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

Press 53 Award
for Short Fiction
Wendy J. Fox
winner of the 
2014 Press 53 Award
for Short Fiction
Elizabeth Gonzalez of Lancaster, PA, Winner of the
The Universal Physics of Escape
Pre-order now!
Ships October 5
The 2016 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction, to be awarded annually to an outstanding, unpublished short story collection.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. The winner of this contest will receive publication by Press 53, a $1,000 cash advance, a quarter-page ad in Poets & Writers Magazine, and ten copies of the book; all prizes will be awarded upon publication.

Dates for submission: 
September 1, 2015—December 31, 2015. Submissions will close at midnight Eastern time.

The winner of the Press 53 Award for Poetry will be announced no later than May 1, 2016, on the Press 53 website, and via email, Facebook, and Twitter. A list of finalists and semi-finalists will also be announced at that time.

The author of the winning manuscript will receive a cash advance of $1,000, publication of the manuscript in October 2016 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 a quarter-page ad in Poets & Writers Magazine announcing the winner.

How to submit: 
ONLINE: Press 53 will take electronic submissions via Submittable, your online submissions manager.

By MAIL: Send one printed copy of your manuscript. 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.

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 submission.

Judging: Press 53 founder and editor-in-chief Kevin Morgan Watson 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.

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 work for Press 53 or have published a book with Press 53 are not eligible to enter.

Manuscript Guidelines:
  1.Manuscripts should be no less than 100 pages and no more than 250 pages in length, double-spaced in a standard 12-pt. 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. NOTE: An acknowledgments page is not necessary.

  5.Stories previously published in journals, magazines or anthologies, and stories that have won awards, may be (and probably should be) included in the manuscript.

  6.Previously published story collections are not eligible, including self-published collections available as ebooks or in print.

  7.Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition for consideration. Each submission will require a separate reading fee.

  8.Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please withdraw your manuscript immediately if it is accepted by another publisher. Withdrawal can be completed via Submittable, or if mailed, send an email to asking that your entry be withdrawn. Reading fees are not refundable.

  9.Confirmation of receipt will be sent via e-mail by Submittable immediately after submission. If entering by mail, you will receive an email notifying you that your entry has been registered. An announcement of our winner and finalists will be sent to all entrants via email and posted on the Press 53 website, Facebook and Twitter at the time we announce our winner.

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, 2015 and will close at midnight Eastern Standard Time on December 31, 2015. Press 53 reserves the right to extend the deadline.
Enter online or by mail. Details below.

New for 2016

Winning author receives $1,000 advance plus a 1/4-page color ad in Poets & Writers Magazine!

Reading fee $30

2014 Wendy J. Fox of Denver, CO, for The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories

2015 Elizabeth Gonzalez of Lancaster, PA, for The Universal Physics of Escape