Arts & Letters Prizes

Prize submission period February 1st – March 31st

24th Annual Arts & Letters Prize Judges Announced

2022 Prize Judges

Poetry: Allison Joseph

Allison Joseph currently lives, teaches, and writes in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is a part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University. Her most recent collections of poems is Lexicon (Red Hen Press, 2021), Professional Happiness (Backbone Press, 2021), and Confessions of a Bare Faced Woman (Red Hen Press, 2018), which won the 2019 Feathered Quill Book Award and was a finalist in the poetry category for the NAACP Image Award. Her poems have appeared in The New York Times and the Best American Poetry series. She is the widow of poet and editor John Tribble.



Creative Nonfiction: Gayle Brandeis

Gayle Brandeis is the author, most recently, of the memoir The Art of Misdiagnosis (Beacon Press), and the novel in poems Many Restless Concerns (Black Lawrence Press), shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Award. Earlier books include the poetry collection The Selfless Bliss of the Body (Finishing Line Press), the craft book Fruitflesh: Seeds of Inspiration for Women Who Write (HarperOne) and the novels The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins), which won the PEN/Bellwether Prize, Self Storage (Ballantine), Delta Girls (Ballantine), and My Life with the Lincolns (Henry Holt BYR). Her essay collection Drawing/Breath will be released by Overcup Press in 2023. Gayle’s writing has been published in  The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more, and has received numerous honors, including the Columbia Journal Nonfiction Award, a Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award, and Notable Essays in Best American Essays 2016, 2019, and 2020. She was named A Writer Who Makes a Difference by The Writer Magazine, and served as Inlandia Literary Laureate from 2012-2014, focusing on bringing writing workshops to underserved communities. She teaches in the MFA programs at Antioch University and Sierra Nevada University.

Fiction: Andrew Porter

Andrew Porter is the author of three books, including the forthcoming short story collection The Disappeared (Alfred A. Knopf, 2022), the short story collection The Theory of Light and Matter (Vintage/Penguin Random House), which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel In Between Days (Alfred A. Knopf), which was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and an IndieBound “Indie Next” selection. Porter’s books have been published in foreign editions in the UK and Australia, and have been translated into numerous languages, including French, Spanish, Dutch, Bulgarian, and Korean. His individual short stories have appeared in such publications as The Pushcart Prize anthology, Ploughshares, One Story, The Southern Review, and The Threepenny Review. He currently teaches fiction writing and directs the Creative Writing Program at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX.

Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Fiction Winners will appear in next year’s Fall or Spring issue of Arts & Letters.

About the Prizes
For our prizes in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, we offer the winner a $1,000 prize and publication in the next year’s Fall or Spring issue. Our prizes are made possible through generous gifts to our prize endowments from Dr. Martin Lammon, Dr. Barry Darugar, Bahram and Fari Atefat, and other friends of Arts & Letters. If you are interested in contributing to our endowments, please contact us!

All submitters receive a digital subscription of Arts & Letters, which will include the issue prize winners are published in.

Submission Guidelines:

Please do NOT include your name on any part of the uploaded file you submit to any genre.  We accept most file formats (Word, .rtf, PDF).

We prefer, for the prizes, that your work not be simultaneously submitted. This helps us preserve the integrity of the contest(s). Our judges’ decisions are usually made by the end of May.

All fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction prize submissions will be considered for publication at regular payment rates.

All writers and poets writing in English are eligible to enter, excepting friends, relatives, or current and former students of the current-year judges.

The submission period for our annual prizes is February 1 – March 31st. The entry fee is $20.

Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction:

Submit a manuscript of up to 25 pages, typed, double-spaced

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction:

Submit a manuscript of up to 25 pages, typed, double-spaced

Rumi Prize for Poetry:

Submit a manuscript of up to 4 poems, typed, single-spaced (poems need not be thematically linked, though it is fine if they are)

All submissions are through our Submittable site:


23rd Annual Arts & Letters Prize Winners

Rumi Prize for Poetry Judge: Romeo Oriogun WINNER: L.A. Johnson, for “Where Warm and Cool Air Meet,” “Downriver,” “Radiant Stranger,” and “House Full of Someones” Finalists: Danielle Williams, Monique Ferrell, Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach, Tom Laichas, Sally Lipton Derringer, George Kramer, Christopher Shipman, Doug Ramspeck, and Betsy Sholl

Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction Judge: Novuyo Tshuma WINNER: Karen Day, for “The Cellar” Finalists: Thomas Maya, “El pan de cada dia,” Perry Glasser, “Not That Anyone is Asking,” and Reena Shah, “Stardust”

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction Judge: Kristi Coulter WINNER: Lee Anne Gallaway-Mitchell, for “The Tax of Quick Alarm” Finalists: Jill Christman, “The Sandbox Ghost,” Frank Walters, “Judging the Distance,” Mary Petty Anderson, “Newt Terrell,” and David Mairowitz, “Transcribing Robert”