2018 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 1800 entries…



Prizewinners selected by guest judge Susan Perabo - published in Fall 2018 issue

First - $1500: "Home as Found" by Frank Meola in Brooklyn, NY
Second - $500: "Explain It To Me" by Jenessa Abrams in New York, NY
Third - $250: "Conflagration" by Suzanne Barefoot in Lancaster, PA
Editor’s Choice - $125: "Terschelling" by Jaap van der Schaaf in London, England
Editor’s Choice - $125: "How Would You Like to Be Dead?" by Noah Bogdonoff in Providence, RI




Susan Perabo is the author of two collections of short stories, Why They Run the Way They Do and Who I Was Supposed to Be, and two novels, The Fall of Lisa Bellow and The Broken Places (all with Simon and Schuster). Her fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, and New Stories from the South, and has appeared in numerous magazines, including One Story, Glimmer Train, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, and The Sun. She is a professor of creative writing at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA.

2017 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 1800 entries…



Prizewinners selected by guest judge Pinckney Benedict - published in Fall 2017 issue

First - $1500: "Richard" by David J. Wingrave in Warsaw, Poland
Second - $500: "Laughing and Turning Away" by Patrick Holloway in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Third - $250: "Homecoming" by Zachary Lunn in Raleigh, NC
Editor’s Choice - $125: "The Anatomy of Todd Melkin" by Catherine Malcynsky in Chester, CT
Editor’s Choice - $125: "Windfall" by Edward Hamlin in Boulder, CO




GUEST JUDGE: Pinckney Benedict

Pinckney Benedict grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. He has published a novel (Dogs of God) and three collections of short fiction, the most recent of which is Miracle Boy and Other Stories. His work has been published in, among other magazines and anthologies, EsquireZoetrope: All-Story, the O. Henry Award series, the Pushcart Prize series, the Best New Stories from the South series, The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction, and The Oxford Book of the American Short Story. He is the recipient of, among other awards and honors, a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a fiction grant from the Illinois Arts Council, two Plattner Awards for fiction fromAppalachian Heritage magazine, a Literary Fellowship from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, and the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Award. Benedict serves as a professor in the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

2016 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 1400 entries...



Prizewinners selected by guest judge - Published in Fall 2016 issue
First - $1500: "And It Is My Fault" by Janet Towle in Dutch Flat, CA
Second - $500: "Come Down to the Water" by Emily Flamm in College Park, MD
Third - $250: "A Working Theory of Stellar Collapse" by Sam Miller Khaikin in Brooklyn, NY
Editor’s Choice (Anna) - $125: "Mostly Sunny (With a Slight Chance of Rain)" by Chelsea Catherine in Summerland Key, FL
Editor’s Choice (Claire) - $125: "A Wave Breaking" by Phoebe Driscoll in Memphis, TN


Honorable Mention
"Evolve" by Jeff Moscaritolo
"Flint" by Michael Sloyka


GUEST JUDGE: Caitlin Horrocks

Caitlin Horrocks is author of the story collection This Is Not Your City, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her stories appear in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize, The Paris Review, The Atlantic, Tin House, One Story, and other journals and anthologies. Her awards include the Plimpton Prize and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the MacDowell Colony. She is the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review and teaches at Grand Valley State University and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is at work on a novel and a second story collection, both forthcoming from Little, Brown.

2015 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 1200 entries...


Prizewinners selected by guest judge - Published in Fall 2015 issue
First - $1000: "Arrangements" by Charlie Watts in Providence, RI.
Second - $500: "Kudzu" by Andrea Bobotis in Denver, CO.
Third - $250: "Jack Nicely" by Amanda Pauley in Elliston, VA.
Editor’s Choice (Matthew) - $125: "The Giant" by Joe Shlichta in Olympia, WA.
Editor’s Choice (Suzanne) - $125: "All That We Burned, All That We Loved" by Laura Haugen in U.S.A.


Honorable Mention
"Vanish" by Michael Minchin in Randolph, VT.


Thank you to ALL who entered and made this year another amazing contest!


GUEST JUDGE: Andre dubus iii

Andre Dubus III is the author of six books: The Cage Keeper and Other StoriesBluesman, and the New York Times bestsellers, House of Sand and FogThe Garden of Last Days (soon to be a major motion picture) and his memoir, Townie, a #4 New York Times bestseller and a New York Times "Editors' Choice." His work has been included in The Best American Essays and The Best Spiritual Writing anthologies, and his novel, House of Sand and Fog was a finalist for the National Book Award, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, and was made into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Ben Kingsley and Jennifer Connelly. His new book, Dirty Love, was published in the fall of 2013 and has been listed as a New York Times “Notable Book”, a New York Times Editors’ Choice”, a 2013 “Notable Fiction” choice from The Washington Post, and a Kirkus “Starred Best Book of 2013”.

Mr. Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and a 2012 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.

2014 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 1300 entries...


