Previous Contests

2021 Prose Chapbook Contest

We are looking for smart, daring manuscripts that overtake us, break us, and rebuild us with beautiful language. We welcome all forms of prose manuscripts: fiction, CNF, or hybrid. Hit us with one powerful story, or delight us with a series of flash. Blur genres or stay true to form. Surprise us. Challenge us. Manuscripts with more than one piece should feel cohesive and coherent.

Prize Details

  • The winner will receive $600 USD and 20 copies of their chapbook in hard-copy.
  • Chapbooks will be published through Chestnut Review via a print-on-demand provider. The winner earns 30% royalties, distributed annually on all copies sold.
  • The winning chapbook will be advertised in Chestnut Review and on social media, and will be featured for sale on and via our website.
  • The winning author will be interviewed in a feature in the Summer 2022 issue of Chestnut Review.
  • Mutually agreeable cover art is to be selected from either Chestnut Review’s rights-free source or an image the winner has rights to and provides.


  • Submissions will be open from June 1, 2021 to July 31, 2021. 
  • The winner will be announced in February 2022 for publication in summer 2022.

Manuscript Details

  • Chapbooks may be on any theme or subject although Chestnut Review reserves the right not to publish material it deems abusive or offensive.
  • Chapbooks should be original and unpublished. Individual pieces may be previously published as long as all previously published material does not make up more than 50% of the whole chapbook. Please note previously published work on an acknowledgments page.
  • Length. Between 5000-8000 words total.
  • You may include a dedication and/or acknowledgements page. These do not count toward total word count.
  • Include page numbers and Table of Contents.
  • Times New Roman 12 point font, .docx format. Double-spaced (unless you are specifically using special formatting).
  • Please start each new piece on a different page. 
  • No images of any kind can be accepted as part of the manuscript.
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us if the chapbook is accepted elsewhere.
  • This contest is not read blind. You may include a cover letter if you wish.
  • Neither past nor present staff of Chestnut Review nor their family members are eligible to participate in this contest.
  • Entries via Submittable only.

2021 Stubborn Writers Contest
March 1-April 30, 2021

Category: Flash Fiction (<1000 words). Judge: Cathy Ulrich
            First Prize: $500, Second Prize: $250, Third Prize: $125

Category: Poetry (<60 lines). Judge: Dorothy Chan
            First Prize: $500, Second Prize: $250, Third Prize: $125

Category: Short Fiction (1000-5000 words). Judge: Cathy Ulrich
            First Prize: $500, Second Prize: $250, Third Prize: $125

Dorothy Chan


Dorothy Chan is the author of Revenge of the Asian Woman (Diode Editions, 2019), Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018), and the chapbook Chinatown Sonnets (New Delta Review, 2017). She was a 2020 and 2014 finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, a 2020 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Poetry for Revenge of the Asian Woman, and a 2019 recipient of the Philip Freund Prize in Creative Writing from Cornell University. Her work has appeared in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Poetry Editor of Hobart, Book Reviews Co-Editor of Pleiades, and Founding Editor and Editor in Chief of Honey Literary. Visit her website at

Cathy Ulrich

Cathy Ulrich is the founding editor of Milk Candy Review, a journal of flash fiction. Her work has been published in various journals, including Black Warrior Review, Passages North, and Wigleaf and can be found in Best Microfiction 2019 and 2020, Best Small Fictions 2019 and Wigleaf‘s Top 50 Very Short Fictions 2017 and 2019. She lives in Montana with her daughter and various small animals. She is the author of Ghosts of You (2019, Okay Donkey Press). You can follow her Twitter here:


