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Creative writing is an opportunity for all people to freely express their ideas and complicate structures of power.

Columbia Journal, the literary magazine of the Columbia University Writing Program, would like to extend a special invitation to writers who are incarcerated to submit work. The Journal is offering fee waivers for its annual Winter Contest to all writers who are in prison. We look forward to reading your work!

What to submit:
Fiction (7,500 words maximum)
Nonfiction (7,5000 words maximum)
Poetry (5 pages maximum)

Winners will have their work published in the print edition of Columbia Journal, which will be released in Spring 2017, and may be eligible for monetary prizes. Submissions, even non-winnings ones, may also be considered for publication on the Columbia Journal website.

Submissions open October 3rd, 2016 and close December 12th, 2016 (this is a postmark deadline).

About the Journal

Columbia Journal was founded in 1977 by students in the Columbia University School of the Arts Graduate Writing program. Since then, our student production and editorial staff has been publishing the very best in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We have featured work from Nobel laureates and unknowns, National Book–award winners and newcomers. Our past issues have included Raymond Carver, Lorrie Moore, Noam Chomsky, Lydia Davis, and Michael Ondaatje.

Writers may send physical copies of their work to the following address:

Columbia University Writing Program
Attn: Columbia Journal, Winter Contest
415 Dodge Hall
Mail Code 1804
2960 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

If you have questions, please email Daniel Lefferts ( and Heather Radke (