Welcome.

Always a free way to submit. Always paid for your work. The Masters Review offers a quality platform for emerging writers.

Founded by Kim Winternheimer in 2011, the Masters Review is an online and in print publication celebrating new and emerging writers. We are on the lookout for the best new talent with hopes of publishing stories from writers who will continue to produce great work. We offer critical essays, book reviews by debut authors, contest deadlines, submissions info, and interviews with established authors, all with the hopes of bridging the gap between new and established writers.

By submitting to TMR, submitters agree to receive correspondence about future publications and submission opportunities from TMR. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Summer is for short stories. 

The Masters Review's Short Story Award for New Writers is a bi-annual contest that recognizes the best fiction from today's emerging writers. Judging this year's summer contest is Chelsea Bieker, author of GODSHOT and the new collection Heartbroke. The winner receives a $3,000 prize and agency review, and their story will be published online in late winter/early spring. Second and third place finalists will be awarded publication, agency review and $300/$200 prizes. Participating agents include: Nat Sobel from Sobel Weber, Victoria Cappello from The Bent Agency, Andrea Morrison from Writers House, Sarah Fuentes from Fletcher & Company, and Heather Schroder from Compass Talent. Our mission from day one has been to support emerging writers. We want you to succeed. We want your words to be read.


Guest judged by Chelsea Bieker!  

Guidelines:

  • Winner receives $3000, publication, and agency review
  • Second and third place prizes ($300 / $200, publication, and agency review)
  • Stories under 6000 words
  • Previously unpublished stories only
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed
  • Emerging writers only; writers with book-length work published or under contract with a major press are ineligible. (We are interested in offering a larger platform to new writers. Authors with short story collections are free to submit unpublished work, as are writers with books published by indie presses.)
  • International English submissions allowed. No translations.
  • Double-spaced, 12 pt easy-to-read font (i.e., Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.) please!
  • $20 entry fee
  • Deadline: August 28th, 2022
  • All stories are considered for publication
  • All submissions will be receive a response by the end of November
  • Winners will be announced by the end of December
  • Friends, family and associates of the final judge are not eligible for this award. Consider submitting to the Winter contest!
  • A significant portion of the editorial letter fees go to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA
  • To view a list of our most commonly asked questions regarding submitting to The Masters Review, please see our FAQ page.


Chelsea Bieker is the author of two books, the novel GODSHOT which was a finalist for both the Oregon and California Book Award, longlisted for The Center For Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and named a Barnes and Noble Pick of the Month, and the story collection, HEARTBROKE. Her writing has appeared in The Paris Review, Granta, The Cut, McSweeney’s, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, and others. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award, as well as residencies from MacDowell and Tin House Books. Originally from California’s Central Valley, she lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children where she is writing her third book.

PREVIOUS WINNER UPDATES:
Joe Bond earned representation from Sarah Fuentes of Fletcher & Company, and Caitlin O’Neil earned representation from Victoria Marini and our 2016 Fall Fiction winner, Ruth Joffre, selected by Kelly Link sold her story collection to Grove Atlantic with our winning piece as the title story. Awesome.

"Thanks for providing a place for emerging talents to thrive!" -- Amy Williams, The Williams Agency

"If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." -- Haruki Murakami   

Support new authors
Black Lives Matter

Our New Voices category is open year round to any new or emerging author who has not published a novel-length work of fiction or narrative nonfiction. Authors with published short story collections are free to submit.  We accept simultaneous and multiple submissions but ask that you inform us immediately if your story is accepted elsewhere. 

The Masters Review pays a flat rate of $100 for flash-length stories (1,000 words or fewer) and $200 for longer stories (up to 7,000 words). We are thrilled to be paying for published pieces but will be highly selective in our choices for publication.

Guidelines
 

  • New Voices submissions are open to new and emerging writers only (no novel-length published work forthcoming at the time of submission).
  • We accept fiction and narrative non-fiction. We do accept a variety of genres and styles, our only requirement is that you show excellence in your craft. We want to be wowed. Bend genres, experiment with structure, and write your heart out. But please, send us polished work.  Our aim is to showcase writers who we believe will continue to produce great work. Send us only your best.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions but please notify us if your work is picked up elsewhere.
  • All submissions must be under 7,000 words.
  • If you're submitting flash, feel free to include up to 3 stories in a single document.
  • We do accept multiple submissions.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history and a short bio.
  • Please do not include identifying information on the submission itself. 
  • We aim to respond to all submissions within 12 weeks. Please do not e-mail before 12 weeks have passed. 
  • For submissions that request an editorial letter, a significant portion of the editorial letter fees go to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA

We don’t have any preferences topically or in terms of style. We’re simply looking for the best. We don’t define, nor are we interested in, stories identified by their genre. We do, however, consider ourselves a publication that focuses on literary fiction. Dazzle us, take chances, and be bold.   Thanks for supporting our publication, and thank you for your work.  

