New Ohio Review’s Inaugural Creative Nonfiction Contest

March 15, 2016 § Leave a comment

Elena Passarello

Elena Passarello, Judge

From the good folks at New Ohio Review:

We’re excited to read your inventive, explosive, irreverent, erudite, impish, expletive-laced (well, maybe not) essays and literary memoirs.

This year’s judge is Elena Passarello. The winner will receive $1000, and the essay will be published in September. Essays that aren’t selected will still be considered for publication.

The contest continues until April 15th, and you get a 1-year subscription to the journal as part of your $20 entry fee. Please check us out on submittable at .


Elena Passarello teaches courses on writing and reading the nonfiction essay. Her own essays discussing pop culture, music, the performing arts, and the natural world have appeared in Oxford American, SlateCreative Nonfiction, Normal School, Ninth Letter, Iowa Review, and the music writing anthology Pop When the World Falls Apart (Duke University Press, 2012).

Her book Let Me Clear My Throat (Sarabande, 2012) won the gold IPPY medal for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. More essays are forthcoming in the anthologies After Montaigne (U. of Georgia Press, 2015) and I’ll Tell You Mine: 30 Years of Nonfiction from the University of Iowa (U. of Chicago Press, 2015), as well as in a collection of criticism and literary essays on cat videos, Cat is Art Spelled Wrong (Walker Art Center/ Coffeehouse Press, 2015).

A recipient of fellowships from Oregon State University’s Center for the Humanities, the MacDowell Colony, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts, and the University of Iowa Museum of Art, she is currently developing her second book, a bestiary of celebrity animals.


CSU Poetry Center Essay Collection Competition

February 17, 2016 § 3 Comments

The Cleveland State University Poetry Center is accepting full-length submissions for their Essay Collection Competition, to be judged by Chris Kraus. The winner will have their book published in a series that serves as a home for innovative, lyric, literary, or experimental nonfiction collections. The first year’s selection, Lily Hoang’s A Bestiary, which was chosen by Wayne Koestenbaum, will be published this spring.

Judge: Chris Kraus

Submission Dates: January 1 – March 31, 2016

Winners will receive $1,000, publication, and a standard royalty contract.

More information here on eligibility and the submission process.

Siblings and Joy and Other Publishing Opportunities

February 17, 2016 § Leave a comment

The Creative Nonfiction staff shared a happy moment with the Brevity staff recently.

The Creative Nonfiction staff shared a happy moment with the Brevity staff recently.

People sometimes think that Brevity and Creative Nonfiction magazine live under the same roof, but in fact we don’t.  Not at all.  We are just good friends.  Ignore any other rumors you hear.

But we like what they do, and we like to share what they are doing next.  Here is their latest call for submissions:

Siblings (a book)
What to send: True stories that capture the complexities and comforts of sibling relationships. We hope to represent the widest possible variety of these relationships—whether adoptive or biological, step or full, human or animal, one or many.

Guidelines for the Siblings Anthology.

May 16
Joy (a special issue of CNF)
What’s on the line: $1,000 for best essay; $500 for runner-up; publication in CNF.

What we’re looking for: Well-crafted narratives that explore the brighter moments in life, those that teach and enlighten us through their beauty or humor. Send us your true stories of once-in-a-lifetime moments, finding pleasure in small things, or seeking out the joy in the midst of otherwise difficult circumstances.

What to be joyful about: No reading fee for current subscribers!

Guidelines for the Joy Issue.

Pitch Us a Column
What we’re looking for: Have an idea for a literary timeline? An opinion on essential texts for readers and/or writers? An in-depth, working knowledge of a specific type of nonfiction? Pitch us your ideas. We’re always accepting query letters for the non-essay sections of the magazine. We’re especially interested in pitches related to upcoming themes: Childhood and Learning from Nature.

Column Guidelines.

Assay Deadline Three Days Away

December 29, 2015 § 1 Comment

img-thingFrom our friends at Assay:
Assay reads year round, but the deadline for our spring issue is just three days away. Our spring issue will take up issues of diversity in nonfiction, so please send us your articles, conversations, and pedagogy that address diverse nonfiction texts, underrepresented authors, overlooked approaches and experiences, and varied educational environments. We’re looking for all variations of nonfiction studies, whether you’re analyzing the text as composition, literature, or creative writing. We’re excited to see what you send us!
Deadline for full consideration is January 1, 2016. Submission guidelines here.


