Current Contest

2022 Stubborn Writers Contest

Chestnut Review is thrilled to announce our 2022 stubborn writers contest! 

Types of Entries

  • Fiction: one piece of 1,000-3,000 words, or up to 3 flash, each less than 1000 words.
  • Poetry: up to 3 poems.



Rita Mookerjee is the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Postdoctoral Fellow at DePaul University. She holds a PhD in Literature from Florida State University. In 2020, she was a Fulbright fellow in Jamaica. She is the co-founder of Honey Literary, Inc. and a Poetry Editor at Split Lip Magazine. False Offering, her debut full-length collection, is forthcoming in 2023 from Jackleg Press. Her poetry is featured in Juked, Hobart Pulp, New Orleans Review, The Offing, and Baltimore Review.



Tara Isabel Zambrano is a writer of color and the author of Death, Desire And Other Destinations, a full-length flash collection by OKAY Donkey Press. Her work has won the first prize in The Southampton Review Short Short Fiction Contest 2019, a second prize in Bath Flash Award 2020, been a Finalist in Bat City Review 2018 Short Prose Contest and Mid-American Review Fineline 2018 Contest. Her flash fiction has been published in The Best Small Fictions 2019, The Best Micro Fiction 2019, 2020 Anthology. She lives in Texas and is the Fiction Editor for Waxwing Literary Journal.

Contest Rules

  1. Submissions open April 1, 2022, and close on May 15, 2022. Winners will be announced in October and the winning pieces will appear in the January 2023 issue of Chestnut Review. All submissions will receive a response in Submittable and we will notify submitters whose works appear on the longlist and shortlist about their status as well as with a final decision within a reasonable period; however, this will go beyond our normal 30-day response time. All communications will be handled through Submittable, so please make sure you can receive our messages.
  2. We offer 1-2 sentences of feedback on every submission packet, which may concentrate on the work overall or on how a certain piece struck readers. You may opt out of this feedback in Submittable. For those of you who often submit to Chestnut Review, this is different than our normal paid feedback submissions, which you still may request on contest pieces.
  3. Submission fee is $15. All fees are nonrefundable. Authors for whom the submission fee is a barrier are invited to email the managing editor directly ( to request financial assistance.
  4. All submitted work must be the sole creation of the submitter and may not have been previously published in any medium.
  5. Chestnut Review retains publication rights of winning pieces as for any accepted piece of work in the magazine; all other rights remain with the author.
  6. Simultaneous and multiple submissions are permitted, as long as they adhere to these guidelines and any accepted work is immediately withdrawn via Submittable message.
  7. We reserve the right to offer publication to submissions from among the finalists in addition to those of the prize winners. Such offers will be for usual payment ($120 per piece), regardless of genre, and may be for any future issue of Chestnut Review.
  8. Any entrant in any category who has a social or professional relationship with the judge of that category is ineligible to submit.
  9. We are open to entrants from all over the world; however, international payments will be processed via PayPal.
  10. Entrants who contact the judge regarding their entry before the contest or prior to the announcement of winners will be immediately disqualified without refund.
  11. The judges will award 1st prize in each category and select finalists from a longlist. The decisions of the judges are final. Judges will not provide critiques of submissions.
  12. All prize winners’ pieces will be featured in the January 2023 issue of Chestnut Review; prize payment is in lieu of usual publication payment.
  13. For this contest, we will only be accepting works of fiction, either short stories or flash, or poetry. Autofiction is welcome, but your works will be read and considered as fiction by our staff and judges.

Method of Entry

  1. Entries will only be accepted through our Submittable account (link below).
  2. All entry documents must be free of any identifying information, including file names.
  3. All submitted work should be in one file.
  4. Documents should be in Times New Roman or another standard font, 12 point. FICTION should be double-spaced and pages should be numbered, with word count indicated before each piece and new pieces on a new page with clear titles. POETRY should be single-spaced, one poem to a page, with new pieces beginning on a new page with clear titles.


Contest Schedule

Stubborn Writers
Categories for Poetry and Fiction
Managing Editor: Maria S. Picone
Submissions open April 1-May 15th

Prose Chapbook
Editor: Maria S. Picone
Submissions open June 1–July 31

Poetry Chapbook
Editor: Mark Blackford
Submissions open November 1–December 31

Previous Contests

Ethics Statement

We abide by the CLMP Ethics Code by agreeing to:

  • conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;
  • provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and
  • make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.

    For more information, see the full CLMP Code of Ethics