We accept unsolicited submissions from September to May. Please submit only one story or essay per submission (10,000 words or fewer) or up to six poems. Our average response time is twelve weeks. We accept simultaneous submissions. We do not accept paper submissions or submissions via fax or email.


Submit one short story or one nonfiction essay of up to 10,000 words, or 1-6 poems. 


Judges: Lorrie Moore (fiction), Shane McCrae (poetry), and John Jeremiah Sullivan (nonfiction)


Winners in each genre receive $1,000 and publication in the Spring 2025 issue of the Sewanee Review. All contest entries will be considered for publication. 


All contest entrants receive a one-year subscription to the Sewanee Review starting with the Fall 2024 issue. Please ensure that the address information associated with your submittable account is current, as this information will be used for your subscription.


Guidelines for Submitting: 

  • Submit 1 short story, 1 essay, or 1-6 poems per entry. All submissions can be up to 10,000 words. 
  • Please submit only one entry per genre. 
  • Submitted work must be original and previously unpublished in any form (in print or online).
  • Submitted work cannot be revised once it has been submitted.
  • Do not include a cover letter. Remove all identifying information from your submission (including from the file name and all manuscript pages). All submissions will be read and evaluated anonymously throughout the contest. If the author of a work is identifiable in the submission, that manuscript will be excluded from further consideration, though its author will still receive a subscription with their contest entry.
  • Please notify us immediately if your contest entry is accepted by another publication. 
  • Current and/or former employees of the Sewanee Review, as well as current and/or former employees of the University of the South and any of its affiliated programs, academic or otherwise, are ineligible for the contest. Current and former students at the University of the South are also ineligible for the contest. Relatives, students, and close friends of the Sewanee Review staff and/or the contest judges are ineligible for the contest. Previous winners of the Sewanee Review contest are ineligible for the contest. 


Our Selection Process: 

All submissions to the Sewanee Review contest remain anonymous to contest readers, editors, and judges throughout the contest reading, evaluation, and selection process. Initial evaluation of manuscripts is completed by a panel of readers comprised of current and former Sewanee Review editorial staff members. Every manuscript is read and ranked by at least two readers. 

The highest-ranked submissions in each genre category are then shared anonymously with the entire panel of contest readers who make a selection of manuscripts, which comprise the contest's semifinalists. A minimum of twenty manuscripts in each genre, but often more, are selected at this point in the contest process. 

The semifinalist manuscripts are read anonymously by Adam Ross, the editor of the Sewanee Review. In consultation with the panel of contest readers, a selection of at least ten finalists in each genre is then forwarded to the contest judges. The judges read these finalist submissions anonymously, and then choose a winner and at least one runner-up from the finalist pool. 


The Sewanee Review