2017 POETRY & SHORT STORY CONTESTS: winners announced in spring!

Winner in each category gets $250 and publication in Prism Review #19, due out Spring 2017. All entries considered for publication and all entrants get a copy of issue 19 ($10 value for $10 entry).

Entry fee: $10 entry

Prize: $250 and publication

Deadline: passed

Fiction: one story or linked short-shorts, up to 8,000 words

Poetry: 1-5 poems, 10 pages maximum



Poetry: STEPHANIE ELLIS SCHLAIFER is a poet and installation artist in St. Louis. She is the author of Cleavemark, just out from BOAAT Press. Schlaifer was selected for Best New Poets 2015, and her work has appeared in Georgia Review, AGNI, Denver Quarterly, LIT, Colorado Review, Fence, and elsewhere.  She frequently collaborates with other artists, most recently with Cheryl Wassenaar on the installation Cleavemark Drive, based on Schlaifer’s poems. Her work can be viewed at
Fiction: SEAN BERNARD (Prism Review editor) has had his stories published in numerous journals, including The Common, Crazyhorse, EPOCH, and Glimmer Train. His first novel, Studies in the Hereafter, is out from Red Hen Press, and his collection Desert sonorous won the 2014 Juniper Prize and is out from UMass Press.




Poetry: “Slow Motion Landscape,” by Sam Gilpin

Bio: Sam Gilpin is a poet living in Portland, OR. He is currently an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. His work has appeared in various undergraduate journals like Polaris and Enormous Rooms.  Follow him on Twitter @Gilp_Damaja.


chosen by Victoria Chang, who writes of the poem, “In “Slow Motion Landscape,” grass is “guillotines,” speech “wrens us in its folding,” and sunsets “thrum.”  The language is fresh and new in this sequence poem, but even more interesting is the mind behind the poem–one that both thinks and sees–“do you think we’ll ever see/the relentless disguised as stillness”–this sequence poem is filled with short abstract questions and paradoxes, ones that make the reader read and re-read, think and re-think, see and see again.”


Fiction: “Messiah Complex,” by Michael Olin-Hitt

Bio: Michael Olin-Hitt’s novel The Homegoing won first place in the Somerset Awards for Literary Mixed-Genre, sponsored by Chanticleer Reviews.  In addition to his novel, he has published 13 stories in literary journals and two books of nonfiction on spirituality. He received his B.A. from Otterbein University and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He is Professor of English at the University of Mount Union, where he teaches creative writing, American Literature and Native American Literature. He lives in Clinton, Ohio with his wife, Jennifer, and two children, Sam and Lydia.

chosen by Bryan Hurt, who writes of the story, “I was drawn into the story by Josh’s kinetic voice and hooked by his spirited and smart digressions. But what really engaged me was the emotional complexity and the way the author carefully and subtly added so many layers. There’s sadness and loss but it’s met with optimism and empathy. And that’s what ultimately won me over: it’s bighearted and optimistic without being naive. “Struggle and beauty,” says Miriam. “You don’t get one without the other.” That’s what this story offers. Struggle and beauty and grace.”


Each author receives $250 and publication in Prism Review #18


Past winners

2015, judged by Sean Bernard (fiction) and Jen Hofer (poet and translator)

Poetry: JLSchneider, “Your Place, Now”

Bio: JLSchneider is a carpenter and an adjunct professor of English at a small community college in upstate New York. His poetry has appeared in Crazy River, The Taos Review, The Rhode Island Review, and Rolling Stone, among others. You can visit him on the web at

Fiction: Matthew Di Paoli, “Sweeping Glass”

Bio: Matthew Di Paoli received his BA at Boston College where he won the Dever Fellowship and the Cardinal Cushing Award for Creative Writing. He also earned his MFA in Fiction at Columbia University. He has been published in Neon, Carte Blanche, Black Denim Lit, Blue Penny Quarterly, Poydras Review, Pithead Chapel, Gigantic, FictionWeek Literary Review, Ascent Aspirations, Newport Review, and Post Road. Currently he’s teaching Writing and Literature at Monroe College.


2014, judged by Scott Nadelson (fiction) and Nathan Hoks (poetry)

poetry:  Anna Soteria Morrison, “[Flight Fable]”

Bio: Anna Soteria Morrison is a writer and editor, and a member of Kelsey Street Press, a longstanding publisher of innovative writing by women. She has worked in an art museum, a microbiologist’s lab, and as a peer counselor for a GLBT hotline. She and her partner live in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.

fiction:  Rob Schultz, “The Evaluation of Echoes”

Bio: Rob Schultz taught American literature and composition at Western Michigan University and Virginia Commonwealth University before drifting into radio and voice work. He is the author of a novel, Styll in Love (Van Neste Books), with another, “On-Air” near completion. His stories and poems have appeared in a wide range of publications, including Rattapallax and West Branch and, most recently, Blue Lake Review, Bluestem, New Plains Review and Northwind.


2013, judged by Sandra Ramos O’Briant (fiction) and Karen An-hwei Lee (poetry)

Poetry: Jonathan Greenhause’s “El Pasado Convertido en Fiera”

Twice nominated for the Pushcart, JONATHAN GREENHAUSE was a runner-up in the 2012 Georgetown Review Prize and is the author of a chapbook, Sebastian’s Relativity (Anobium Books).  His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Hawai‘i Pacific Review, JAAM (NZ), Midwest Quarterly Review, Popshot (UK), and Regime (AUS), among others.

Fiction: Lucian Childs’ “Carbon Copies”

LUCIAN CHILDS lives in Anchorage, Alaska where he works as a graphic designer. He received bachelor’s degrees in English literature from Southern Methodist University and in architecture from the University of Texas. His short stories have appeared in a number of literary journals, including The Puritan, Quiddity, Rougarou, and Sanskrit.

2012, judged by Amy Newlove Schroeder, author of The Sleep Hotel, the 2009 winner of the Field Prize in Poetry.

Poetry: Nancy Hewitt, “Pressed”

(Our fiction contest was hiatus)


2011, judged by Lucy Corin (fiction) and Craig Santos Perez (poetry).

Poetry: Mary Ann Davis, “From The Sublunary Year

Mary Ann Davis is a PhD Candidate in the Department of English and the Program in Gender Studies at the University of Southern California, where she’s been the recipient of a Moses Poetry Award and the James Prize for Best Critical Essay. Prior to USC, she earned an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan, where she received an Avery Hopwood Award in poetry.

Fiction: Weatherization,” by Becky Margolis

Becky Margolis is a writer and teacher living in Missoula, Montana. She is an MFA candidate in the Fiction program at the University of Montana.