Arts & Letters Prizes

Prize submission period February 1st – March 31st

23rd Annual Arts & Letters Prize Judges Announced

2021 Prize Judges

Poetry: Romeo Oriogun

Romeo Oriogun is the author of Sacrament of Bodies (University of Nebraska Press) and The Origin of Butterflies, selected by Kwame Dawes for the APBF New-Generation African Poets Chapbook Series and Burnt Men, an electronic chapbook published by Praxis. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Harvard Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, and others. He was the 2017 winner of the Brunel International African Poetry Prize. He has received fellowships from the Ebedi International Residency, Harvard University Department of English, The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. He is currently an MFA candidate for poetry at Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Creative Nonfiction: Kristi Coulter

Kristi Coulter is the author of the memoir-in-essays Nothing Good Can Come From This, a 2019 finalist for the Washington State Book Award. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, New York Magazine, Elle, the Believer, Vox, Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia Journal, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and is a former Ragdale Foundation resident and a 2020 Mineral School Fellow. She has taught creative writing at the University of Washington and Hugo House. Kristi’s next memoir, Exit Interview, is forthcoming from MCD x FSG in 2022. She lives in Seattle with her husband and dogs.

Fiction: Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

Novuyo Rosa Tshuma is the author of the novel House of Stone, winner of the 2019 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award and the 2019 Bulawayo Arts Award for Outstanding Fiction, and listed for the 2019 Orwell Prize, the 2019 Dylan Thomas Prize, the 2019 Rathbones Folio Prize and the 2020 Balcones Fiction Prize. She has been invited to give public lectures about House of Stone at Oxford University, the Nordic Africa Institute and Vassar College. In 2017, she received the Rockefeller Foundation’s prestigious Bellagio Center Literary Arts Residency Award for her work. Her collection, Shadows, was published by Kwela in South Africa to critical acclaim and won the 2014 Herman Charles Bosman Prize. A native of Zimbabwe who has lived in South Africa and the USA, Tshuma’s writing has been featured in numerous anthologies, including McSweeney’s, Ploughshares and Swallowed by a Whale: How to Survive the Writing Life. She serves on the Editorial Advisory Board and is an editor at The Bare Life Review, a journal of refugee and immigrant literature based in San Fransisco. Tshuma teaches fiction at Emerson College, and has previously taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

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:

Submit

22nd Annual Arts & Letters Prize Winners

Rumi Prize for Poetry
Judge: Cate Marvin
WINNER: Karyna McGlynn, for “I Stand Outside This Women’s Work”, “Love Song to a Wicked Stepsister Who Peaked in the 80s”, and “Upon Being Shot by the Shrink Ray”
Finalists: Sarah Sousa, Caroline Bock, Lynda Kong, S. Yarberry, Jessica Dionne

Fiction Prize
Judge: Devi Laskar
WINNER: Desiree Evans for “Flesh”
Finalists: Stephanie Gangi, “The Rescue,” Emma Wunsch, “Pick Up,” and Ann Harleman, “The Middle Distance.”

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction
Judge:
Jason Allen
WINNER: Lauren Henley for “Drive! (you’re lost little girl, you’re lost)”
Finalists: Ruth Gila Berger, “Take one, take two, this isn’t working” and Millie Tullis, “Her Body as Petals: A Lyric Bibliography.”