The Masters Review is committed to providing a platform to diverse, emerging voices. We are now offering an expedited reading category explicitly for marginalized or underrepresented writers. Submissions to this category will receive a response in four weeks or fewer. 

All submissions are considered for publication on our website under New Voices, and our regular New Voices guidelines apply (see below). The Masters Review pays a flat rate of $100 flash-length submissions (1,000 words or fewer) and $200 for longer works (up to 7,000 words).

Please see the guidelines below, or contact us at contact [at] mastersreview.com with any questions. This form is for marginalized or underrepresented writers only. If you'd like to submit work with an expedited response time and do not identify as BIPOC or as a writer from another demographic who has been historically mis- or underrepresented in publishing, you may do so here with a $9.99 fee

Black Lives Matter. Black Voices Matter. 

With love,

 Cole, Brandon, Jen and the entire Masters Review team.

Guidelines
 

  • This form is for BIPOC and historically marginalized writers only.
  • New Voices submissions are open to new and emerging writers only (no novel-length published work forthcoming at the time of submission).
  • We accept fiction and narrative non-fiction. We do accept a variety of genres and styles, our only requirement is that you show excellence in your craft. We want to be wowed. Bend genres, experiment with structure, and write your heart out. But please, send us polished work.  Our aim is to showcase writers who we believe will continue to produce great work. Send us only your best.
  • We accept simultaneous submissions but please notify us if your work is picked up elsewhere.
  • All submissions must be under 7,000 words.
  • If you're submitting flash, feel free to include up to 3 stories in a single document.
  • Please, only one active submission at a time. 
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history and a short bio.
  • Do not submit work to this category if you do not identify as BIPOC or as a writer from another demographic who has been historically mis- or underrepresented in publishing.
  • For submissions that request an editorial letter, a significant portion of the editorial letter fees go to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA.

 

We don’t have any preferences topically or in terms of style. We’re simply looking for the best. We don’t define, nor are we interested in, stories identified by their genre. We do, however, consider ourselves a publication that focuses on literary fiction. Dazzle us, take chances, and be bold.   Thanks for supporting our publication, and thank you for your work.  

Ends on $299.00
$299.00

Workshop Details

Expert advice from the comforts of home. This remote, asynchronous workshop is open to all writers and is an excellent way to improve a story or essay, especially for fall when so many lit mags open for submissions. Please keep submissions below 7000 words and include a cover letter describing your piece. Your cover letter should include a brief introduction to your story, where you have submitted or hope to submit in the future, and any specific feedback you're looking for, as well as challenges you're having with the piece. When your submission is uploaded you will receive registration confirmation. Stories will be processed in the order they are received. All stories will be returned with notes by October 30. 


Participants Receive: 

  • an editorial letter from your instructor with specific suggestions and developmental edits that will help elevate your story to the next level
  • PDF of materials including craft essays from The Masters Review, editorial notes on what we see from the slush pile, information on submission strategies, and additional advice on submitting
  • free submission in a forthcoming Masters Review contest
  • suggestions on literary magazines and contests that would be a good fit for your work, along with reading recommendations from your instructor
  • an archived copy of The Masters Review anthology 
  • Writers will receive feedback no later than October 30. Early submissions may yield earlier feedback.


Guest Editors

Halimah Marcus is the Executive Director of Electric Literature, an innovative digital publisher based in Brooklyn, and the Editor-in-Chief of its weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading. She is also the editor of Horse Girls, an anthology that reclaims and recasts the horse girl stereotype. Her short stories have appeared in Amazon Original Indiana Review, Gulf Coast, One Story, BOMB, The Literary Review, and The Southampton Review. Halimah has an MFA from Brooklyn College, and lives in the Catskill region of New York.

Aram Mrjoian is an editor-at-large at the Chicago Review of Books, an associate fiction editor at Guernica, and a 2022 Creative Armenia - AGBU  Fellow. He is a past editor at TriQuarterly, the Southeast Review, and PANK. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Guardian, Runner's World, Catapult, Electric Literature, West Branch, Boulevard,  Longreads, and many other publications. Find his work at arammrjoian.com.

