Saturday 18 June 2016

Under the Gum Tree Inaugural Anniversary Contest #seanocarolan #writing ##Contest

Celebrating 5 Years of Telling Stories Without Shame

Under the Gum Tree invites you to submit today to our first creative nonfiction contest, judged by Brenda Miller! We are so pleased to have Brenda Miller as our inaugural judge for many reasons, and especially because she is a past contributor to Under the Gum Tree. Brenda Miller’s work has received six Pushcart Prizes. Her essays have been published in many journals, including Fourth Genre, Creative Nonfiction, The Sun, The Georgia Review, and The Missouri Review. For more information about Brenda Miller, visit
Contest Theme

The theme of this contest is (un)seen/(un)heard. To us, this theme invites considerations of inclusion and exposure, both the lack and the excess thereof, in terms of content as well as form. Tell us your true story of marginalization or discrimination (cultural, artistic, spiritual, racial, economic, and more). Or turn the old coin over: Tell us your true story of too much power, too much limelight—influence and attention you may have desired, or not, and which may have cost you and/or cost someone else. Tell us your personal story (or the true story of someone you know, and how that story has affected you) that engages with this theme from any/many direction(s). Under the Gum Tree wants your very best writing.

For this contest, we are particularly interested in true stories, articulated in any form (straight-ahead narrative, lyric, modular, etc.), that invite us as readers and people into a space, experience, examination, or contemplation that brings us closer to our raw, complex, and varied humanity/ies, and challenges us to deeper authenticity with ourselves and fuller empathy toward others. Though many of us live in an age of amazing opportunities and freedoms, many of us (sometimes we are the same people) also live a lack of access to, and/or ownership of, core opportunities and freedoms. In our telling of our true stories, we can begin to move out of shame, silence, and loss and create a forum in which respect and honoring are the coins of the realm, a forum in which community lifts up more than it limits. Send us something that calls us out, something that draws us toward others. Send us something that sets us unequivocally on a path toward change. Learn more about our aesthetic at

Submissions Guidelines

To submit an entry for consideration, please note the following and submit accordingly:
Contest submissions should respond to the theme of (un)seen/(un)heard.
Contest submissions are accepted between March 30 - June 30, 2016. (Submissions close promptly at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on 6/30/2016.) Contest entries must be previously unpublished, submitted blind, and not exceed 5,000 words.
Submissions are accepted via Submittable here (*be sure to select the appropriate category*). Multiple submissions are welcome, though only one manuscript is allowed per submission. Current Under the Gum Tree subscribers submit for free (or extend, or give a gift subscription, for the regular submission fees that follow). General submissions bear a $20 reading fee and include a one-year digital subscription (or extension, or gift subscription) to the magazine; a year of the print edition is available for an additional fee, $80, which includes both a print+digital subscription.

**Please Note: Submissions uploaded through the free option by non-subscribers will not be read. If you are not an active subscriber, you can become one by submitting through the $20 option, or, there is also an option to subscribe to the print edition! Head to our Submittable contest page for full details.
Winner & Prizes

One (1) winner will receive the following:
A modest $300 cash prize (and more, if submission fees permit!)
Publication in our January 2017 issue
A one-year subscription to keep or gift.

The winner will also receive the option to guest-edit the features section of a future issue of Under the Gum Tree; in this way, we desire to push the limits of our aesthetic and include more and more voices.

Honorable mention(s) will be published and will receive a one-year subscription to keep or gift, plus a mystery box of inspirational CNF goodies, including books and UTGT swag. We also hope to publish many finalists and other contest entries, so submit today!

Under the Gum Tree is a self-supporting independent literary magazine. The magazine is unaffiliated with any university or other organization and receives no external funding. We hope, as a result of a strong submission pool for this contest, to be able to offer an even more generous cash prize, as all proceeds from submission fees go to the prize pool and contest production costs.

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