With the announcement of its new Arts in Society program, Boston Review is pleased to adopt a new contest model shaped by social justice and accessibility concerns.

  • Under the new model, contestants from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe will pay an entry fee of $20 which will help subsidize the entry of contestants from outside of those countries, as well as those claiming hardship, all of whom will pay nothing to enter our contests. Free entries and paid entries will be read in the same way and given equal weight.
  • In addition, while a winner will be chosen in each genre, many more runners-up will have their work published, increasing the likelihood that entrants will have their work shared with Boston Review’s audience.
  • Finally, Boston Review will commit to publishing an annual themed fall literary issue, and the contests will share the issue’s theme. This will offer more contestants more transparency about what Boston Review’s editors are seeking in any given year. All contestants will receive a free copy of the issue, either in print (for paid entries) or digital (for unpaid entries).

Complete instructions for submission to each contest can be found below. Please make sure that you choose the category, paid or free entry, that applies to you. They are separate forms.

We are currently closed to general fiction and poetry submissions, but we are open to nonfiction pitches and submissions.


Deadline: June 15, 2019

Judge: Ladan Osman

Prize: $500

THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S CONTEST IS....

ALLIES

How do we know who is on our side? Is it possible for someone who is not like us to share our same hopes? Can links forged by empathy or mutual interest match those created by shared experience? What can we gain from alliances that we cannot achieve on our own?These are difficult question to answer even in intimate settings, and more so in arenas of cultural and political struggle. We want the sharpest stories about trust, bridge-building, difference, and betrayal. Drawing on the prophetic power of the imagination to conjure both the possible dangers and life-giving possibilities of alliances—be they political, private (such as marriage), therapeutic, or even aesthetic (between readers and writers, for example). We are open to this theme being explored in every style of poetry. We're especially interested to see these themes explored in the context of race, sex and sexuality, and identity (both politically and privately).

______________________________

THIS YEAR’S JUDGE: LADAN OSMAN

Ladan Osman 


Ladan Osman is the author of Exiles of Eden (2019) and The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony (2015). Her writing and photographs have recently appeared in World Literature Today and The Kenyon Review. She lives in Brooklyn.

______________________________

HOW TO ENTER:

This form is for paid entry for those living in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe. For those living outside of those countries, as well as those experiencing hardship, please enter the contest for free HERE.

Complete guidelines:

  • All entries must be related to this year’s theme of allies. We want the theme to be very broadly interpreted, but we also shouldn’t have to guess at the connection between the theme and your entry.
  • The winning author will receive $500 and have their work published in Boston Review's special literary issue Allies. Numerous runners-up will also be published in the issue.
  • Send us up to 5 poems or 10 pages, which comes first. All work must be previously unpublished. No cover note is necessary, and names should not appear anywhere in the submission. All entries much be in English; translations are acceptable if they are done in collaboration with the author and the poems are unpublished in any language.
  • Simultaneous submissions are not permitted; if you submit your poems to another publication, you must withdraw it via Submittable.
  • Submissions may not be modified after entry.
  • Contest entrants cannot have a personal or professional relationship with this year’s judge, Ladan Osman, or with any editors or staff at Boston Review.
  • Make sure your mailing address in Submittable is correct, as this is the address where your free copy of Allies will be sent in the fall of 2019. 

Read winning poems from past years:


Deadline: June 15, 2019

Judge: Ladan Osman

Prize: $500

THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S CONTEST IS....

ALLIES

How do we know who is on our side? Is it possible for someone who is not like us to share our same hopes? Can links forged by empathy or mutual interest match those created by shared experience? What can we gain from alliances that we cannot achieve on our own?These are difficult question to answer even in intimate settings, and more so in arenas of cultural and political struggle. We want the sharpest stories about trust, bridge-building, difference, and betrayal. Drawing on the prophetic power of the imagination to conjure both the possible dangers and life-giving possibilities of alliances—be they political, private (such as marriage), therapeutic, or even aesthetic (between readers and writers, for example). We are open to this theme being explored in every style of poetry. We're especially interested to see these themes explored in the context of race, sex and sexuality, and identity (both politically and privately).

______________________________

THIS YEAR’S JUDGE: LADAN OSMAN

Ladan Osman 


Ladan Osman is the author of Exiles of Eden (2019) and The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony (2015). Her writing and photographs have recently appeared in World Literature Today and The Kenyon Review. She lives in Brooklyn.

______________________________

HOW TO ENTER:

This form is for free entry for those living outside the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe. For everyone else, please enter the contest HERE.

Even if entering the contest for free, please consider making a voluntary payment of $5 or $10 below. The contest is expensive for Boston Review to administer, and it costs us money to fulfill the free digital copy of the issue.


Complete guidelines:

  • All entries must be related to this year’s theme of allies. We want the theme to be very broadly interpreted, but we also shouldn’t have to guess at the connection between the theme and your entry.
  • The winning author will receive $500 and have their work published in Boston Review's special literary issue Allies. Numerous runners-up will also be published in the issue.
  • Send us up to 5 poems or 10 pages, which comes first. All work must be previously unpublished. No cover note is necessary, and names should not appear anywhere in the submission. All entries much be in English; translations are acceptable if they are done in collaboration with the author and the poems are unpublished in any language.
  • Simultaneous submissions are not permitted; if you submit your poems to another publication, you must withdraw it via Submittable.
  • Submissions may not be modified after entry.
  • Contest entrants cannot have a personal or professional relationship with this year’s judge, Ladan Osman, or with any editors or staff at Boston Review.
  • Make sure your email address in Submittable is correct, as this is the address where your free digital copy of Allies will be sent in the fall of 2019.


Read winning poems from past years:

Deadline: June 15, 2019

Judge: Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

Prize: $500

THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S CONTEST IS....

