Exploring the art of fiction


CRAFT Short Fiction Prize


2020 CRAFT Short Fiction Prize

Guest Judge: Alexander Chee

Open: March 1 to April 30, 2020


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  • Open March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020
  • CRAFT Short Fiction Prize submissions are open to all writers
  • International submissions are allowed
  • Short fiction only
  • Please submit work in English only
  • 5,000 word count maximum
  • We review literary fiction, but are open to a variety of genres and styles—our only requirement is that you show excellence in your craft
  • Previously unpublished work only—we do NOT review reprints for contests
  • We allow simultaneous submissions—writers please notify us and withdraw your piece if your work is picked up elsewhere
  • We allow multiple submissions—please submit each piece as a separate submission accompanied by a reading fee
  • $20 reading fee per story/entry
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in CRAFT
  • All submissions must be made via Submittable
  • All entrants will receive an exclusive digital compilation next fall that includes: the winning pieces with Alexander Chee’s introductions and the winners’ craft essays; excerpts from the finalist pieces; notes from the readers and editors about the reading process; and more
  • Please, please, double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 pt font
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable)

Friends, family, and associates of the judge are not eligible for consideration for the award.

The writers of the top three stories will receive:
  • Winner: $2,000 award and a subscription to Journal of the Month
  • Runners-up: $500 and $300 award respectively for the second and third place finalists
  • Publication of the top three stories in CRAFT, each with an introduction by Alexander Chee
  • Publication of an Author’s Note (craft essay) to accompany the story by each of the writers of the top three entries

photo by M. Sharkey

Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels EdinburghThe Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical NovelHis essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, T Magazine, Harpers, Vulture, and Best American Essays 2016 and 2019, among others. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose, the AAWW Lit Award, the Publishing Triangle’s Randy Shilts Nonfiction Award, and a Lambda Literary Trustees Award. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, an editor at large at VQR, and teaches as an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.