The 2018 Pinch Literary Awards
Sponsored by the Hohenberg Foundation
December 15, 2017 - March 15, 2018
1st Place in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry each receive $1000.
Click here to view winners and judges from previous contests.
Fiction Judge: Carmen Maria Machado
Nonfiction Judge: Kiese Laymon
Poetry Judge: Maggie Smith
Meet Our Judges
Carmen Maria Machado
Carmen Maria Machado's debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize, and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. She is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Guernica, Gulf Coast, NPR, and elsewhere. Her stories have been reprinted in Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best Horror of the Year, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica. Her memoir House in Indiana is forthcoming in 2019 from Graywolf Press.
She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, the Speculative Literature Foundation, the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, the University of Iowa, the Yaddo Corporation, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the Writer in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her wife.
Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University. Laymon is currently a Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi and a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nonfiction at the University of Iowa. Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, the UK edition released in 2016. Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, McSweeneys, New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, LitHub, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, PEN Journal, Fader, Oxford American, The Best American Series, Ebony and Guernica. He is a contributing editor of Oxford American.
Long Division was named one of the Best of 2013 by Buzzfeed, The Believer, Salon, Guernica, Contemporary Literature, Mosaic Magazine, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune and the Crunk Feminist Collective. It was also short-listed for the Believer Book Award, the Ernest Gaines Award and the Morning News Tournament of Books. Long Division won the 2014 Saroyan International Writing Award on November 10th. Three essays in "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America" have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic's Best Essays of 2013. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014 and Ebony Magazine Power 100 in 2015.
Kiese Laymon has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy and the novel called And So On which can be expected in 2017 and 2018, both from Scribner.
Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005). Smith is also the author of three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems appear in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, Tin House, The Believer, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Guernica, Plume, AGNI, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. PRI (Public Radio International) called it “the official poem of 2016.”
Smith has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, among others. She lives in Bexley, Ohio, and is a freelance writer and editor.
THE ANNUAL PINCH LITERARY AWARDS: RULES AND DETAILS
Entrants are restricted to 18 years and up. All entries are considered for publication. First, second, and third place winners will be selected from each category. The first place winners will be published in a Pinch issue following announcement. Second and third place winners will be given high-priority consideration for publication, but because of space, cannot be guaranteed. Due to the high volume of submissions, any prize-winners will be ineligible for contest participation for three years.
Only unpublished work will be considered. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but notify us immediately if work is accepted elsewhere. No refunds will be issued. Manuscripts will not be returned. You may submit entries online via the link below. Please note that emailed and/or electronically delivered entries will NOT be considered; we are only able to accept online entries through our Submittable platform at this time.
$20 for the first entry of 1-3 poems or prose of up to 5000 words ; $10 for each subsequent entry.
In the "cover letter" box please enter the author’s contact information: name, address, phone number, and email address.
We do not accept translations at this time.
The author's name should only be entered into the text box labeled "Cover Letter."
The author's name should NOT appear anywhere in the uploaded contest entry document.
Code of Ethics and Contest Procedures
CLMP Contest Code Of Ethics
CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines — defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.
Process of Selection
1st Round: All entries are submitted blind and read at least twice by our readers and editors. 5 to 10 pieces in each genre are then sent to the judges in their respective categories.
2nd Round: Judges then read the works, also blind-submitted, and choose one winner and two runners-up.
Conflicts of Interest
Faculty, staff, or students associated with the University of Memphis within the last five years are not eligible for consideration or publication. Anyone associated with a judge will not have work considered within that category.