The Alloy of Hybrid Prose: Rose Metal’s 10th Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest

November 20, 2015 § 2 Comments

From our fine friends at Rose Metal Press (aka the amazing Abby and Kathleen):


Submit, All Ye Faithful! Joyful and Hybrid-umphant!

From November 1 through December 1, we’re holding our 10th Annual Rose Metal Press Short Short Chapbook Contest reading period, so it’s time to gather your best flash (1,000 words or less) and compile them into an amazing 25-40-page manuscript. Flash fiction and flash nonfiction welcome.

If our contest were having a wedding anniversary, it’d be the tin/aluminum one, which seems coincidentally fitting since our press is named after a metal, Rose Metal, an alloy typically used to solder things together. This act of blending two things to make something new has always struck us as apt given our aims as a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres.

To celebrate a decade of our contest, one of the first and few chapbook contests for prose, this year we’re offering a monetary prize to the winner. In addition to having his/her manuscript published as a limited edition chapbook with letterpressed covers and an introduction by the contest judge—the fabulous Ira Sukrungruang—this year’s winner will receive $200.

It’s been an inspiring 10 years of reading many worthy submissions and seeing what gem of a manuscript the judge selects. Past winners include Claudia Smith, Geoffrey Forsyth, Sean Lovelace, Mary Hamilton, Tiff Holland, Aaron Teel, Kim Henderson, Todd Seabrook, and Rosie Forrest, whose chapbooks you can read about in our catalog.  (

We look forward to seeing who Ira will choose as our 10th winner. It could be you—but not if you don’t submit! Learn more about the contest and submit by Dec. 1 here. (

Editor’s Insight Into Redivider’s Blurred Genre Contest

November 17, 2015 § 2 Comments

From the editors at Redivider:

afl03_aerofilms_c11965AO_1.jpgOn November 15, Redivider opened submissions for our first annual Redivider Blurred Genre Contest: Flash Fiction, Flash Nonfiction, and Prose Poetry, and we couldn’t be more excited. Submissions are $6 each, $11 for two, $15 for three, and the $15 submission includes a complimentary, one-year digital subscription to our magazine. Each piece, no matter the genre, must come in at 750 words or fewer, and submissions close on December 31. Entrants may submit as many times as they’d like, to as many categories as they’d like. One winner from each of the three categories will win $250.

Check out the official guidelines.

We have wonderful cast of judges, including Pamela Painter for flash fiction. Author of three story collections and winner of numerous awards, Pamela often works and teaches classes in “very short stories.” About her latest book, Wouldn’t You Like to Know, Alice Hoffman writes, “Pamela Painter has perfected the short short.”

Jerald Walker will judge flash nonfiction. A widely published and anthologized essayist, Jerald won the 2011 PEN New England Nonfiction Award for Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption.

John Skoyles, Ploughshares poetry editor and author of seven books, will field entries for prose poetry. He knows the turf, too, as his collection of prose hybrids, The Nut File, is forthcoming from Quale Press.

The purpose of this contest is to explore, nurture, and celebrate the porous genre boundaries within and between flash prose and prose poetry. These hybrid genres seem to present as many similarities as they do differences. While fiction and nonfiction are often difficult to tell apart–both leaning on reality and imagination–their flash forms also demand attention to the immediacy and lyricism so often found in poetry. Meanwhile, poetry distills reality, imagination, immediacy, lyricism, and more, but written as prose, it sidesteps many of its own formal distinctions. Still, the only definitive similarity between these three genres resides in their form: the phrase, the clause, the sentence, the paragraph. Beyond that, things get slippery.

Subverting expectations. Transgressing boundaries. Challenging norms. Works of flash prose and prose poetry flout conventions of length, line breaks, and genre. Some minimize and some undermine. Some climax and some abscond. Some ache and some reveal. Relying on the tension and elasticity of language to hold their parts together, they de-privilege the ponderous ruminations and rigid strictures of the leisure class; they start late and finish early; they force their readers to ask, what is this?

