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Driftwood Press Short Story Contest


In a rare turn of events, all four of our editors were unanimous in selecting Kate Finegan's "Self-Portrait" as the winner of this year's In-House Contest. "Self-Portrait," with acute specificity, extreme compression, and stream of consciousness narration, details a character's selfhood following a truck full of hagfish overturning on the road.

Despite the unanimity of the editors, the competition was fierce with this contest. "Self-Portrait" is joined by eight other remarkable works, all of which could've easily deserved the gold in a less competitive contest. One runner-up will be published alongside the winner in 2024.


Colin Bonini's "Natures"


Rae Canaan's "Monster"

Isabelle Fang's "How Bodies Are Put Back Together"

Aidan O'Brien's "The FatherMarket"

Joseph Scuderi's "Someday Norma Jean Will Be A Big Fan of Abraham Lincoln"

Sean van der Heijden's "Jackies"

Angela Lorang's "Offline Friend"

Sean Stewart's "18 Holes at Dismal River"

Lastly, we want to extend our warmest gratitude to everyone who submitted to the contest, including the twenty-four semi-finalists and nineteen additional quarter finalists, who have been notified directly. We want to note, too, that all round one stories are considered by two editors. There were hundreds of wonderful short stories sent in, and many of them deserve—and will find—publication. We are ecstatic to continue to publish works of literary fiction that forefront language and take narrative, structural, and thematic risks, and the support of our community of readers and submitters is continually cherished and appreciated. 


  • Submissions will be open from September 1st until January 31st.

  • To alleviate wait times on your end, we will be declining and accepting submissions as we read them. All submissions accepted will initially be given runner-up status. In April, one of the runner-ups will be awarded the Grand Prize.

  • Winner and runner-ups will be published in our 2024 Anthology.


  • The Grand Prize winner will receive $400 and five copies of the issue in which the story appears. The winner will also have the opportunity to be interviewed about their work; the interview will be published alongside the story.

  • Runner-ups will be offered publication, an accompanying interview, $150, and one copy of the issue in which their work appears.

Past Contest Winners

[2022 Contest]

[2021 Contest]

[2020 Contest]

[2019 Contest]



  • Fiction only.

  • 1,000-5,000 soft word limit.

  • A standard, 12-point font and single-spacing is preferred.

  • The work must not have been previously published.

  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw the work if the story has been accepted elsewhere.

  • Submit works written in English only, no translations.

  • Please submit your manuscript in a .doc, .docx, or PDF format.

  • We read submissions blind, so please do not include your name, email, or any identifying characteristics on the manuscript itself. All work is considered by two editors.

  • Base submission cost is $12. Additionally, we are offering a $25 dollar submission option that will include a print copy of the issue in which the winning story will be published. 

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