The Iowa Review Awards

We accept submissions to the Iowa Review Awards during the month of January. Look for this year's contest winners in our December 2014 issue!

About the Contest

Each January since 2003, The Iowa Review has invited submissions to The Iowa Review Awards, a writing contest in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Winners receive $1,500; first runners-up receive $750. Winners and runners-up are published in each December issue.

Contest Rules

Submit up to 25 pages of prose (double-spaced) or 10 pages of poetry (one poem or several, but no more than one poem per page). Work must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are fine assuming you inform us of acceptance elsewhere.

Judges will select winners from a group of finalists chosen by Iowa Review editors. All manuscripts, whether selected as finalists or not, are considered for publication.

To submit online, visit during the month of January and follow the instructions.

To submit via mail, please follow these instructions:

  • Manuscripts must include a cover page listing your name, address, e-mail address and/or telephone number, and the title of each work, but your name should not appear on the manuscript itself.
  • Enclose a $20 entry fee; make checks payable to The Iowa Review. 
  • Enclose an additional $10 for a yearlong subscription to the magazine (optional).
  • Label your envelope as a contest entry, for example Contest: Fiction.
  • One entry per envelope. (Multiple poems or prose pieces can comprise a single entry if the total number of pages does not exceed 25 for prose or 10 for poetry. For instance, you may submit two short stories of ten pages each in a single envelope, with a single entry fee. The stories would be read and judged separately. But please do not mix genres: a ten-page story and a two-page poem constitute separate entries.)
  • If you submit more than one entry, even within the same genre, you must enclose a $20 entry fee with each entry.
  • Postmark submissions between January 1 and January 31.
  • Enclose a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) for final word on your work. (Manuscripts will not be returned.)
  • Mail submissions to The Iowa Review, 308 EPB, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.

See past winners.

Eligibility and Conflicts of Interest

Current students, faculty, or staff of the University of Iowa are not eligible to enter the contest.

Work is ineligible to win our contest if it is slated for publication before December 2014, whether in another magazine or as part of a book, or if it has been named winner or runner-up in any other contest. Please withdraw work from our contest immediately if these conditions apply.

Judges are instructed not to award the prize to entrants with whom they have had a personal or professional relationship. Despite reading the entries with author names removed, judges may sometimes be able to guess the identity of the entrant. Even if they can't tell during the judging process, they have the right to change their decision if it turns out that the entrant is someone with whom there is any appearance of conflict of interest. Therefore, we advise entrants not to enter the contest if the judge is someone they know personally or have worked with professionally.