ALLIES

How do we know who is on our side? Is it possible for someone who is not like us to share our same hopes? Can links forged by empathy or mutual interest match those created by shared experience? What can we gain from alliances that we cannot achieve on our own?

These are difficult question to answer even in intimate settings, and more so in arenas of cultural and political struggle. We want the sharpest stories about trust, bridge-building, difference, and betrayal. Drawing on the prophetic power of the imagination to conjure both the possible dangers and life-giving possibilities of alliances—be they political, private (such as marriage), therapeutic, or even aesthetic (between readers and writers, for example). We are open to this theme being explored in every genre, including historical fiction, scifi, horror, mystery, and romance. We're especially interested to see these themes explored in the context of race, sex and sexuality, and identity (both politically and privately).

______________________________

THIS YEAR’S JUDGE: YVONNE ADHIAMBO OWUOR

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor 


Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing (2003) for her novella, Weight of Whispers, she is the author of the novel Dust (2013, Knopf), which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize and won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature in Kenya (2017), and The Dragonfly Sea (2019, Knopf). She has twice been a fellow at the Iowa International Writers’ Program and guest lectured (Creative Writing) at Grinnell College (Iowa). Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s and other publications.  She has been a speaker at TEDx Nairobi and Euston and is, at present, in residence at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Germany where she is working on a new story.

______________________________

HOW TO ENTER:

This form is for paid entry for those living in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe. For those living outside of those countries, as well as those experiencing hardship, please enter the contest HERE.


Complete guidelines:

  • All entries must be related to this year’s theme of allies. We want the theme to be very broadly interpreted, but we also shouldn’t have to guess at the connection between the theme and your entry.
  • The winning author will receive $500 and have their work published in Boston Review's special literary issue Allies. Numerous runners-up will also be published in the issue.
  • Stories must not exceed 5,000 words and must be previously unpublished. No cover note is necessary. Names should not appear on the stories themselves. All entries much be in English; translations are acceptable if they are done in collaboration with the author and the story is unpublished in any language.
  • Simultaneous submissions are not permitted; if you submit your story to another publication, you must withdraw it via Submittable.
  • Submissions may not be modified after entry.
  • Contest entrants cannot have a personal or professional relationship with this year’s judge, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, or with any editors or staff at Boston Review.
  • Make sure your mailing address in Submittable is correct, as this is the address where your free copy of Allies will be sent in the fall of 2019.


Our contest is named after Aura Estrada (1977–2007), a promising young Mexican writer and student and wife of Francisco Goldman. This prize is meant to honor her memory by supporting other burgeoning writers. Aura's writing, and more about her life, can be found here.

Read winning stories from past years: 

Deadline: June 30, 2019

Judge: Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

Prize: $500

THE THEME OF THIS YEAR’S CONTEST IS....

ALLIES

How do we know who is on our side? Is it possible for someone who is not like us to share our same hopes? Can links forged by empathy or mutual interest match those created by shared experience? What can we gain from alliances that we cannot achieve on our own?

These are difficult question to answer even in intimate settings, and more so in arenas of cultural and political struggle. We want the sharpest stories about trust, bridge-building, difference, and betrayal. Drawing on the prophetic power of the imagination to conjure both the possible dangers and life-giving possibilities of alliances—be they political, private (such as marriage), therapeutic, or even aesthetic (between readers and writers, for example). We are open to this theme being explored in every genre, including historical fiction, scifi, horror, mystery, and romance. We're especially interested to see these themes explored in the context of race, sex and sexuality, and identity (both politically and privately).

______________________________

THIS YEAR’S JUDGE: YVONNE ADHIAMBO OWUOR

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor 


Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing (2003) for her novella, Weight of Whispers, she is the author of the novel Dust (2013, Knopf), which was shortlisted for the Folio Prize and won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature in Kenya (2017), and The Dragonfly Sea (2019, Knopf). She has twice been a fellow at the Iowa International Writers’ Program and guest lectured (Creative Writing) at Grinnell College (Iowa). Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s and other publications.  She has been a speaker at TEDx Nairobi and Euston and is, at present, in residence at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Germany where she is working on a new story.

______________________________

HOW TO ENTER:

This form is for free entry for those living outside of the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe, as well as those experiencing hardship. For everyone else, please enter the contest HERE.

Even if entering the contest for free, please consider making a voluntary payment of $5 or $10 below. The contest is expensive for Boston Review to administer, and it costs us money to fulfill the free digital copy of the issue.


Complete guidelines:

  • All entries must be related to this year’s theme of allies. We want the theme to be very broadly interpreted, but we also shouldn’t have to guess at the connection between the theme and your entry.
  • The winning author will receive $500 and have their work published in Boston Review's special literary issue Allies. Numerous runners-up will also be published in the issue.
  • Stories must not exceed 5,000 words and must be previously unpublished. No cover note is necessary for online submission. Names should not appear on the stories themselves. All entries much be in English; translations are acceptable if they are done in collaboration with the author and the story is unpublished in any language.
  • Simultaneous submissions are not permitted; if you submit your story to another publication, you must withdraw it via Submittable.
  • Submissions may not be modified after entry.
  • Contest entrants cannot have a personal or professional relationship with this year’s judge, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, or with any editors or staff at Boston Review.
  • Make sure your email address in Submittable is correct, as this is the address where your free digital copy of Allies will be sent in the fall of 2019.


Our contest is named after Aura Estrada (1977–2007), a promising young Mexican writer and student and wife of Francisco Goldman. This prize is meant to honor her memory by supporting other burgeoning writers. Aura's writing, and more about her life, can be found here.


Read winning stories from past years:
 


You may submit query letters and unsolicited nonfiction up to 5,000 words.
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