Writing Contest



blancoThe $500 Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry (Stephen Dunn is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Different Hours and 15 other collections of poetry and prose, including the recently published Here and Now) judged by Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco is the author of several books. His most recent collection of poems is Looking for The Gulf Motel, which won the Maine Literary Award for Poetry, and the Thomas Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States. Blanco performed “One Today,” an original poem he wrote for the occasion, becoming the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and openly gay writer to hold the honor.


Photo credit: Kevin Day

Photo credit: Kevin Day

The $1,000 Fiction Prize judged by Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Everything I Never Told You. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, One Story, Gulf Coast, The Millions, and elsewhere, and has been awarded the Pushcart Prize and the Massachusetts Book Award.  She earned an MFA from the University of Michigan. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To learn more about her, visit or follow her on Twitter (@pronounced_ing).



MiJSThe $500 Nonfiction Prize, donated and judged by Michael Steinberg

Michael Steinberg is the Founding editor of Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction. He has written and co-authored five books and a stage play. Still Pitching won the 2003 ForeWord Magazine Memoir of the Year. An anthology, The Fourth Genre: Contemporary Writers of/on Creative Nonfiction (with Robert Root Jr.) is in its sixth edition.

His essays and memoirs have won several national awards and have appeared in many literary journals. His work has also been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and cited a number of times in Best American Essays.

Steinberg has taught at numerous national and international writer’s conferences; and he’s been a guest writer/writer-in-residence at several colleges and universities.

Currently, he’s nonfiction writer-in-residence in the Solstice/Pine Manor MFA program.



Winners as well as finalists will be published in our Summer Awards Issue due out in early August. All winners and finalists will be cited in future advertisements and announcements.

Previous judges have included Martha Collins, Kim McLarin, Randall Kenan, Jennifer Haigh, Jerald Walker, David Huddle, A. Van Jordan, Andres Dubus III, and Terrance Hayes.

READING PERIOD: February 20-April 20, 2016
Contest Deadline Extended until May 7th!***




1. Cover sheet required with name, address, telephone number and email. Email and/or phone MUST be included to be considered. Please include cover sheet in the same file as the actual submission. Do not put your name on the manuscript itself. Final judges will be choosing on the basis of the quality of your work.

2. 12-point font. Microsoft Word attachment. Online submissions only.

3. Each entry: Fiction or Nonfiction: 23-page maximum, double-spaced; free-standing excerpts from books also accepted.  Poetry: 3-poem maximum.

4. You may submit more than once but must pay a separate fee for each entry.

5. You may submit simultaneously elsewhere, but please email us immediately if accepted at another journal.

6. We will not accept previously published work. Solstice has first publication rights, but copyright reverts to you upon publication. We will publish the piece after the Summer Awards Issue in our Archives.

7. If you won last year’s contest, you must skip a year before resubmitting to the contest, but we encourage you to submit work to Solstice for general publication.

8. We will announce the winners online on our Home Page approximately 6-8 weeks after the contest deadline.  We do not notify individual submitters by email.  For results, please check the Home Page.

9. After announcing the winners, all contest submissions will be automatically considered for standard publication unless you indicate otherwise.

10. The $18.00 entry fee must be paid online.





Read our Previous Winners:


Nonfiction: Michelle Blake – “A Fable for Our Times
Fiction: Shanyn Fiske – “Calligraphy
Poetry: Alysia Nicole Harris – Omnipotence