Sacha Idell is coeditor and prose editor of The Southern Review. His original stories appear in Ploughshares, Narrative, and Gulf Coast. His translations from the Japanese include stories by Kyūsaku Yumeno and Toshirō Sasaki. Writing he has acquired and edited has been selected for inclusion in the Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and Best American Mystery and Suspense anthologies, among others. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Sara Fredman holds a PhD in English literature from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has appeared in the LA Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, and Electric Literature, among other outlets. One of her recent essays was a finalist for the 2021  Sewanee Review nonfiction contest. She also publishes Write Like a  Mother, a newsletter for writers who are also parents where she has interviewed writers like Susan Choi, Kate Baer, and Rachel Yoder.

Anthony Varallo is the author of a novel, The Lines (University of Iowa Press), as well as four short story collections: This Day in History, winner of the John Simmons Short Fiction Award; Out Loud, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize; Think of Me and I’ll Know (Northwestern University Press/TriQuarterly Books); and Everyone Was There, winner of the Elixir Press Fiction Award. He is a professor of English at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC, where he is the fiction editor of Crazyhorse (now swamp pink). Find him online at @TheLines1979.


Guidelines

We accept works of fiction and creative nonfiction at 7000 words or fewer. All genres and all styles are welcome. Please submit one single story per submission.  Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. If you submit your manuscript after reserving your spot, you will need to request to open your submission by e-mailing us at contact [at] mastersreview.com. We'll grant you access, and then you can upload your piece.



Praise For The Workshop:

"As a result of the excellent suggestions and encouragement I  received from Nate Brown during the Masters Review Summer Workshop of  2019, I ultimately won the 2022 Memoir Magazine's Memoir Prize for Books  Contest for the coming-of-age-category for my as yet unpublished  memoir, NASTY GIRL.

Brown encouraged me to take  my short nonfiction essay and turn it into a book length memoir. It was  the Masters Review workshop that got me started on that path." –Polly, Summer Worksho

"I workshopped two stories with you/The Masters Review last year, and I wanted to let you know that revised versions of those stories helped me earn an acceptance to the University of Arizona, where I'll be an MFA candidate in fiction this fall. Thank you so much for your feedback and for running such a wonderfully supportive publication and platform for emerging writers. " –Josh, Summer Workshop

"I found the comments made by Adeena Reitberger regarding my story to be hugely helpful. Once again I am very pleased with your summer workshop." – Abby, Summer Workshop
"Thank you so much for the feedback letter plus manuscript markups. I couldn't be more thrilled. I can't remember ever having an editor look at my work and so clearly understand what I've tried to convey on the page. I had the immediate sense that Nate had truly given my story a thorough read, making his compliments feel sincere and suggestions for improvement feel well worth considering from start to finish." –Royce, Summer Workshop

"Adeena's comments are both incisive and insightful. It is one of the best critiques I have ever received, and it will serve as my guide when I revise. I agree completely with what she said." –John, Summer Workshop

"You've done it again, everyone! What a brilliant workshop! Thank you so much for the incredible opportunity to work with you and Adeena Reitberger. I can put each of her comments to work immediately (even the compliments I guess I fished for, ha-ha!, as mood boosters), read/re-read the stories/writers she's recommended, and order samples of the journals she's recommended as a fit for my story so I can sniff them out—the prospects of which has got me doing a jig in the living room (try not to picture someone more jiggle than jig), and excited about my next editing move with my story (dip or dive?—but not abandon, hallelujah!)... True brilliance.!" –Meredith, Summer Workshop

"I wanted to thank you for passing along Lauren's feedback on my story. I thought her comments were concise and specific, and I appreciated her efforts to excavate what's at the core of the story I'm trying to tell. I have some work ahead of me, for sure, but that's a good thing. I agree with Lauren's assessment of where the piece is falling short, I have a clear path to revision, and I'm overall very grateful for her astute observations and careful attention. Many thanks again!" –Nicole, Summer Workshop

"I would like to thank Michelle Wildgen for her very helpful comments. She made the effort to understand what I was attempting to do with my short story, and pointed out quite clearly where it fell short and how it could be improved. Her feedback was professional, specific, and, to my great appreciation, positive. I am eager to get back to work." –Gary, Summer Workshop
 

The Masters Review