Winter Contest

Congratulations to the 2017 winners

Danny Coleman for “Soon”

Danny Coleman is an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University. He was a finalist for the 2017 Zoetrope: All Story Short Fiction Contest. This is his first publication.

Mick Powell for “last night I dreamed KJ undead”

Mick Powell is a queer black Cape Verdean poet who is working on a MFA at Southern Connecticut State University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Apogee Journal, Winter Tangerine, and other publications.

Easton Smith for “Dispatches from the War on Christmas”

Easton Smith is a community organizer and writer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. His writing has been published in the Sonora Review, Mask magazine, and online at Brine Waves, which he co-edits with a small collective of climate justice activists.

2017 Contest Judges 

Karan Mahajan (Fiction)

Karan Mahajan is the author of Family Planning, a finalist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and The Association of Small Bombs, which was shortlisted for the 2016 National Book Awards, won the the 2017 NYPL Young Lions Award, and was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s “Ten Best Books of 2016.” In 2017, he was selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker Online, n+1, and other venues. For more details, please visit Karan Mahajan’s website.

Bianca Stone (Poetry)

Bianca Stone is a poet and visual artist. She is the author of the poetry collection Someone Else’s Wedding Vows, (Tin House & Octopus Books 2014); Poetry Comics From the Book of Hours, (Pleiades, 2016), the illustrated edition of Antigonick(New Directions, 2012) a collaboration with Anne Carson, and The Mobius Strip Club of Grief, forthcoming from Tin House, 2018. Bianca runs The Ruth Stone Foundation & Monk Books along with her husband, the poet Ben Pease, and their daughter Odette, in Goshen, Vermont.

Valeria Luiselli (Nonfiction)

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. She is the author of the award-winning novels The Story of My Teeth (2015) and Faces in the Crowd (2013), and the books of essays Sidewalks (2013) and Tell Me How It Ends (2017) – all published by Coffee House Press. Tell Me How It Ends is a Finalist for the Kirkus Prize. Her work has been translated into many languages and has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Granta, Harper’s and McSweeney’s. She lives in Harlem, NY. She is at work on her second novel, The Lost Children Archives (forthcoming Knopf 2018).

Our annual writing contest is now closed. The contest will reopen later this year. The winners will have their work published in the print issue 57 of Columbia Journal and receive a cash prize.

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 2017 Winter Contest requires a$15 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 accept submissions from U.S. citizens and permanent residents. We also accept submissions from non-U.S. citizens who are living outside the U.S. 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 any questions, please email us at

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