The 2018 Winter Contest is Now Open for Submissions

Submissions for the 2018 Winter Contest are now closed. Thank you to all who submitted. Winners will be notified and announced in the Spring of 2019.

December 13, 2018: We have decided to extend the deadline for the 2018 Winter Contest to December 30. We hope this will allow some of you a little extra time to submit.

We also want to acknowledge and thank those of you that have already submitted. We’ve enjoyed what we’ve read so far and are looking forward to reading the rest of the submissions over the next few weeks.

If you have questions about the contest or submitting, please email us at

The editors are delighted to officially announce that the 2018 Columbia Journal Winter Contest is now open for submissions in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Our judges this year will be Jericho Brown (poetry), Lauren Wilkinson (fiction), and Alexander Chee (nonfiction). Submissions open today on Submittable, and the deadline to submit is December 15 December 30.

The three winners of the Winter Contest will be published in print in Columbia Journal Issue 57 in Spring 2019 and will receive a cash prize of $500 each. At least three finalists will be selected and announced in each of the three genres. There is a $15 entry fee for each submission. You can read the full contest guidelines and more about this year’s judges below.


Meet the Judges

Jericho Brown is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third collection, The Tradition, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in 2019. His poems have appeared in The New Republic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TIME magazine, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. He is an associate professor and the director of the Creative Writing Program at Emory University.

Lauren Wilkinson earned an MFA in fiction and literary translation from Columbia University, and has taught writing at Columbia and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She was a 2013 Center for Fiction Emerging Writer’s Fellow, and has also received support from the MacDowell Colony and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Lauren grew up in New York and lives on the Lower East Side. Her debut novel American Spy is being published by Random House in February 2019.

Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh, The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, T Magazine, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, and Out, among others. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.

Contest Guidelines

We accept submissions in the following three categories:
Fiction (up to 5,000 words)
Nonfiction (up to 5,000 words)
Poetry (up to five pages)

Submission Rules
Entry to the 2018 Winter Contest requires a $15 entry fee. Multiple submissions are welcome, but note that the entry fee applies to each submission.
All work must be submitted through Submittable (we will not accept mailed submissions).
All work must be original and previously unpublished in any form.
Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but please inform us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.

We welcome submissions from all nationalities. However, if you have studied or taught at the Columbia University Writing Program at any time in the past three years, you are ineligible to submit to the contest.

If you have questions, please email us at

Photo Credit (center): Niqui Carter

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