Spring 2013 Story Contest


Our spring contest is open to all fiction and nonfiction writers. We’re looking for short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, 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 Entries must be previously unpublished, no longer than 15,000 words, and must not have been previously chosen as a winner, finalist, or honorable mention in another contest.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, the Whiting Writers’ Award, The Best American Short Stories, the Atlantic prize, and others. View some recent awards won by our writers.


As always, we are looking for works with a strong narrative drive, with characters we can respond to, 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.

Click here to submit your work.

[This contest is closed.]


Awards: First Prize is $2,500, Second Prize is $1,000, Third Prize is $500, and up to ten finalists will receive $100 each. All entries will be considered for publication.

Submission Fee: There is a $22 fee for each entry. And with your entry, you’ll receive three months of complimentary access to Narrative Backstage.

All contest entries are eligible for the $4,000 Narrative Prize and for acceptance as a Story of the Week.

Timing: The contest deadline is July 31, 2013, at midnight, Pacific daylight time.

Judging: The contest will be judged by the editors of the magazine. Winners and finalists will be announced to the public by August 31, 2013. All writers who enter will be notified by email of the judges’ decisions, which will be final. The judges reserve the option to declare ties and to designate and award only as many winners and/or finalists as are appropriate to the quality of contest entries and of work represented in the magazine.

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.


Click here to submit your work.

[This contest is closed.]