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Press 53 Award for Short Fiction (Deadline: December 31)

The Press 53 Award for Short Fiction, awarded annually to an outstanding, unpublished short story collection, is open for entries until December 31, 2023. This competition is open to any writer age 18 or older, regardless of his or her publication history, provided the manuscript is written in English and the author lives in the United States or one of its territories.

Award: The winner of this contest will receive publication by Press 53, a $1,000 cash advance, and 53 copies of the book; all prizes will be awarded upon publication.

Reading fee: A reading fee of $30 must be paid for each entry. Reading fees are nonrefundable.

Dates for submission: Enter September 1 through December 31, 2023.

How to Enter:

  • By US MAIL. To enter by mail, send one printed copy of your manuscript (please follow guidelines below), a cover sheet with the title, your name, and contact information, and a check or money order for the $30 reading fee (payable to Press 53) to:

Press 53
560 N Trade St, Ste 103
Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Announcement of winner: The winner of the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will be announced no later than May 3, 2024, to all entrants by way of Submittable and on the Press 53 website, Facebook, Twitter, and via email to our subscribers. A list of finalists will also be announced at that time.

Confirmation of entry: Confirmation of receipt of your entry will be sent via e-mail by Submittable immediately after submission. For mailed entries, please include a stamped postcard or self-addressed stamped envelope, otherwise we will notify you of receipt by email.

Multiple submissions: Writers may submit multiple story collections. A separate reading fee is required for each entry.

Judging: Claire V. Foxx, Press 53 Short Fiction Editor, will be the only judge for the competition; the story collections will be judged “blind” and judged solely on the strength of the stories as a collection, and the winning collection will be published by Press 53. The judge’s decision is final. Please note: due to the volume of entries, feedback or critique on individual stories or the collection is not possible.

Eligibility: The competition is open to manuscripts written in the English language from writers 18 years of age and older, regardless of their publishing history, who live in the United States or one of its territories. Previously published stories may be (and probably should be) included in the collection.

Ineligibility: Previously published story collections, including self-published collections available in print or ebook, are not eligible. Individuals who work for Press 53 or have published a book with Press 53 are not eligible to enter.

Story Collection Guidelines:

  • Manuscripts should contain a collection of short stories, which can include flash fiction, and may include one, and only one, novella (defined here as a story of 12,000 to 25,000 words).
  • Manuscript must include a table of contents with page numbers. The stories should be double-spaced with pages numbered and set in a standard 12-point font (such as Times New Roman, Minion, Garamond, etc.).
  • Manuscript should be around 100 to no more than 250 pages in length. Stories previously published in magazines, journals, and elsewhere can be (a probably should be) included in the manuscript.
  • The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript. If submitting online, the Press will find your contact information via Submittable after the winner has been selected. If submitting by mail, please include a cover sheet with the title, your name, and contact information.
  • An acknowledgments page for previous publications of stories in the collection is not necessary.

Submissions for the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will close at midnight Eastern Time on December 31, 2023. Press 53 reserves the right to extend the deadline.

See full submission guidelines.