Author Archives: William Warren

Unclassifiable Contest 2020 Winner and Finalists

Our Unclassifiable Contest has ended, and a winner has been chosen by our judge, Michael Martone!

Winner: Kat Mustatea, “Voidoplois”

All of the finalists were terrific.  But I am going to go with ‘Voidopolis.’  It takes to heart and exploits the reality that a writer today is not simply a “writer” who writes, creating a text, but a media artist not using a 19th century typewriter but an extremely powerful typesetting machine now connected to the internet. I also was attracted to the ephemeral nature of the piece, its temporary-ness.  A piece about the virus infects itself with its own digital virus that rewrites then erases the living codes. Huzzah!”
-Michael Martone

Finalists:
Matthew Burnside, “Excerpts from Salutis in Solitudine: a Game of Language and Loneliness”
Kevin Callaway, “Obituary: A Still Life with Islands”
Christine Hamm, “*Gorilla”
Amy Long, “Hash Mark”
Genevieve Monks, “The Rohr Shocke Test for Writers or Readers”

Thank you to all those who submitted, for stretching our minds and engaging our imaginations! We hope to see your work again next year!

Regular Submissions Open

The Arts & Letters Regular Submission Period is open August 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021.

We Accept Unsolicited Submissions of:

  • Poetry: 4-6 poems per submission (suggested)
  • Fiction: manuscripts up to 25 pages
  • Flash Fiction: 1-3 pieces per submission up to 1,000 words each
  • Creative Nonfiction: manuscripts up to 25 pages

General Submission Guidelines:

  • Send only one submission per genre at any one time. (In other words, submitting a short story and an essay at the same time is fine, but please wait to hear from us before submitting another story.)
  • All submissions must be typed and all prose double-spaced.
  • Average notification time for acceptance is 8-12 weeks.
  • Upload each entry as one document. We accept doc, docx, txt, pdf and rtf files.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine; just please let us know right away if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • To withdraw only part of your submission (such as a single poem), log into Submittable, go to “My Submissions,” click on your submission to Arts & Letters, and send us a message explaining which part of your submission you are withdrawing.
  • Although you may withdraw your submission at any time, the fee is nonrefundable.

NOTE: We no longer accept print submissions. Print submissions will be recycled without response. 

Why the fee?

Online submissions are quick, easy, and efficient. For the convenience of online submission we charge a $3 fee (about the cost of submitting by post), part of which goes to support the online platform. The rest directly supports the journal’s editorial and production costs (including contributor payment).

Announcing the Winners of the 2020 Arts & Letters Prizes in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, & Poetry

Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction:

Desiree Evans, “Flesh”

Judge: Devi Laskar

“I found such strong work in the finalists for this prize–each of the authors should be very proud. My choice for the prize is “Flesh,” a compelling story and a page-turner. As a reader I could follow Bootleg for another 200 pages.”

Finalists: Stephanie Gangi, “The Rescue,” Emma Wunsch, “Pick Up,” and Ann Harleman, “The Middle Distance.”

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction:

Lauren Henley, “Drive! (you’re lost little girl, you’re lost)”

Judge: Jason Allen

“Drive!” welcomes us to drive through a cinematic vision of the American desert, the author’s lush language effectively enlivening the dust and gnarled branches and precarious mountain roads that for all her life she’s longed to escape. Not only did I appreciate inhabiting this sunbaked landscape, I was impressed by how the author pulled me in close enough to fully empathize, her psychic and physical pain somehow conveyed without sliding into self-pity as her unspecified illness continues to progress. This is a truly moving essay.”

Finalists: Ruth Gila Berger, “Take one, take two, this isn’t working” and Millie Tullis, “Her Body as Petals: A Lyric Bibliography.”

Rumi Prize for Poetry:

Karyna McGlynn, “I Stand Outside This Woman’s Work,” “Love Song to a Wicked Stepsister Who Peaked in the 80s,” and “Upon Being Shot by the Shrink Ray”

Judge: Cate Marvin

“Any poet who manages to get a VC Andrews book into one poem, and to write another poem from the depths of the bottom of her own handbag, has my respect. Perverse celebrations of self-recognition, these poems are hilarious and exquisitely detailed, reminding us that poetry can be a hell of a lot of fun, when we let it.”

Finalists: Sarah Sousa, Caroline Bock, Lynda Kong, S. Yarberry, and Jessica Dionne

Each winner receives $1000; the winning work will appear in our Fall issue.