The Iowa Review Awards

We accept submissions to the Iowa Review Awards during the month of January. Judges for the 2019 Awards are Kiki Petrosino (poetry), Rebecca Makkai (fiction), and Roxane Gay (nonfiction).

About the Contest

Each January since 2003, The Iowa Review has invited submissions to The Iowa Review Awards, a writing contest in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Winners receive $1,500; first runners-up receive $750. Winners and runners-up are published in each December issue.

Contest Rules

Submit up to 25 pages of prose (double-spaced) or 10 pages of poetry (one poem or several, but no more than one poem per page). Work must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are fine assuming you inform us of acceptance elsewhere.

To submit, visit during the month of January and follow these instructions:

  • Select the appropriate genre category. If you'd like to purchase a discounted yearlong subscription to The Iowa Review for $10, please choose a genre marked "(subscription)." Otherwise, choose "(no subscription)." 
  • Include a cover letter listing your name, address, e-mail address and/or telephone number, and the title of each submitted work. (Please use the "Cover Letter" form field in Submittable; do not include the cover letter as part of your uploaded document.)
  • Do not include your name on the manuscript itself.
  • Upload your entry. Multiple poems or prose pieces can comprise a single entry if the total number of pages does not exceed 25 for prose or 10 for poetry. For instance, you may submit two short stories of ten pages each as a single entry; the stories would be read and judged separately. But please do not mix genres: a ten-page story and a two-page poem constitute separate entries.
  • Pay the $20 entry fee using Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.
  • If you submit more than one entry, even within the same genre, you must submit the $20 entry fee with each entry.
  • Submit between January 1 and January 31.

Judges will select winners from a group of finalists chosen by Iowa Review editors. All manuscripts, whether selected as finalists or not, are considered for publication.

Notice: We no longer accept paper contest submissions. If you need help with our online submission system, please call our office.

See past winners.

Eligibility and Conflicts of Interest

Previous Iowa Review Awards winners and runners-up are not eligible to enter the contest.

Current students, faculty, and staff of the University of Iowa are not eligible to enter the contest. University of Iowa students must wait at least three years after graduation to submit to the Iowa Review Awards.

Work is ineligible to win our contest if it is slated for publication before December 2019, whether in another magazine or as part of a book, or if it has been named winner or runner-up in any other contest. Please withdraw work from our contest immediately if these conditions apply.

Judges are instructed not to award the prize to entrants with whom they have had a personal or professional relationship. Despite reading the entries with author names removed, judges may sometimes be able to guess the identity of the entrant. Even if they can't tell during the judging process, they have the right to change their decision if it turns out that the entrant is someone with whom there is any appearance of conflict of interest. Therefore, we advise entrants not to enter the contest if the judge is someone they know personally or have worked with professionally.