Contests & Submissions

Sarabande Books is now accepting electronic submissions via Submishmash for the 2012 Kathryn A Morton and Mary McCarthy contests.


Sarabande Books holds two national contests: The Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry and the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, judged by well-established writers.

The 2012 judges are Salvatore Scibona for the Mary McCarthy Prize and Cole Swensen for the Kathryn A. Morton Prize.

Our 2011 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry winner: Lauren Shapiro for her collection, Easy Math. Lauren Shapiro received a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University and an MFA in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a former associate acquiring editor at the Yale University Press and has translated poetry from Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, and Arabic into English. Her poems have been published in such journals as Pool, Passages North, 32 Poems, Forklift, Ohio, Drunken Boat, notnostrums, and Thermos. She is a curator of the Monsters of Poetry Reading Series and an assistant editor at Rescue Press. She lives and teaches in Madison, Wisconsin.

No finalists were named.

The semi-finalists too deserve particular mention. They were: Fleda Brown, Robert Schultz, Elizabeth Quinlan, Erin Malone, Mark Neely, Sarah Sousa, Nathan Parker, Neva Herrington, Ravi Shankar, Kerry James Evans, Megan Gannon, Matthew Minicucci, Sarah Messer, David Allen Sullivan, Greg Wrenn, Jennifer Kietzman, Jack Christian, Stephanie Rogers, Lisken Van Pelt, Christopher Robinson, Heidi Johannesen Poon, Britton Shurley, John Evans, William Benton, Jackie Clark, Jennifer Willoughby, Randolph Thomas, Lauren Shapiro, Heather June Gibbons, Vera Kroms, Martin Rocks, Christie Ann Reynolds and Nathan Hocks.

Our 2011 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction winner: L. Annette Binder’s Rise, a collection of stories. L. Annette Binder was born in Germany and grew up in Colorado Springs.  Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in One Story, American Short Fiction, The Southern Review, Third Coast, Fairy Tale Review, and elsewhere.  Her story “Nephilim” will be included in The Pushcart Prize XXXVI.  She has an AB from Harvard in Classics, an MA from Berkeley, and a JD from Harvard Law School.  She is a student in the Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine.

The finalists were: Say Anything and Everything by Daniel Mueller, Leaf House by Karen Brown, Rise by L.Annette Binder, and Tell Everyone I Said Hi by Chad Simpson. Finalists receive a coupon waiving the entry fee for next year’s contest. The semi-finalists included: Quality Snacks by Andy Mozina, You Are What You Drive by Deborah Joy Corey, Choose Your Own Genetics by Jacob Appel, and Secrets of Women by Maura Stanton.

The semi-finalists included: Hugh Sheehy, Gordon Haber, Bryn Chancellor, Carol Roh Spaulding, Marian Pierce, J. David Stevens, Tara Goedjen, Janna McMahan, and Emily Doak.

Finalists in both competitions receive a coupon waiving the entry fee for next year’s contest.


For writers of creative nonfiction, our open submissions are year-round. All queries should contain a cover letter and writing sample (a single essay, chapter or short section), along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a $10 dollar handling fee. We request that you send these by snail mail only.

2234 Dundee Road
Suite 200
Louisville, KY 40205

For guidelines and a required entry form, please send a business sized, self-addressed, stamped envelope, or download from this site:

The Kathyrn A. Morton Prize in Poetry
The Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction
Contest Entry Form

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