Literary Contest Submissions


We accept submissions of previously unpublished poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for our annual literary contest. Although the contest theme is open, we are especially interested in work that relates to our mission, which is promoting self-reliance, environmental stewardship, and local economies. Winning entries, as well as finalists and semifinalists, are published in The New Southerner Literary Edition, available in print.

  • Prizes: $200 for winners of Fiction, Nonfiction, and the James Baker Hall Memorial Prize in Poetry and publication in the literary edition;
  • Contest fee: $10 per entry. One entry is one piece of prose up to 5,000 words or one poem up to 100 lines;
  • Multiple entries are accepted;
  • Simultaneously submitted entries are accepted as long as you notify us promptly if your work is accepted elsewhere; entry fee is not refundable;
  • Winners of first place prizes are not eligible to participate in the same genre in successive years; for example, the 2016 James Baker Hall Memorial Prize recipient is ineligible to participate in the 2017 poetry contest, but is permitted to enter in fiction or nonfiction in 2017. In addition, the 2016 JBH prize winner may participate in the poetry category, or any other category, in 2017.
  • Postmark deadline: December 1;
  • Winners will be notified by January 15;
  • Finalists and winning entries will be announced in The New Southerner Literary Edition, available in April.
  • New Southerner reserves the right not to select a winner in any category if a suitable entry cannot be found.


New Southerner editors and advisory board members blindly review and select the top five entries in each category. Final judges select winning entries. This year’s final judges will be announced in September.


Submissions will be accepted through Submittable when the contest is open. Work should be single or double spaced with one-inch margins and saved as a word document, rich text file, or plain text file. If your name appears anywhere on the entry, it will be removed before the judging process. Payment must be made at the time of submission. Entries received without payment will be discarded.

If you are interested in submitting nonfiction works to our regular online edition, click here for our guidelines.

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