Uncategorized | September 22, 2015


…and why those reasons aren’t true!

1. “I’ve never been published before.”

Neither had all three of our prize winners in 2005—Derek Mong in poetry, Joanna Luloff in fiction, and Erica Bleeg in nonfiction—as well as several other winners before and after that, such as Yuko Sakata in 2011 and Michael Byers in 1993 (both winners in fiction). A previous publication record does not necessarily have a cause-and-effect relationship to winning our Editors’ Prize.

2. “I’ve already been published by The Missouri Review.”

 Well, look at you! But we truly do have winners who’ve never been published and then ones who’ve even been published by us before. All of our 2014 winners—Alexandra Teague in poetry, Rachel Swearingen in fiction, and Andrew Cohen in nonfiction—were veterans of the journal. So it can really go both ways.

3. “The $20 entry fee isn’t legitimate and isn’t worth the gamble.”

 If you take a look at the contest list for literary journal and press awards over at Poets & Writers, you’ll notice that most literary journals and presses ask for fees in order to keep their non-profit afloat and to be able to afford the prize money. Furthermore, most of their prizes are around $1,000 or $2,000—still great, but much less than $5,000. Just saying!

4. “What if I get close to winning, but I still don’t win? What’s the point?”

Even if you don’t win, you could still be named a finalist. We usually choose about three finalists per genre, and we often publish our finalists in later issues and/or in our online feature of Poem of the Week. We pay our contributors, by the way.

5. “What if I don’t win, period?”

 Even if nothing comes of it, submitting to our contest is still good practice. You truly can’t win if you don’t try. We take great care in reading all of our entries (twice!) and if you submit, our editors will be able to recognize your name for next year or for regular submissions. Plus, if all else fails, you still get a year subscription to the journal in either a print or digital format. It’s a win-win!

And, finally:

6. “What if they don’t pick a winner?

For the past twenty-five years, we have always picked a winner in every genre. There will be a winner in every genre this year, too. What if it’s you?

Submit your poetry, fiction, or nonfiction here Deadline is October 1st. We can’t wait to read your submissions!