2015 Contest Results

Thank you to everyone who entered our 2015 Fiction & Poetry Contests. The contests are now closed, and the judges have selected their winners from a group that Stuart Dybek called "one of the best batch of finalists [he’s] seen." Having seen the whole batch, our staff would have to agree with him.


Winners each receive $1,000 and publication in Third Coast


Fiction Judge (and Third Coast founding editor) Stuart Dybek  has chosen Bradley Bazzle's “Trash Mountain” as winner of the 2015 Jaimy Gordon Fiction Prize. Of "Trash Mountain," Stuart Dybek writes: "I felt the subversive, humorous spirit of Mark Twain in the story, Twain if he lived by a dump instead of a river. There's life on the page here—on every page." Congratulations, Bradley!

As Honorable Mention, Dybek chose Matthew Pitt's story "Genesis Sweet."


Jaimy Gordon Prize Finalists

Randall Brown, “If Life Were Mean”
Katie Dieter, “Intruder”
Michael Hawley, “Composition 360”
Bradford Kammin, “What Falls to the Floor Must be Swept Away”
Marina Petrova, "Bolano"
Ronit Feinglass Plank, “House in the Woods”


Thank you to all who entered their stories for consideration; you will receive a one-year subscription beginning with our 40th birthday issue this fall. And thank you to judge Stuart Dybek for kicking off 20 years of Third Coast, and then coming back for more.

Our poetry judge, Ralph Angel, has selected Kevin McLellan's poem "Thereafter" as the winning poem in this year's contest. Congrats, Kevin! Regarding "Thereafter," Ralph Angel writes: "Sometimes language speaks louder than words. And sometimes self-consciousness keeps up with it—the language for which we have no language—'the something // out there after you.' 'Thereafter' is a marvelous depiction of the mind in action."

The 2015 Poetry Contest Honorable Mention is Don Judson, for "Tommy—”

Poetry Prize Finalists

Ruth Baumann for "Missing Persons Report, With Knives"
David Welch for "Barns are Painted Red Because of the Physics of Dying Stars"
John Sibley Williams for "Bone River"
Jane Wong for "Burning It Down"

Congratulations to our winner and to all our finalists! Thanks to Ralph Angel for his service as this year's judge, and thanks to everyone who submitted to this year's contest, as we had an overwhelming number of very excellent poems to choose from!

2016 Contest Guidelines

Third Coast accepts submissions exclusively via our Submittable account, found here.

Submit one previously unpublished story of up to 9,000 words or up to three (3) previously unpublished poems at a time in ONE file. All manuscripts should be typed and double-spaced. Please include entry title and page numbers on all prose manuscript pages. Since the judging is blind, the author’s name and identifying information (including address, email, phone number, and bio) should only appear in the "cover letter" box; identifying information must NOT appear anywhere on the manuscript itself. Manuscripts with names left on them may be disqualified.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted; if accepted elsewhere, we ask that the work be withdrawn from the contest immediately. If a piece is chosen as a finalist, Third Coast asks that it be withdrawn from any other publication considerations until our judge selects a winner. 

Multiple entries are permitted, but each entry must be submitted separately.

Writers associated with the judges, WMU, or Third Coast are not eligible to submit work to the contest.

The $16 entry fee (payable online, or by check for postal entries) entitles the submitter to a one-year subscription or gift subscription to Third Coast. No money will be refunded. Submissions will not be returned. Postal entries may be mailed to: Third Coast Contests, Western Michigan University, English Department, Kalamazoo MI 49008

The deadline to submit work for both contests is January 15, 2016. Winners will be announced in April 2016 and published in Third Coast. All contest entries will be considered for publication in Third Coast.

We look forward to reading your work!

Congratulations to our 2012 Gordon Prize-winner,
CJ Hauser. Her debut novel, The From-Aways, is
now available from William Morrow.