Contest Submission Guidelines
Postmark/submission deadline: Contest is currently closed
- Every entrant receives a one year subscription to Willow Springs.
- The winner of the contest will receive a prize of $2,000, plus publication in Willow Springs.
- Include a $15.00 entry fee, or a $20.00 entry fee for international submissions. Submissions without an entry fee will not be judged.
- Send only one story per submission.
- There is no word limit for submissions.
- Your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, as well as a short bio, should appear in a cover letter included with your submission.
- Do not include identifying information anywhere else in your submission.
- Submit only original, unpublished work.
- Credit card required for online submissions. If you prefer to submit a hard copy by mail, see below.
Additional Guidelines for hard copy submissions:
- Do not send an SASE. If you would like confirmation that your work has been received, include a self-addressed, stamped postcard instead.
- Do not send us your only copies—manuscripts will not be returned.
- Handwritten submissions will not be judged and the entry fee will not be refunded.
- Use a check or money order only for hard copy submissions; cash will not be accepted. Please make the checks and money orders payable to Willow Springs.
Previous Contest Winners
"I wrote a few lines in the son's voice, just to hear how he talked. He reminded me of Huck Finn, and I realized that it needed to be an adventure story, not a tragedy. And it needed to be funny, not despite but because of the pretty awful things that happen. Once I understood that those were the beats—a dark, funny adventure—it all made (weird, horrifying) sense."
2014 Willow Springs Fiction Prize winner.
"When I wrote this story in early 2012, I thought I could see what would make someone want to buy a gun for reasons other than self-defense or murder."
2013 Willow Springs Fiction Prize winner.
"I wanted to capture the tenuous nature of belief. Not belief in God, exactly, or even ghosts. But belief itself, conviction, and how difficult it is to ever really grasp."
2012 Willow Springs Fiction Prize winner.
"Years ago I saw a video clip of a man with a severe form of anterograde amnesia, and I suppose that’s when the idea for 'Sine Die' began to germinate."
2011 Willow Springs Fiction Prize winner.
"My grandfather was a police detective in St. Louis, and I've inherited an interest in true crime."
2010 Willow Springs Fiction Prize winner.
"Much in the same way male characters partake in the mining, damming and intense agriculture that have partially destroyed the West, my female characters destroy their bodies."
2009 Willow Springs Fiction Prize winner.