To approach an answer to what this is, let’s ask around:

Brevity editor Dinty W. Moore, in his introduction to The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction, is reticent to pin down the flash nonfiction genre. Strictly defining art forms, he writes, “is ultimately a fruitless exercise,” so he resorts to metaphor. There’s a fire in forest, Moore says, and if the traditional essayist wanders toward it from the edge of the woods, the flash writer parachutes in and “starts the reader right at that spot, at the edge of the fire, or as close as one can get without touching the actual flame.”

So flash nonfiction burns, glows, radiates heat. Do the others?

Writing about flash fiction, Redivider contributor and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler articulates a similar burning core. In “A Short Short Theory,” appearing in Rose Metal Press’ fiction counterpart to their nonfiction guide, Butler writes, “To be brief, it is a short short story and not a prose poem because it has at its center a character who yearns.” To Butler, a character’s yearning can drive the genre distinction.

But what about prose poetry? Should we expect it to burn, to yearn?

At, our friends at the Academy of American Poets opt for simplicity in their terms. “Though the name of the form may appear to be a contradiction,” they write, “the prose poem essentially appears as prose, but reads like poetry.” So a prose poem is simply a poem in prose’s clothing, characterized by “techniques common to poetry, such as fragmentation, compression, repetition, and rhyme.” There seems here no exclusion of characters yearning or parachutes for that matter, just as neither Moore nor Butler dismiss poetic technique in the prose of their home genres.

So how can we tell what a brief, short, flashy, poetic piece of prose is?

What if a piece simply is what it says it is? What if the only true distinction between flash fiction, flash nonfiction, and prose poetry is that the pieces refer to themselves as such things? But then, each stems from its parent genre, even though flash nonfiction is as far from an essay as the spark from the fire; flash fiction from the short story as the tree from the forest; prose poetry from traditional poetry as the fire jumper from her family. These forms flicker and overlap, leaving a flash in our vision, a crackle in our ears, a whiff of toasted tree sap in the air.

But wait!, you say. We-who-read-literature inherently know the difference between poetry and prose, between fiction and non. Or do we? Can we? Should we? These are the questions we at Redivider, through our Blurred Genre Contest, seek not to answer, but to explore.

We look forward to reading your work, and to nurturing these slippery and subversive literary genres for years to come.

For questions or comments, email us at

Good luck, and happy writing!

Beyond: Essays, Poems, Photos from the Workplace

October 6, 2015 § 1 Comment

A note from our friend Sarah Wells:

I’m excited to announce the launch of a new trade publication, Beyond, the magazine of Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Beyond is a tri-quarterly print publication that will also have a prominent and active web and social presence. The first print issue is scheduled for release in early winter 2016. Issues will be distributed in February, June, and October.

Beyond publishes stories of businesses and business leaders that exemplify the use of design for innovative approaches to management as well as exemplars of business as an agent of world benefit, thus advancing the principles of business management pioneered, taught and practiced by the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.

The magazine’s web presence features reader-submitted articles, supplementary interviews, podcasts, inspirational quotes and other goodies for the savvy, sophisticated, and successful businessperson. The magazine will launch its web contents in January 2016.

There are four columns open to submissions, all related to work. I’m looking for great stories written well. Three of the columns are writing (two brief prose, one poetry) and one is art/photography.

A Case of the Mondays

This humor column looks for the funny in the workplace. Word limit: 250.

Above and Beyond

Share what has inspired you in your work life that makes your work not just bearable but enjoyable. Word limit: 250.

Work in Verse

Beyond will publish one new work-related poem a month on the website and will include one poem in each print issue.


Share photographs of inspirational/aesthetic elements that inspire you in your workspace. Can be submitted via our submission system or using the #BeyondInSight on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Beyond will offer $40 for work published online and $100 for the pieces that are selected for the print publication.

The submission system is now open!

Visit for complete guidelines. Email if you have any questions.

Thank you!

With joy—

Sarah M. Wells
Managing Editor
Weatherhead School of Management
Case Western Reserve University

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