Annual New South Writing Contest

Note on 2023 Contest: Due to publication delays with issue 14.2 (our 2021 contest issue), we’ve decided to postpone our annual contest. We hope to open the contest in the coming months, after 14.2 is published and released into the world. For updates on the contest, please follow us on social media or visit our site again in the near future.

New South 2021 Contest

Results for the 2021 annual contest are available below. Winners and runners-up will be featured in issue 14.2 of New South. EJ Koh judged our prose category and Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach judged our poetry.

2021 Contest Results


1st Place: Zachary Goldberg, “Ninth Plague”

2nd Place: Jacob Griffin Hall, “The Verdict”

3rd Place: Matthew Gellman, “Brother, in August, with Hesitation”

Finalists: Victoria Mendoza, CD Eskilson, Chelsea Krieg, Megan Neville, Liz Marlow, Anthony Thomas Lombardi, Alyssa Froehling


1st Place: Kameron Bashi, “Friendship & Purgatory”

2nd Place: PS Zhang, “Anosognosia”

3rd Place: Michelle Lee, “Menagerie”

Finalists: Melanie Pierce, Kristie Redfield, Lee Gallaway-Mitchell, Connie Chiu, Paige Towers, Elaine Holobuff, Nnekakwo Adibe

Thank you to everyone who submitted to this year’s contest!

Learn more about our 2021 judges below:

E. J. Koh is the author of the memoir The Magical Language of Others (Tin House Books, 2020) and poetry collection A Lesser Love (Louisiana State University Press, 2017), winner of the Pleiades Press Editors Prize for Poetry. Her co-translation of Yi Won’s The World’s Lightest Motorcycle is forthcoming from Zephyr Press. Her stories, poems, and translations have appeared in Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Slate, and World Literature Today. Koh is the recipient of The Virginia Faulkner Award and fellowships from the American Literary Translators Association, Kundiman, and MacDowell. Koh earned her MFA at Columbia University in New York for Creative Writing and Literary Translation. She is completing her PhD at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach ( is the author of three poetry collections: The Many Names for Mother, winner the Wick Poetry Prize (Kent State University Press, 2019) and finalist for the Jewish Book Award; Don’t Touch the Bones (Lost Horse Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Idaho Poetry Prize; and 40 WEEKS, forthcoming from YesYes Books in 2023. Her recent poems appear in POETRY, American Poetry Review, and The Nation, among others. She holds an MFA from the University of Oregon and is completing her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Philly with her two kids, two cats, one dog, and one husband.


Contest Guidelines:

New South’s contest is open to writers who have not yet published more than one book of prose or poetry (chapbooks are fine). The contest awards $1,000 to one winner in poetry and one winner in prose, and a $250 runner’s up prize in each category.

Your $18 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to New South. You may submit electronically via Submittable ONLY. Discounted entry fees, which do not include a subscription to New South, are available for $9. Please take care that you are submitting under the contest category; regular submissions received during the contest period WILL NOT be entered into the contest. All paper mailed entries will be destroyed.

The deadline for contest submissions was originally April 1st, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. We have now extended the deadline until April 9th, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. (Submittable submissions will close automatically). Each entry must include: 1) A reading fee of either eighteen dollars ($18) or nine dollars ($9) if using the discounted entry form. 2) The submitter’s contact info, including a mailing address for your subscription. (Do not include any identifying information in the manuscript).

Each prose submission may contain one (1) short story or non-fiction piece of up to 7,500 words per $18 entry fee. Each poetry submission may contain up to three (3) poems per $18 entry fee. Entrants are welcome to submit more than once, but must pay a separate entry fee each time. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but we ask that you please promptly withdraw any work that is accepted elsewhere. Refunds for fees paid are not available for withdrawn submissions.

No GSU staff, students, or University system of Georgia staff or students are eligible for the prize. Any alumni who enter the contest must be five (5) years or more removed from attending GSU. Additionally, no relatives of the New South team or the judges are eligible.

2020 Contest Results

Our winners for our 2020 contest are as follows:

Poetry (Judged by Paige Lewis)

1st Place: Despy Boutris, “California Drought”

2nd Place: Amie Whittemore, “Another Midlife Morning”

3rd Place: Michael Mlekoday, “Quantum Sister Never the Last”

Finalists: Imani Cezanne, Katherine Gaffney,  torrin a. greathouse, Patrick Errington, A. D. Lauren-Abunassar, Elizabeth Sochko, Felicia Zamora.

Prose (Judged by Kristen Arnett)

1st Place: Temima Fruchter, “How to Stop Time on a Budget”

2nd Place: Gabriella Souza, “To You I Come, Before You I Stand”

3rd Place: Megan Catana, “An Unlikely Trio in the Animal Kingdom”

Finalists: Marguerite Alley, Kate Finegan, Mariah Gese, M. M. Kaufman, Kaila Lancaster, Justin Mundhenk, Amy Parker.

All 2020 contest-winning work is featured in issue 13.2 of New South, available now! Thank you to our winners, our judges, and everyone who submitted to the contest.

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