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$20.00 USD

2021 CRAFT Creative Nonfiction Award | $3,600 Awarded

Submissions are open November 1 to December 30, 2021. Guest judge Ira Sukrungruang will choose three winning essays from the shortlist.


  • Open November 1 to December 30
  • CRAFT submissions are open to all writers
  • International submissions are allowed
  • Creative nonfiction only!  (please no academic work, fiction, or poetry)
  • Please submit work in English only
  • 6,000 word count maximum
  • We review literary nonfiction, but are open to a variety of genres and styles including memoir, lyric essays, personal essays, narrative nonfiction, and  experimental prose—our only requirement is that you show excellence in your craft
  • Previously  unpublished work only—we do not review reprints or partial reprints, including self-published work, for contests
  • We  allow simultaneous submissions—writers please notify us and withdraw your entry if your work is accepted elsewhere
  • $20 reading fee per entry allows ONE creative nonfiction piece from 1,001 to 6,000 words OR up to TWO flash creative nonfiction pieces of 1,000 words or fewer each—if submitting two flash pieces (2,000 words maximum combined/1,000 words maximum each), please put them both in a SINGLE document
  • We allow multiple submissions—each entry should be accompanied by a reading fee
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in CRAFT
  • Please double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 pt. font
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable)
  • We do not require anonymous submissions
  • We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or for any other reason
  • Additionally, we do not tolerate discrimination in the writing we consider for publication: work we find discriminatory on any of the bases stated here will be declined without complete review (you will be refunded, less fees)


The writers of the three winning pieces will receive:

  • $1,000 each
  • Publication in CRAFT, each with an introduction by Ira Sukrungruang
  • Publication of an Author's Note (craft essay) to accompany the piece
  • A  complete set of fourteen titles of Graywolf’s The Art Of series

The two writers chosen in the editors’ choice round will receive:

  • $300 each
  • Publication in CRAFT
  • Publication of an Author’s Note (craft essay) to accompany the piece
  • A  complete set of fourteen titles of Graywolf’s The Art Of series


  • Friends, family, and associates of the judge are not eligible for consideration for the award
  • Our collaboration with editorial professionals in the judging and awarding of our contests does not imply an endorsement or recognition from their agencies/houses/presses/universities/etc.
  • Check out our 2020 contest winners for examples of work we’ve chosen in the past
  • As  we only consider unpublished writing, and will publish the winning pieces in June 2022, anything under contract to publish prior to August 2022 should not be entered


You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your excerpt. We will provide line-level editorial notes, as well as a global letter discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. While editorial feedback is inherently subjective, our criticism is always actionable and encouraging.

We aim to have feedback completed within six weeks after the final status update of the entry. 

Work that we critique is not eligible for future CRAFT contests. Learn more about our program here.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.