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Chapbook Poster 

This year, The Masters Review is holding an open call for  chapbooks. We want to publish your collections of flash, your mini  novellas, your 40 page short stories. We want to publish your braided  essays, your eclectic brainchildren, your experiments. However you want  to tell your story, we want to read it. (As long as it’s between 25-40  double-spaced pages.) Matt Bell will be deciding this year’s winner! The submission window will be open for the final four months of the year, and The Masters Review staff will select a small shortlist of our favorites to pass along to a Matt Bell, who will select the winning book.

The winning writer will be awarded $3000, manuscript publication, and 50 contributor copies. We’re seeking to celebrate bold, original voices within a single,  cohesive manuscript of 25 to 40 pages. We’re interested in collections  of short fiction, essays, flash fiction, novellas/novelettes, longform  fiction or essays, and any combination thereof, provided the manuscripts  are complete (no excerpts, chapters, works-in-progress, or other incomplete work). We are NOT interested in poetry. (We’re sure your poetry is fantastic, but we’re not qualified to judge its merit!)

The Masters Review staff will select a shortlist of 5-10 chapbooks to pass along to our guest judge, who will select the winning  manuscript. Our judge will provide a brief introduction for the  manuscript upon publication. The published manuscript will be available  for sale as a physical copy and distributed digitally through our  newsletter. Check back soon for an announcement of this year’s judge!  Last year’s winning book, Mastersplans by Nick Almeida,  selected by Steve Almond, will be published this fall, and is available  to pre-order now through any submission category. Digital and print  copies will be available. A preview of Mastersplans will be available through New Voices at the end of August.


  • Winner receives $3000, manuscript publication, and 50 contributor copies
  • Second and third place finalists will be acknowledged on our website
  • Manuscripts should be between 25-40 pages (not including front/back matter) with each story beginning on a new page
  • Manuscripts should be double-spaced and paginated
  • Manuscripts should include a Table of Contents (if necessary) and an  acknowledgements page listing any previously published material within  the manuscript
  • Manuscripts may contain some previously published work, but the published work cannot have appeared in any other chapbook or full-length collections
  • Self-published chapbooks are previously published and therefore ineligible
  • No poetry chapbooks, please (we will consider chapbooks which contain some prose poetry)
  • Electronic submissions only
  • Single author manuscripts only
  • International English submissions allowed (No translations)
  • Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed (Please withdraw submissions if they are accepted elsewhere.)
  • Emerging writers only (We are interested in offering a larger  platform to new writers. Self-published writers and writers with story  collections and novels with a small circulation (fewer than 5000 copies)  are welcome to submit.)
  • Entry fee: $25
  • Deadline: December 31, 2021
  • Individual stories or essays within the manuscript may be considered for publication in our New Voices series
  • We are not requiring blind submissions for this contest
  • Editorial letters for up to 3 individual pieces within the manuscript may be requested
  • A  significant portion of the editorial letter and manuscript consultation  fees go to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by  the EFA
  • Please e-mail contact at mastersreview.com with questions

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.

Matt Bell’s latest novel, Appleseed, was published by  Custom House in July 2021. His craft book Refuse to Be Done, a guide to  novel writing, rewriting, & revision, will follow in March 2022 from  Soho Press. He is also the author of the novels Scrapper and In the  House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short  story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about  the classic video game Baldur’s Gate II, and several other titles. His  writing has appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, Tin House,  Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, and many other  publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches creative writing at  Arizona State University.

Interested in chapbooks but don’t know where to start? Check out these handy resources!
What Are Chapbooks? and Why Should You Read Them? by Lyndsie Manusos at Book Riot
Creating a Fiction Chapbook by Bonnie ZoBell
Meg Tuite on the Flash Fiction Chapbook at The Chapbook Interview
Nathan Elias on the Process of Building a Chapbook of Poems and a Chapbook Novelette at The Chapbook Interview*
*Although we are not considering poetry for the chapbook contest, Nathan’s thoughts on the novelette are valuable!

Editorial Letter Payment Scale:

  • One complete story/essay, between 1,000-6,000 words: $59
  • Two complete stories/essays, or one complete story/essay between 6,000-12,000 words: $118
  • Three complete stories/essays, or work longer than 12,000 words: $177
  • For each individual work critiqued, you will receive one to two pages of feedback on what we enjoyed in your story, and what could be working better, as well as where it might be a good fit, and other comments about craft
  • A significant portion of these fees go to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA
  • For questions about the editorial letter fees, please contact us at contact@mastersreview.com


To thank you for your continued support of The Masters Review, we’re  excited to offer you the following opportunities with your submission:

WritingWorkshops.com is  offering 15% off any of their classes this year, and the discount code  will be included in the confirmation e-mail when you submit.

Literature & Latte is offering a 20% discount on their incredibly helpful Scrivener  writing software for macOS and Windows users. There will be a discount  code in the confirmation e-mail when you submit.

The Writing Salon is  offering every submitter a 10% off discount code on a writing class with  a discount code included in your confirmation e-mail!

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.