and submission fee via Submishmash.

Need help with our submissions manager? Visit submishmash.zendesk.com/home

Deadline: January 31, 2012.  About the judges: Black Lawrence Press does not use interns to screen entries. All entries are judged by the editors. Notification: Because of the high volume of entries received, all finalists and semi-finalists will be announced on the Black Lawrence Press blog. All finalists will be announced on or before March 15 of each year. The winner will be announced shortly thereafter. Other Notes: Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but you must notify Black Lawrence Press immediately if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere for publication.  All finalists will be considered for standard publication. In addition to each year’s winner, Black Lawrence Press often offers standard publication to one or more other finalists.

California Gold Poetry and Prose

Deadline:  January 31, 2012

Prize:  $250 for best of four categories

For more information go to http://www.amykitchenerfdn.org/

2 comments for “Writing Contests for January

  1. January 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Thanks for all the great contest info!

    • lisamiller
      January 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      You are most welcome! Check out the Walrus Contest too!