Prizewinners - Published in Fall 2014 issue
First - $1500: “Safe, Somewhere” by Baird Harper in Oak Park, IL.
Second - $500: “The Snow Children” by Wendy Oleson in Los Angeles, CA.
Third - $250: “Martha and Other Anomalies” by Kerrin Piche Serna in Fullerton, CA.
Editor’s Choice (Matthew) - $125: “Entr’acte” by Mark Connelly in Milwaukee, WI.
Editor’s Choice (Kristin) - $125: “Cantaloupe” by Karen Loeb in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


Honorable Mentions
“A Little off the Top” by Mathieu Cailler
“Seven Boxes” by Jeffrey Ricker
“Lilith in Paradise” by Courtney Sender
“Rabbit Season” by Katie Reilly


Thank you to ALL who entered and made this year another amazing contest!


GUEST JUDGE: Aimee bender

Aimee Bender is the author of five books: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (1998) which was a NY Times Notable Book, An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000) which was an L.A. Times pick of the year, Willful Creatures(2005) which was nominated byThe Believer as one of the best books of the year, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010) which recently won the SCIBA award for best fiction, and an Alex Award, and The Color Master, released this last August, a NY Times Notable book for 2013.

Her short fiction has been published in Granta, GQ, Harper’s, Tin House, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, and many more places, as well as heard on PRI’s This American Life and Selected Shorts. She has received two Pushcart prizes, was nominated for the TipTree award in 2005, and the Shirley Jackson short story award in 2010. Her fiction has been translated into sixteen languages.

She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at USC.

2013 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 1000 entries…


Prizewinners - Published in the Fall 2013 issue
First place - $1000: “Tu quoque” by Jake Andrews in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Second place - $750: “No Translation” by Mona Awad in Manhattan, NYC.
Third place - $500: “Heisenberg” by William Shih in Queens, NYC.
Editor’s Choice (Matthew) - $250: “The Gymnast” by Jennifer Harvey in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Editor’s Choice (Kristin) - $250: “Twenty-Nine Ingredients” by Lesley Quinn in Oakland, CA.


Honorable Mentions
“A Space You Can Fall Into” by Liz Prato
“Bree Hadley” by Rebecca McKanna
“Brushed Nickel” by Adam Shafer
“Caravan” by Donna Obeid
“Thunder in Illnois” by Leslie Campbell

The first four Honorable Mentions were published as a bonus feature in our Premium Edition.


GUEST JUDGE: christopher castellani


Christopher Castellani is the author of three novels, each published by Algonquin Books: All This Talk of Love (2013), The Saint of Lost Things (2005), and A Kiss from Maddalena (2003), winner of the Massachusetts Book Award. He is a contributor to numerous books on writing, including Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Fiction Writer (Random House, 2008) and Mentors, Muses and Monsters: 30 Writers on the People Who Changed Their Lives (Free Press, 2009). A short story, “The Living” will be published as a Ploughshares Solo in June 2013. He is the artistic director of Grub Street, teaches every other semester in the Warren Wilson MFA Program, is on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, and for the fall 2013 term will be a visiting professor at Swarthmore College. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

2012 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 690 entries...


Prizewinners - Published in the Fall 2012 issue
1st place - $1000: ”The Odyssey” by Jia Tolentino in Houston, TX
2nd place - $750: ”The Third Element” by Jodi Paloni in Marlboro, VT
3rd place - $500: ”Neuropathy” by Kathy Flann in Baltimore, MD
Editor’s Choice (Matthew) - $250: ”Starlings” by Joseph Johnson in Ellensburg, WA
Editor's Choice (Kristin) - $250: ”Floating on Water” by Dalia Rosenfeld in Charlottesville, VA


Honorable Mentions
"Kitchen Math" - Soma Mei Sheng Frazier
"Great Hall" - Carmiel Banasky


GUEST JUDGE: bridget boland

Bridget Boland is a Dallas-based writer whose work has appeared in Conde Nast Women’s Sports and Fitness, YogaChicago, and The Essential Chicago. Her debut novel, The Doula, will be published by Simon and Schuster in September 2012.

Ms. Boland teaches writing classes on fiction and memoir, coaches other writers, and offers seminars on yoga, energetics and writing as life process tools. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a JD from Loyola University of Chicago, and is the recipient of five residencies at The Ragdale Foundation for Writers and Artists.

2011 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 530 entries...


The show of talent this year was incredible - so much so that we’ve decided to publish all nine finalists: the five prizewinners and four honorable mentions. Congratulations to them all.

Prizewinners - Published in the Fall 2011 issue
1st place - $1000: “Stalled Symphony” by Liesl Wilke in Mercer Island, WA
2nd place - $750: “Credo” by Bridget Brewer in Portland, OR
3rd place - $500: “Promises, Promises” by Susan Finch in Grand Junction, CO
Editor’s Choice (Matthew) - $250: “Motherlove” by Mark Farrington in Alexandria, VA
Editor's Choice (Kristin) - $250: “Whiskey & Ribbons” by Leesa Cross-Smith in Louisville, KY


Honorable Mentions - $100 each
 ”Oregon Grind” by Rick Attig in Portland, OR
“What Happy Couples Do” by Anna Cox in Guelph, Ontario
 ”The English Speakers” by Sarah Quigley in Christchurch, New Zealand
“The Mattress Boy of Cameroon” by Kate Jackson in North Hills, CA


Guest Judge: julie hersh


Julie Hersh is the author of Struck by Living, already in its second printing after publication in April 2010.

