Winter 2011 Story Contest


Our winter contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers. We’re looking for short stories, short shorts, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, one-act plays, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest.

Prior winners and finalists in Narrative contests have gone on to win other contests and to be published in prize collections, including the Pushcart Prize, Best New Stories from the South, the Atlantic Prize, and others.


As always, we are looking for works with a strong narrative drive, with characters we can respond to as human beings, and with effects of language, situation, and insight that are intense and total. We look for works that have the ambition of enlarging our view of ourselves and the world.


We welcome and look forward to reading your pages.


Awards: 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.

Submission Fee: There is a $20 fee for each entry. And with your entry, you’ll receive three months of complimentary access to Narrative Backstage.

Timing: The contest deadline is March 31, 2011, at midnight Pacific daylight savings time.

Judging: The contest will be judged by the editors of the magazine. Winners and finalists will be announced to the public by April 30, 2011. All writers who enter will be notified by email of the judges’ decisions.

Submission Guidelines: Please read our Submission Guidelines for manuscript formatting and other information.

Other Submission Categories: In addition to our contest, please review our other Submission Categories for areas that may interest you.