3 Poems by John Bennett

November 25, 2013

… Ask the creamer / about our ancestor’s first gathering, a time when / things were far from dishwasher safe.

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Matching Sheets by Kristen Gentry

November 22, 2013

Mama said she’s tired, but I know she’s not.

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Stop It: by Kimi Traube

November 18, 2013

Even when love goes rancid, it’s hard as hell to throw it out.

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Contest FAQ

Columbia Journal Writing Contest–Frequently Asked Questions

How do I pay to enter the contest? How much is it???

The contest costs $15 to enter. Once you have submitted your entry, you will be redirected to a payment portal where you pay your entry fee.

How long can my entry be???

Fiction and nonfiction pieces should be no longer that 7500 words (about 30 pages double spaced). Poetry entries may be up to five pages.

Can I submit more than one piece???

If you are submitting fiction or nonfiction then you may only submit one piece per entrance fee ($15 for each piece you submit.) For poetry submissions, there can be more than one entry as long as they fit on five pages.

Can I enter the contest more than once???

Yes! We hope that you do.

Can I submit work that has been published elsewhere???

No. We want new work.

Do you accept simultaneous submissions???

Yes, but we ask that you withdraw your piece immediately if it is accepted elsewhere. You may do this through the submission manager.

Why is the contest restricted to legal US residents???

Our general submissions are open to residents of all countries, but because there is prize money for the contest, we are restricted, for legal reasons, to consider only US residents.

I am a current Columbia student. Can I enter? What if I’m a Columbia graduate?
The only limitation on Columbia students is on students in the MFA writing program. MFA writing students are eligible to enter only once five years have passed since their graduation. In this case, that means students who graduated in 2009 or earlier are eligible; MFA writing students who graduated more recently, or who are currently enrolled, are not.

When will I hear about the contest???

You will hear from us by the end of March. If your piece does not win, do not despair! You may submit to our online content. For rules and guidelines on submitting, visit

My poems are in a few separate files. How can I submit them???

We ask that you combine your pieces into one file for each submission. If you’re working with PDFs, they can be merged –

Do I need to put my name on my submission?

You can if you’d like, but you don’t have to. Because you’re submitting through a Submittable account we will already see your name linked with your submission.

If you select my contest submission, do you have one-time rights or do I give up rights to later publish the piece?

Yes, we have one-time rights.

More questions? Email us at