Press 53 . PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130-0314


Press 53 Award
for Short Fiction
Press 53 is proud to announce the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction, to be awarded annually to an outstanding, unpublished collection of short stories. 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. The winner of this contest will receive publication, a $1,000 cash advance, travel expenses and lodging for a special reading and book signing party at Press 53 headquarters at the Community Arts Café in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina, attendance to the 2014 Press 53/Prime Number Magazine Gathering of Writers, and ten copies of the book; all prizes will be awarded upon publication.


Dates for submission: September 1, 2013—December 31, 2013.

Shortlist: A shortlist of finalists will be announced March 1, 2014.

Winner: The winner of the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will be announced on May 3, 2014 (National Press 53 Day) on the Press 53 website, Press 53 blog, via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

Award: The author of the winning manuscript will receive a cash advance of $1,000, publication of the manuscript in October 2014 under a standard Press 53 book contract, and 10 copies of the completed book with an option to purchase unlimited copies at a discount for as long as the book is in print. The prize also includes travel expenses to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for a book launch party and reading on Friday, October 17, 2014, and attendance as our special guest to the Press 53/Prime Number Magazine Gathering of Writers on Saturday, October 18, 2014.

How to submit: Press 53 will take electronic submissions via Submittable, your free, online submissions manager; we will not accept paper submissions.

Reading fee: A reading fee of $30 must be paid for each entry. Reading fees are nonrefundable.

Selection process: Press 53 founding editor Kevin Morgan Watson and fiction editor Christine Norris will be the only judges of the contest; the contest will be judged solely on the strength of the stories as a collection.

Eligibility: The competition is open to manuscripts written in the English language from writers at all levels who live in the United States. Authors and editors who have published a book with Press 53 are not eligible to enter.

Manuscript Guidelines:
  1.Manuscripts should be 100 to 250 double-spaced pages. We do not favor one length over the other. We are only concerned with the
      quality of the stories.
  2.The award recognizes an outstanding collection of short fiction. Collections may include flash fiction, short stories, long stories, and may
      include a single novella (est. length of a novella is 50-100 pages). Novels or single novellas alone will not be considered.
  3.Manuscript pages should be numbered.
  4.Include a table of contents.
  5.Use a standard, easy-to-read font such as 12-point Times New Roman and should be double-spaced.
  6.Stories previously published in journals, magazines or anthologies, and stories that have won awards, may be included in the manuscript
      but may not have been previously published in a collection written by the author.
  7.Previously published collections are not eligible, including self-published collections available as ebooks or in print.
  8.Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition for consideration. Each submission will require a separate reading fee.
  9.Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please withdraw your manuscript if it is accepted by another publisher. Withdrawal can 
      be completed via Submittable. Reading fees are not refundable.
10.Confirmation of receipt will be sent via e-mail by Submittable immediately after submission. An announcement of our shortlist and winner
      will be sent to all entrants via email, and posted on the Press 53 website, blog, Facebook and Twitter on the dates indicated above.

If you have any questions or concerns other than technical issues with the submissions manager, please contact Press 53 fiction editor Christine Norris.

Award includes:

Publication by Press 53 of winning short story collection.

$1000 cash advance.

Travel expenses to Press 53 headquarters for a reading/book launch party at the Community Arts Café in downtown Winston-Salem, NC, on Friday, October 17, 2014.

Attendance as our special guest to the Press 53/Prime Number Magazine Gathering of Writers on Saturday, October 18, 2014.


Reading Fee: $30
Press 53 Award for Poetry Open Now!
Click Here for Information
Entries for 2015 will open September 1, 2014

Finalists for the 2014 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction Announced!
Click here to see a list of our ten finalists.
Finalists for the 2014 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction

An Tran of Arlington, VA, for The Message of My Skin

Edward Hamlin of Boulder, CO, for Waiting for El Greco and Other Stories

Elizabeth Oness of Houston, MN, for The Object of Desire

Jodi Barnes of Cary, NC, for Skirting the Dress Code

Katy Resch of Richmond, VA , for Adult Daughters

Liz Prato of Portland, OR, for Baby's on Fire and Other Stories

Marc Nieson of Pittsburgh, PA, for Of Common Pleas: Stories

Nancy Scott Hanway of Saint Paul, MN, for The Importance of Dead Girls and Other Stories

Tyrone Jaeger of Conway, AR, for So Many True Believers

Wendy J. Fox of Denver, CO, for The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories


Congratulations to our finalists. We will announce the winning author and manuscript on May 3, National Press 53 Day. Entries for the 2015 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will open on September 1.
Wendy J. Fox Named Winner of the 2014 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction
Wendy J. Fox of Denver, Colorado, was named the winner of the 2014 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction for her manuscript, The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories

Wendy will receive a $1000 advance, plus travel expenses to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, for the weekend of October 17-19, where she will attend a book launch party for her debut collection of stories and attend the annual Gathering of Writers as our special guest.

Press 53 congratulates Wendy and thanks our other nine finalists, as well as the other 254 authors who entered our inaugural Press 53 Award for Short Fiction.

The 2015 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will open for submissions on September 1, 2014. 
Pre-order your signed copy of The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories. Ships October 19.