Contest Guidelines

Submissions to our 2018 Fiction and Poetry Contests, judged by Danielle Evans and Sarah Kay, will be open from October 15th through January 31st.

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Submit one previously unpublished story of up to 9,000 words or up to three previously unpublished poems at a time, in one file.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 fiction manuscripts should be double-spaced. Please include entry title and page numbers on all 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Simultaneous submissions are permitted, though if work is accepted elsewhere, we ask that it be withdrawn from the contest immediately. If a piece is chosen as a finalist, we ask that it be withdrawn from other publications’ consideration until our judge selects a winner.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 $18 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.


2017 Winners

The winners of our 2017 Fiction and Poetry Contests, judged by Desiree Cooper and Natalie Diaz:

Fiction: Diana Xin, “Camp Wish-song”

Of “Camp Wish-Song” Desiree Cooper writes: “We all meet death, an eventuality the teens at the cancer Camp Wish-Song already understand. I was shocked both by the setting and the authentic voices of teens who, while facing puberty, must also grapple with questions of mortality, eternity and the fickleness of luck. Neither sentimental nor maudlin, it is a beautifully wrought tale that haunts long after the story ends.

Poetry: Meghann Plunkett, “Elegy for my unborn child”

Of “Elegy for My Unborn Child” Natalie Diaz writes: “‘The poem is urgent. It’s lexicon and imagery return to the body in all its wonder and vulnerability. The possibility introduced in the first line with the words ‘would have’ are built into reality, through precision of language and emotional imaging. By the poem’s end, we experience loss along with the speaker, the almost apple we might have handed to him.”

Both pieces will be published in Issue 44 (Fall 2017). Check Submittable, submitters, to see if you made our finalist lists!