Mid-March 2015 Fiction Contests and Deadlines

The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction


1st Prize: $1,000
Final Judge: Kristiana Kahakauwila

All manuscripts will be read blindly; readers and editors will not see a contestant’s name or cover letter. The author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript.

Deadline: March 14, 2015
Entry Fee: $20

The 2015 Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction


The Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction was established in 2004 in memory of Liza Nelligan, a writer, editor, and friend of many in Colorado State University’s English Department, where she received her master’s degree in literature in 1992. By giving an award to the author of an outstanding short story each year, we hope to honor Nelligan’s life, her passion for writing, and her love of fiction. The Nelligan Prize is offered annually. The winner receives a $2,000 honorarium and the story is published in the fall/winter issue of Colorado Review.

This year’s final judge is Lauren Groff; friends and students (current & former) of the judge are not eligible to compete, nor are Colorado State University employees, students, or alumni.
There are no theme restrictions, but stories must be under 50 pages.

Deadline: March 14, 2015
Entry Fee: $17

The 24th Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship


The 24th Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship
will be awarded to an American author of a first fiction novel-in-progress, in 2015, by the James Jones Literary Society.  

The award is intended to honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture exemplified by the late James Jones, author of From Here to Eternity and other prose narratives of distinction. Jones himself was the recipient of aid from many supporters as a young writer and his family, friends, and admirers have established this award of $10,000 to continue the tradition in his name. Two runners-up awards of $1000 each will also be given by the Society. All decisions to award or not award prizes annually are at the discretion of the national judges; their decisions are final.

Eligibility: The competition is open to United States citizens who have not previously published a novel.

  • Novels in which one or more chapters have been previously published.
  • Authors who have published other types of work (non-fiction, short stories) but never a novel.
  • Manuscripts may be submitted for publication simultaneously, but the Society must be notified of acceptance elsewhere. Officers of the James Jones Society are not eligible for the award.
  • A two-page (maximum) outline of the entire novel and the first 50 pages of the novel-in-progress are to be submitted. The outline maybe a chapter outline or brief synopsis of the novel.  No specific format is required for the outline.

Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $33

Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series


The Prairie Schooner Book Prize Series welcomes manuscripts from all living writers, including non-US citizens, writing in English. Both unpublished and published writers are welcome to submit manuscripts. However, we will not consider manuscripts that have previously been published, which includes self-publication. Writers may enter both contests. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you notify us immediately if your manuscript is accepted for publication somewhere else. No past or present paid employee of Prairie Schooner or the University of Nebraska Press or current faculty or student at the University of Nebraska will be eligible for the prizes.

Winners will receive $3000 and publication through the University of Nebraska Press.

We prefer that fiction manuscripts be at least 150 pages long and poetry manuscripts at least 50 pages long. Novels are not considered; we will consider manuscripts comprised either entirely of short stories or one novella along with short stories (please do not send a single novella or a collection of novellas).

Deadline: March 15, 2015
Entry Fee: $25