Annual Literary Contest

2018 Literary Contest Coming Soon!


2017 Annual Literary Contest

The $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 Afaa Michael Weaver.

AFAA MICHAEL WEAVER is an American poet, short story writer and editor. He is the author of numerous poetry collections and his honors include a Fulbright Scholarship and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Foundation, and Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award.

Weaver studied for two years at the University of Maryland then went to work in a factory with his father and uncles. After fifteen years, he earned a B.A. from Exclesior College and an M.A. from Brown University on a fellowship. In addition to founding 7th Son Press and the literary journal Blind Alleys, he taught at National Taiwan University and Taipei National University of the Arts as a Fulbright Scholar. Weaver was also a faculty member at the Cave Canem Foundation’s annual retreat and the first to be named an elder of the Cave Canem Foundation. He also studied Chinese language at the Taipei Language Institute in Taiwan.

Weaver teaches at Simmons College and is director of the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center. He is Chairman of the Simmons International Chinese Poetry Conference. Tess Onwueme, the Nigerian playwright, gave Weaver the Ibo name “Afaa,” meaning “oracle,” while Dr. Perng Ching-hsi has given him the Chinese name “Wei Yafeng.”
His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and magazines including Callaloo.


The $1,000 Fiction Prize


Judged by Robert Lopez, author of All Back Full

ROBERT LOPEZ is the author of the novels All Back Full, Part of the World and Kamby Bolongo Mean River, and of two story collections, Asunder and Good People. Among other places, his fiction has appeared in the American ReaderBOMBBrooklyn RailHobartIndiana Review, Literarian, Nerve, New York Tyrant, Vice, and the Norton anthology Sudden Fiction Latino. He lives in Brooklyn and teaches fiction writing at The New School, Pratt Institute, Columbia University, and the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College.


The $500 Nonfiction Prize, donated by Michael Steinberg

Judge: Meredith Hall, author of Without a Map

At the age of forty-four, MEREDITH HALL graduated from Bowdoin College. She wrote her first essay, “Killing Chickens,” in 2002. Two years later, she won the $50,000 Gift of Freedom Award from A Room of Her Own Foundation, which gave her the financial freedom to devote time to Without a Map, her first book. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize and notable essay recognition in Best American Essays; she was also a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Award. Hall’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, The Southern Review, Five Points, Prairie Schooner, and several anthologies. She teaches writing at the University of New Hampshire and lives in Maine.




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. Please indicate the genre of your piece next to the title.

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