Thursday 15 December 2016

2017 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

The Press 53 Award for Short Fiction is awarded annually to an outstanding, unpublished short story collection. This contest is open to any writer, 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.


The winner of this contest will receive publication by Press 53 under a standard publishing contract, a $1,000 cash advance, a quarter-page color ad in Poets & Writers magazine, and ten 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. Pay through Submittable if submitting online, or include a check or money order payable to Press 53 along with your mailed entry.

Dates for submission:

September 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016. Submissions will close at midnight Eastern time.

Simultaneous submissions:

Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw your manuscript immediately if it is accepted for publication elsewhere. Withdrawal can be completed via Submittable, or, if mailed, by sending an email to asking that your entry be withdrawn. Reading fees are not refundable.

Announcement of winner:

The winner of the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will be announced no later than May 1, 2017, on the Press 53 website, Facebook, Twitter, and via email to our subscribers. A list of finalists will also be announced at that time.

How to enter:

Press 53 accepts electronic submissions via Submittable, your online submissions manager.

By MAIL: Send one printed copy of your manuscript (formatting guidelines below). Include one cover sheet with the title of your entry and your contact information, and mail to:

Press 53

560 N. Trade Street, Suite 103

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Confirmation of entry:

Confirmation of receipt of your entry will be sent via e-mail from Submittable. If entering by mail, you will receive an email notifying you that your entry has been received and logged. An announcement of our winner and finalists will be sent to all entrants via email and posted for the general public on the Press 53 website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Multiple entries:

Writers may enter multiple manuscripts. A separate reading fee is required for each entry. Manuscripts entered by mail may be grouped and mailed together with one check to cover all reading fees.


Kevin Morgan Watson, Publisher and Editor in Chief of Press 53, will be the only judge for the competition; the manuscripts will be 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, individual manuscript feedback or critique is not possible.


The competition is open to manuscripts written in the English language from writers 18 and older, regardless of 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 manuscript.


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

Manuscript Guidelines (please read carefully):

1. Manuscripts should contain a collection of short stories and may include one, and only one, novella (a story that exceeds 12,500 words). Total page count should be no less than 100 pages and no more than 250 pages in length, double-spaced in a standard 12-point font, such as Times New Roman, Garamond, etc. We do not favor one length over the other. We are only concerned with the quality of the stories.

2. The author's name should not appear on the manuscript; the title of the manuscript and author's contact information should be on a separate cover letter.

3. Manuscript pages should be numbered.

4. Include a table of contents.

5. An acknowledgments page for previous publications is not necessary.

If you have any questions or concerns, other than technical issues with the submissions manager, please contact

Submissions for the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will open September 1, 2016 and will close at midnight Eastern Standard Time on December 31, 2016. Press 53 reserves the right to extend the deadline.

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