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CRAFT 2024 Novelette Print Prize

January 15, 2024 — March 17, 2024

Awarding $3,000 + Print Publication

Guest Judge: Hanna Pylväinen

Have you written a simply gorgeous short story far too long for most mainstream literary magazines? Might your short story not actually be a short story, but rather…in fact…indeed…a simmering, scintillating novelette? If so, we want to read your work!

CRAFT is excited to announce a brand-new contest for 2024—the Novelette Print Prize. We’ll be seeking submissions of polished novelettes from 7,500 to 15,000 words. One grand-prize winner will receive $3,000, print publication, royalties, and twenty author copies. The winner will have the option of international distribution through drop-shipping at Bookshop.org, Barnes & Noble, and other platforms, earning fifty percent of royalties on their published novelette. 

Submissions will be open from January 15, 2024, until March 17, 2024. Entries will cost $30 and multiple entries will be welcomed. Guest Judge Hanna Pylväinen, a finalist for the National Book Award, will choose the winner and write the foreword for this new print publication. 

Here’s what Hanna recommends:

Ideally, form is meaning, and the length of a great novelette will be the only possible length for its material—neither a novel squeezed down nor a short story expanded beyond its natural bounds. As such, an excellent novelette will have some important reason for its length—maybe a complex background, or multiple settings, or a roving plot. The opening is likely to benefit from a heightened suspense in one way or another to draw the reader into the unusual length and keep them there, but throughout, there’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed to develop real care for characters given all the additional space (as compared to a short story). My hope above all is to read, as they say, a good yarn.

We are also partnering with The Loft Literary Center for this contest. The winner will receive a free class of choice in addition to the comprehensive publication package mentioned above.

And as an added bonus, Editor in Chief Courtney Harler will be teaching a class with The Loft! Writers are invited to register (for a low fee) to learn more about the literary submission process in general and CRAFT’s behind-the-scenes logistics in particular. All are welcome to participate!

GUIDELINES

  • The inaugural CRAFT Novelette Print Prize is open to all literary fiction writers from January 15, 2024, to March 17, 2024.
  • International submissions are welcome. Work should be written primarily in English, though stylistic code-switching/meshing is warmly welcomed.
  • Please send novelettes only—we’re looking for one very long short story for this contest, or what some may call a short novella. Your novelette should be complete and cohesive.
  • Please adhere strictly to the 7,500 to 15,000 word-count requirement.
  • Please do not submit any form of creative nonfiction. Autofiction will work, however.
  • We review adult literary fiction, but are open to a variety of genres and styles. Work may lean toward speculative fiction or other genres, as long it’s literary in its expression.
  • Submit previously unpublished work only—we do NOT review reprints or partial reprints for contests (including any form of self-publishing such as on blogs, personal websites, social media, etc.). Reprints will be automatically disqualified.
  • Work generated by AI will be automatically disqualified.
  • We allow simultaneous submissions—writers, please notify us immediately and withdraw your novelette if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • We allow multiple submissions—please submit each excerpt as a separate submission accompanied by an entry fee.
  • Please note the $30 entry fee per submission.
  • Writers from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups can submit for a reduced price of $15 per entry until we reach fifty submissions in this special category. Please submit early! (No additional fee waivers will be granted for this contest.)
  • Kindly double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12. (Feel free to contact us directly if you need to change these formatting requirements for better accessibility.)
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable).
  • We do not require anonymous submissions, but the guest judge will read the shortlist anonymized.
  • 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 automatically disqualified without complete review.

AWARD

FINE PRINT

  • Friends, family, and associates of the guest judge are not eligible for consideration for the award.
  • Our collaboration with literary professionals in the judging and awarding of our contests does not imply an endorsement or recognition from their agencies, houses, presses, universities, etcetera.
  • Work already contracted for publication is not eligible for contest consideration.
  • We hope to publish the winning print novelette and its online excerpt in December 2024.

GUEST JUDGE

HANNA PYLVÄINEN is the author of We Sinners, which received the Whiting Award, and The End of Drum-Time, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her work has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and LitHub. She is the recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, a Princeton Arts Fellowship at Princeton University, and a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library. She has taught at the University of Michigan, Princeton University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Currently, she is on the faculty at the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers. She lives in Philadelphia. Find Hanna on Instagram @hannapyl.

CONTEST PARTNER

THE LOFT’s mission is to advance the power of writers and readers to craft and share stories, to create and celebrate connections, and to build just, life-sustaining communities. Founded in 1974, The Loft started as a grassroots gathering space for poets and writers to share their work and improve their craft. Over the years, we have grown to become one of the nation’s leading independent literary centers. Annually, The Loft offers hundreds of classes, readings and events, awards and grants for writers, major festivals and conferences, and other resources for readers and writers. Find them on Instagram @loftliterarycenter.

OPTIONAL EDITORIAL FEEDBACK

You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your submission—either on the first 6,000 words of the novelette or the full manuscript. We will provide marginal notes, as well as a two-page-minimum global letter discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. While editorial feedback is inherently subjective, our suggestions are always actionable and encouraging. We aim to have feedback completed within twelve weeks of the close of the contest. Please note that work we critique is not eligible for future CRAFT contests. If your piece is chosen for publication, feedback will not be given and your feedback fee will be returned.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.