Announcing the Judges for our Annual Literary Contest

The reading period for our Annual Literary Contest opens this Saturday (Feb 20th), and we couldn’t be more excited about this year’s judges!

Richard Blanco will be the judge for the Stephen Dunn Prize in Poetry, Celeste Ng will be the judge for our Fiction Prize, and Michael Steinberg will be the judge for our Non-Fiction Prize.

Submissions will be open Feb 20th-Apr 20th, so polish your best work and send it our way!

More details on our esteemed judges are below. You can read last year’s winning pieces, and see guidelines for this year’s contest, on the Annual Literary Contest page.

blancoRichard 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

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).



MiJSMichael 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.




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