The Mary McCarthy Prize
Our contest season has come to a close, and Edith Pearlman has made her decision. The winner of the 2013 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction is Nathan Poole for his collection Father Brother Keeper. The runner-up is What Matters Most by Amina Gautier.
The other finalists include The Sorrow Proper by Lindsey Drager, The Suicide Club by Toni Graham, and Normality by Dan Pope. In appreciation for their fine work, all finalists receive a coupon waiving next year’s entry fee.
Next year our fiction judge will be Lydia Millet and she will designate four new readers, so we do hope you will consider entering again. Readers, judges included, vary in their taste, so you’ll be getting a completely fresh look at your manuscript. Guidelines and entry form are available on our Website or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to our address below.
For those of you that submitted your work, we thank you for considering Sarabande Books, for keeping the art of short fiction alive and thriving, and we hope you’ll consider Sarabande again next year.
The Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction includes a $2,000 cash award, publication of a collection of short stories, novellas, or a short novel, and a standard royalty contract. Our contest begins January 1st and ends February 14th. See below for page requirements. Also, please note our entry fee ($27) and P.O. Box number below.
Contest is open to any writer of English who is a citizen of the United States. Employees and board members of Sarabande Books, Inc. are not eligible. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a short novel. All manuscripts are required to be a minimum of 150 pages and are not to exceed 250 pages. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included. Translations and previously self-published collections are not eligible. To avoid conflict of interest, students in a degree-granting program, close friends, or colleagues of a judge are ineligible to enter the contest in the genre for which their friend or teacher is serving as judge.
Please submit one copy of the manuscript and our required Contest Entry Form.
Manuscript must be:
- Anonymous—the author’s name or address must not appear anywhere on the manuscript (your title page should contain the title only).
- Between 150-250 pages.
- Typed on standard white paper, one side of the page only.
- Paginated consecutively with a table of contents and acknowledgements page (a list of publications in which stories or sections of the manuscript appeared).
- Bound with a spring clip or rubberband. No staples, please.
* Also, please keep the following in mind:
- Retain a copy of your manuscript. We cannot return manuscripts.
- Submission of more that one manuscript is permissible if each manuscript is accompanied by an entry form and handling fee.
- Once submitted, manuscripts cannot be altered. Winner will be given the opportunity to make changes before publication.
- Simultaneous submissions to other publishers are permitted, but Sarabande Books must be notified immediately if manuscript is accepted elsewhere.
- Finalists will be asked to send additional copies of the work. Winner will be notified in early July. Sarabande Books will consider all finalists for publication.
All manuscripts must be accompanied by our entry form which contains all the necessary identifying information. Do not send your manuscript without this form.
Sarabande will accept manuscripts submitted online through our Submittable account. Manuscripts submitted electronically must conform to the same guidelines as print manuscripts, although you do not need to attach the standard entry form to your online submission. Instructions and FAQs are located at the Sarabande Submittable page,
- Manuscripts must be postmarked between and including January 1 and February 14.
- Include a self-addressed, stamped postcard for notification that manuscript has been received.
- Include a self-addressed, stamped, regular business-sized envelope for contest results.
- Please send your manuscript in a plain or padded envelope. No boxes please.
- No Federal Express, Overnight Mail, or UPS.
- We strongly advise that you send your manuscript first class.
- There is a $27 handling fee, check made payable to Sarabande Books, Inc.
Please send entries to:
The Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction
Sarabande Books, Inc.
PO Box 4456
Louisville KY 40204
To download a print-ready pdf of these guidelines, click here.