Contest Guidelines

Our 2017 Fiction and Poetry Contests, judged by Desiree Cooper and Natalie Diaz, will run October 15 through January 15. 

Third Coast accepts contest submissions exclusively via our Submittable account.

Winners receive $1,000 and publication in Third Coast. All contest entries will be considered for publication in Third Coast.

Submit one previously unpublished story of up to 9,000 words or up to three previously unpublished poems at a time, in one file.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. Because judging is blind, the author’s name and identifying information (address, email, phone number, and bio) should appear only in the “cover letter” section of the Submittable form; identifying information must not appear anywhere on the manuscript itself. Manuscripts including identifying information will be disqualified.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted, though if work is accepted elsewhere, we ask that it be withdrawn from the contest immediately. If a piece is chosen as a finalist, we ask that it be withdrawn from other publications’ consideration until our judge selects a winner. Multiple entries are permitted, but each entry must be submitted separately.

The $16 entry fee (payable online) entitles the submitter to a one-year subscription to Third Coast. No money will be refunded.

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

2016 Winners

The winners of our 2016 Fiction and Poetry Contests, judged by Bonnie Jo Campbell and Nick Flynn:

Fiction: Bonnie Roop Bowles, “Sapling”

Of “Sapling” Bonnie Jo Campbell writes: “This wise and plain-spoken story weaves a complicated web of land rights, gender transformation, and difficult family love and loyalty. This lively story surprises and confounds its reader and remains true to itself. And somehow it manages to pull off a happy-ish ending. Bravo!”

Poetry: Dennis Hinrichsen, “My Afghanistan”

Of “My Afghanistan” Nick Flynn writes: “‘My Afghanistan’ is a jagged hallucination, a voice inside the head of someone who has seen too much, a hidden narrative that could run alongside or just beneath our strip mall America, written with the strange precision of a dream.”

Both pieces will be published in our next issue. Check your inboxes, submitters, to see if you made our finalist lists!