The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

Now in its 16th year, the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $2500 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction from writers all over the world.

The contest opens each year April 1 - May 15 and prizewinners are published in the following fall issue in October.



Prizewinners selected by guest judge
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


Semifinalists - These stories made it through at least 2 rounds of readings and were considered by the editors.

A Hard Sky by Simon Stanley
A Manual of Small Engine Repair by Andrew Skola
A Pamphlet for This by Steve Trumpeter
A Real Life Experience by Sara Fraser
A Sun is Rising in the East by Ligaya Quibuyen
Acts of Nature, Acts of God by Annie Dawid
Albumleaf by Ann Calandro
Ballast by Christine Rice
Beautiful by Robin Devereaux-Nelson
Before Hitting the Ground by Jason Ferris
Being Bobby Lee by A-Richard Butts
Bobby Kennedy by Robert Johnson
Breaking In by Joel Coltharp
Cathedral in the Congo by Emmy Holman
Chess and Dragonflies by Tessa Lunney
Cowbirds by Kristen Arnett
Debut by Raisa Imogen
Deer by James Stephenson
Deer Spit by Karen Munro
Detour by Paul Negri
Eleven Things I Have Left Now That My Daughter is Gone by Vickie Fang
Exceptional by Barbara Drumheller
Funny Blood by Megan McNamer
Ghosts in Parkdale Mall by Z.G. Watkins
Grinch in Girighun by Uttama Patel
Head Lost in Milk by Yelena Moskovich
Homesteading by Matthew Denis
How It Endsw by Rosanna Staffa
Humpty Dumpty by Jeannette Landon
Intents and Purposes by Benjamin Gallagher
Is Now and Ever Shall Be by Robert Vander Lugt
July, 1999 by Jeannette Brown
King of the Mountain by Benjamin Busch
Lairwite by Jacob Appel
Left Open by Lynda Montgomery
Lost Boys by Chad Koch
Me and You and Zvonimir by Casey Whitworth
Miracle Mile by Justin Hunter
Mousetrap by Josh Denslow
My Gentle Sister by Gahl Becker
Nests by Trish Lindsey Jaggers
Pilsen Blue by Sally Weigel
Remember Hope? by Steven Hahn
Rom-Com (From the Cutting Room Floor) by Julie Zhou
Runaway Boy by Kami Westhoff
Saskatchewan by Kathleen Ford
Second Lives by Gina Malone
Signpost by Zachary Jones
Six or Seven Apples by Anna Fatovich
Some Things Rosa Can't Tell by Barbara de la Cuesta
Stone Walls of Connecticut by Michele Herman
Sufficiently Moved by Michael Twist
That's One by Alexandra Lytton Regalado
The Blue Northeast by Maria Schuster
The Devil's Age by Robert Johnson
The Grotto by Leslee Becker
The Keener by Eric Schlich
The Last Tiger by Finnbar Howell
The Locked Half Blood by Richard Holt
The Lost Ones by Bill Gaythwaite
The Old Road by Matt Harris
The Path of the Storm by Anne Jacobson
The Punchline by Alexandra Mendelsohn
Two Lanes to Nowhere by Chelsea Graham
Velodrome by Sophie Monatte
Walk the Line by Catherine DiMercurio
Watching Biff on Primetime by Mark Wagstaff
White Butterflies, Reluctant by Miranda Sanchez
Wild Beating Hearts by Megan Cummins
Wild, Sweet Orange by S.C. Bayat
You Makes Your Picks, and You Takes Your Chances by Debra Peterson

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


2016 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.