Fiction Contest

Update! Contest submissions are now closed; finalists to be named by November 15. And we’ll update again with an announcement of our winner before December 15.


Announcing our first Northwest Review fiction contest! Our contest will be judged by Emily Nemens.

Stories may be as short as 1,000 words and as long as 30,000 words; we will consider novellas and novel excerpts that work as self-contained stories. Entries must be written in English. Speculative or sci-fi totally fine!

Northwest Review fiction team readers will review all submissions and select 10 finalists. The winning story will receive a prize of $2500 and publication in an upcoming issue of Northwest Review.

All stories will be considered for publication. Simultaneous submission are accepted. Contest is open to writers age 18+ all over the world. All entries will be read blindly (so please submit your manuscript without any identifying details on it). Contest will have a $15 entry fee.

What are we looking to read?

“Nature is not a place to visit: it is home.” –Gary Snyder

Story contest submissions should explore and wrestle with any combination of the following issues:

  • climate crisis
  • deforestation & impact of forest fires
  • marine and ocean pollution & coastal erosion
  • influence of capitalism on the environment
  • influence of human society on animal dehabitation
  • any other topics fiction may explore to change someone’s mind about how they treat the Earth  

Northwest Review Fiction Prize: Judged by Emily Nemens

Emily Nemens’s debut novel, The Cactus League (FSG 2020, Picador 2021) was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and was named one of the best books of the year by NPR and Lit Hub

Emily spent a decade editing literary quarterlies, including The Paris Review, which won the American Society of Magazine Editors’ Prize for Fiction under her tenure, and The Southern Review

Originally from Seattle, Emily lives in New York and is working on her second novel.