She has been awarded the Mental Health American Ruth Altschuler Community Advocate Prism Award and selected as one of the 2010 Distinguished Women by Northwood University, and she is an outspoken advocate for mental health.

Learn more about her and her accomplishments at her website.

2010 Raymond Carver Contest

Returning after Carve's yearlong hiatus...

Prizewinners - Published in the Winter 2010 issue
1st place - $1000: “The White Rabbit” by Maire Cooney in Glasgow, UK
2nd place - $500: “Unpracticed Altitudes” by Shaun Hamill in Hurst, Texas
3rd place - $250: “When You Cross the Border” by Molly Greeley in Ellicott City, Maryland
Editor’s Choice - $125: “It Was So Many Years Ago” by Amber Krieger in Portland, Oregon


Honorable Mention
“The Appointment” by Frances Gonzalez



This year there was no guest judge. Top 3 prizes were determined by Editor-in-Chief Matthew Limpede and Editor’s Choice was awarded by Managing Editor Kristin vanNamen.

2009 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 700 entries...

1st place - $1000: “What You’ve Done For Me” by John S. Walker in Cordova, TN
2nd place - $750: “At the Last Minute” by Martha Miller in Springfield, IL
3rd place - $500: “Zero Pressure” by Soma Mei Sheng Frazier in San Leandro, CA
Editor’s Choice - $250: “How The Tiger Got Its Stripes” by Nicholas Hogg in New York, NY


Honorable Mentions
University Hospital, Timothy Crandle
A Rastafarian Buddha, Ann Selby
Agavé, Rashad Harrison



Guest Judge: melvin sterne


Melvin Sterne worked construction for 22 years with the Boilermakers and Ironworkers before returning to college to earn his BA (University of Washington), MA (University of California at Davis), and PhD (Florida State University). He founded Carve Magazine in March of 2000 with the aid of a grant from the Mary Gates Foundation. He is currently Assistant Professor of English at the American University of Afghanistan, where he teaches creative writing, literature, composition, and other courses in the Humanities Concentration. He has won awards for his writing including the 2001 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, and two Pushcart nominations. Like so many writers, he has a novel with an agent, and is working on another. Visit his website at

Carve invited founding editor Melvin Sterne in honor of the magazine’s 10th anniversary.

2008 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 440 entries...


First prize - $1,000: “The Last Hours of Pompeii” by Marc Nieson in Pittsburgh, PA
Second prize - $750: “Mourning the Departed” by L. Annette Binder in Los Angeles, CA
Third prize - $500: “Used to Be” by Elizabeth Baines in Didsbury, Manchester, UK
Editor’s Choice - $250: “Limits” by Sung J. Woo in Washington, NJ
Editor's Choice - $250 “Cooling” by Julie Eill in Alexandria, VA


Honorable Mentions
Margaret Rodenberg - “Mrs. Morrisette”
Michael Schiavone - “No One Comes Up Here By Accident”
Michael Schiavone - “For Those Who Have Also Dared”
Paul Vidich - “Home Theater”
Amelia Beamer - “The Cat, Kicking”


Guest Judge: cristina henriquez

Cristina Henriquez is the author of Come Together, Fall Apart, a collection of short stories and a novella.  Her stories have been published in The New Yorker, Glimmer Train, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, and AGNI.  She was featured in Virginia Quarterly Review as one of “Fiction’s New Luminaries.”  She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.  More information is available at her website.

2007 Raymond Carver Contest

From over 350 entries...

1st Place - $1000: “Agashi” by AC Koch
2nd Place - $500: “Summit” by Julia Gordon-Bramer
3rd Place - $250: “One Hundred Santas” by Liz Skillman

Editor’s Choice - $50: “Different Than Any Day So Far” by Marc Phillips
Editor's Choice - $50: “The Ways You Are Gone” by Kami Westhoff

Honorable Mentions
Lauren Faulkberry - “The Fire Eater”
Deivis Garcia - “Word is Bond”
Andrew Howard - “The Pull, The Weight”
Michael Schiavone - “The Kind You Can’t Take Aspirin For”
Midge Raymond - “Lost Art”
Sally Bellerose - “The Summer of ‘68”
Steve Young - “Wasps”
James Sievert - “The Man Who Would Sing”


Guest Judge: ben fountain

Ben Fountain’s fiction has appeared in Zoetrope, Harper’s, and The Paris Review.  He is the recipient of an O. Henry Prize and two Pushcart Prizes.  His short story collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, earned him the 2007 PEN/Hemingway Award for distinguished first book of fiction.


Listed in the archived table of contents of online stories.