2013-2014 Contest

Bryan Hurt's Everybody Wants To be Ambassador to France is the winner of the 10th Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, as selected by Final Judge Alissa Nutting.

Entering the 2015 Competition

The 11th Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction, offering $1500 and publication with Starcherone Books, begins accepting entries November 5, 2014.

Contest is open to story collections, novels, or indeterminate prose works up to 400 pages. Manuscripts will be blind-judged; the author's name should appear on the first of two title pages and nowhere else in the manuscript. Do not include an Acknowledgments page in your manuscript. There is an administrative fee of $35. Please do not send cash. The postmark deadline is March 17, 2015. The winner will be announced in August 2015. All finalists will be considered for publication with Starcherone Books. See our ad in the January-February 2015 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Final Judge Alissa Nutting

There is no author who better embodies the spirit and success of the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction than our final judge this year, Alissa Nutting. Nutting's debut book, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, won the 6th Starcherone Prize in 2009, and since that time has been Starcherone's bestselling title. Nutting has since written one of the most powerful and talked-about books of recent times, her novel, Tampa (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2013), “A work of serious ambition, both literary and moral ... laced with dark, sometimes savage humor and juicy riffs on consumer culture and its twin obsessions, youth and beauty,” said Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Tampa is one of the most shocking books I have read,” wrote Shelf Awareness; “it’s also one of the most mesmerizing and surprising. Alissa Nutting has written a stunning, brutal book.” Nutting is also an experienced editorial reader, former editor at both Black Warrior Review and Fairy Tale Review, and currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH.

We at Starcherone are proud of having launched such a notable writer, and it is why we offer the Starcherone Prize, which in each of its 9 competitions has selected a debut work as its winner.

As Final Judge, Alissa Nutting will make her selection out of a group of 5 finalists selected by our staff readers, and may request additional manuscripts from which to choose a winner.

As always, one manuscript will be selected as winner of our prize. Starcherone does not believe in holding competitions that do not select a winning book.

Entry Directions

Snail Mail
There will be a reading fee of $35. Please do not send cash. The contest is blind-judged, so the author's name and contact information should appear on title page and nowhere else in manuscript. (Please also remove mentions of previous excerpt publications from manuscripts; do not include acknowledgment pages.) A second title page with only the manuscript title should also be included. A separate document should provide a short author bio/publication history. Please mail to:
STARCHERONE FICTION PRIZE, Starcherone Books, P.O. Box 303, Buffalo, NY 14201-0303

Send your reading fee of $35 to the above snail mail address. Then send your manuscript as an email attachment to starchcontest@gmail.com. Please send the manuscript either as an Adobe pdf file or an MS Word file. In your email, give your name and contact information, as well as the title of your manuscript and a short author bio/publication history. Include only the title on your manuscript, with no mention of the author's name. If you wish, include a self-addressed postcard for notification that we have received both your manuscript and fee, as well as the SASE for contest results. Any questions may also be referred to starchcontest@gmail.com.

Special Offer
a great book and contest entry $49.95

Purchase online our most recent contest-winning title, Michael James Rizza's Cartilage and Skin , through this Buy Now offer and we'll enter you in our contest as well -- all for $49.95, which includes postage and handling (altogether, a $57 value)! You can also take advantage of this offer via US mail by sending a $49.95 check or money order to the above address. (Note: If you'd like to take advantage of this special offer but would prefer a different Starcherone book, you may substitute any other Starcherone title -- simply add a note on your order and we'll make the substitution.)

CLMP Statement on Contest Ethics:
Starcherone Books endorses and agrees to comply with the following statement on Contest Ethics released by the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses in 2005. Starcherone Books helped develop this statement during virtual roundtable discussions facilitated by CLMP in the summer of 2005:
CLMP's community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to
1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;
2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines -- defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and
3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.

This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Starcherone's statements defining conflict of interest situations:
1) The winner of the Starcherone Fiction Prize cannot be someone whose work that year's Final Judge recognizes during the blind final-judging process.
2) In order that the best manuscript in the contest not be penalized simply because a Final Judge recognizes some aspect of the writing or deduces the author's identity based upon some circumstantial fact, Starcherone agrees to offer to publish the best manuscript received in our contest each year, even if this book is disqualified from winning our Prize. In such a circumstance, the Final Judge agrees to choose a second book as the winner of the Prize, in accordance with #1, above.
3) If anyone knows of any conflict of interest influencing a result in our contest, please make us aware of it and we will investigate and report our findings. Contest fees will be refunded upon request.
4) We ask that contestants realize we are a volunteer-run non-profit, and need the receipts of our contest in order to pursue our mission to seek the best innovative fiction and publish it for the purpose of public education in the art and appreciation of serious fiction. Our contest fees cover costs related to administering our contest and printing and publicizing the winning book only. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, financial statements which verify these statements are subject to federal review.