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John Steinbeck Award for Fiction

$1,000 Prize
Submissions Open June 1 - November 1

Awarding one of the richest purses among literary magazines, the John Steinbeck Award for Fiction recognizes exceptional works of fiction. All works should be stand-alone short stories, not chapters of a longer work.


Editors read all fiction submissions of up to 5,000 words. Reed 153 is an open-themed issue. Multiple submissions are accepted.

Please be sure to:

  • include your name, address, phone number, and email address on the first page

  • format stories in double-spaced 12-point font

  • include word count

  • number pages

  • provide a brief bio

  • make sure your Submittable profile is up-to-date

To be eligible, submissions must be 5,000 words or fewer and include a reading fee of $20, which includes a free copy of the latest edition of Reed. Contest submissions not selected for final judging may still be considered for publication in the magazine.

2019 Judge

Vanessa Hua is a highly acclaimed author and a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Her best-selling novel, A River of Stars, was named in the Washington Post and NPR ’s Best Books of 2018 lists. Her story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, was a California Book Award finalist and received an Asian/Pacific American Award in Literature. She was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Award, the San Francisco Foundation's James D. Phelan literary award, and a Steinbeck Fellowship at San José State University. She has been published in ZYZZYVAThe AtlanticGuernica, the New York TimesSan Francisco MagazineNewsweek, and many other publications.

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