Contest Rules

  1. Submissions open March 1, 2021 and close on April 30, 2021. Winners will be announced in October and the winning pieces will appear in the January 2022 issue of Chestnut Review.
  2. Submission fee is $20. All fees are nonrefundable. Authors for whom the submission fee is a barrier are invited to email the editor-in-chief directly to request special consideration.
  3. All submitted work must be the sole creation of the submitter and may not have been previously published in any medium.
  4. 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.
  5. Simultaneous and multiple submissions are permitted, as long as they adhere to these guidelines.
  6. We reserve the right to offer publication to submissions in addition to those of the prize winners. Such offers will be for usual payment ($100 per piece), regardless of genre, and may be for any future issue of Chestnut Review.
  7. Open to U.S. writers only. Winners will be required to submit a Social Security number for tax purposes to receive cash prizes.
  8. Any entrant in any category who has a social or professional relationship with the judge of that category is ineligible to submit.
  9. Entrants who contact the judge regarding their entry before the contest or prior to the announcement of winners will be immediately disqualified without refund.
  10. The judges will award three prizes (1st, 2nd, 3rd) in each category. The decisions of the judges are final. Judges will not provide critiques of submissions.
  11. All prize winners’ pieces will be featured in the January 2022 issue of Chestnut Review; prize payment is in lieu of usual publication payment.

Types of Entries

  • Short Fiction: one piece of 1,000-5,000 words.
  • Flash Fiction: 1-4 pieces, each less than 1000 words.
  • Poetry: up to 5 poems, each <60 lines in length.

Methods of Entry

  1. Entries will only be accepted through our Submittable account (link below).
  2. This is a blind contest, and all entry documents must be free of any identifying information, including file names. Pieces with identifying information will be disqualified and not read by judges, and no refund will be given to the submitter. Please note that there is no title or bio field for this contest on Submittable.
  3. All submitted work should be in one file.
  4. Documents should be in Times New Roman or another standard font, 12 point. PROSE should be double-spaced and pages should be numbered, with word count indicated before each piece. POETRY should be single-spaced, one poem to a page, and with any continuation to the next page clearly indicated.


2021 CHESTNUT REVIEW Poetry Chapbook Contest

(Sponsored by Duotrope)

CHESTNUT REVIEW is thrilled to announce our 2021 poetry chapbook contest! (See our 2020 winner’s chapbook here).

Manuscripts will pass through a multi-stage reading process and authors may receive responses to their submission at any time between January and June, 2021. All manuscripts will be read by the editors of CHESTNUT REVIEW, who will select one winner.


  • Submissions open from 1 November 2020 until 31 December 2020 via our regular Submittable page (link below).
  • A winner will be announced, along with finalists, in June 2021.
  • The winning chapbook will be published in paperback in fall 2021.


  • Poetry only (no images or other media)
  • Length: 25-30 pages of poetry
  • Times New Roman, 12-point font is preferred. 
  • Poems may have been published individually, but never as a collection. At least 50% of the poems must be unpublished at time of manuscript submission.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please let us know immediately if the collection has been accepted elsewhere via Submittable.
  • Multiple submissions are permitted. Each submission must be accompanied by the submission fee.
  • Submit works written in English only. Translations are not accepted.
  • Please submit your manuscript in a .doc or .docx format.
  • Submissions are blind, so do not include any identifying information in the manuscript.
  • Include a title page with the manuscript title only and a table of contents. No acknowledgments pages, please.
  • Submission fee is $15.


  • The winner will receive $600 USD and 20 copies of their chapbook in hard-copy.
  • The winner will also receive a 2-year Duotrope Gift Certificate ($100 value).
  • The winning chapbook will be advertised in the CHESTNUT REVIEW and featured for sale on and via our website.
  • The winning author will be interviewed in a feature in the October 2021 issue of CHESTNUT REVIEW.


  • We reserve the right to feature poems from the winning chapbook, at our discretion, in future issues of CHESTNUT REVIEW without further compensation, and submission of a manuscript indicates your acceptance of these terms.
  • CHESTNUT REVIEW will produce a finished print-on-demand chapbook for sale and 20 copies to the author by 1 November 2021. In the unlikely event this deadline is not met, all rights return to the author, who retains the prize money without penalty or obligation.
  • CHESTNUT REVIEW does not provide e-book versions of the text. We will deliver the Adobe Indesign file for your book on request if you wish to use it as the basis of an e-publication. We cannot provide any technical assistance in preparing such publication.