The Barthelme Prize for Short Prose1

The 2019 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose is now open to flash fiction, prose poems, and micro-essays of 500 words or fewer. Established in 2008, the contest awards its winner $1,000 and publication in the journal. Two honorable mentions will receive $250, and all entries will be considered for paid publication on our website as Online Exclusives.

This year's Barthelme Prize will be judged by Ben Marcus.  For previous winners, honorable mentions, and judges, see the sidebar. 

All entrants to the Barthelme Prize receive a one-year subscription to Gulf Coast, beginning with the year in which the corresponding prize winner is published.

Barthelme Prize Guidelines:

  • The Barthelme Prize is awarded annually to one piece of flash fiction, prose poem, or micro-essay of up to 500 words.
  • Prize entries are accepted only via Gulf Coast's online submissions manager. Please do not send mail submissions.
  • Each entry costs $20, which includes a yearlong subscription to Gulf Coast. Entries may include up to three pieces of flash fiction, prose poetry, and/or micro-essays of no more than 500 words each. 
  • Only previously unpublished work will be considered.
  • The contest will be judged blindly, so please do not include your cover letter, your name, or any contact information in the uploaded document. This information may be pasted in the Submittable "Comments" field.