Fiction Prize

For the 2024 contest, the Autumn House staff as well as select outsider readers serve as the preliminary readers, and the final judge is Kristen Arnett. The winner receives publication of their full-length manuscript and $2,500. The submission period opens on January 1, 2024, and closes on February 29, 2024 (Eastern Time). We will announce the finalists and the winner of the contest by June 1, 2024. 

Guidelines for the Autumn House Fiction Prize

  • The winner will receive book publication, a $1,000 honorarium, and a $1,500 travel/publicity grant to promote their book
  • All finalists will be considered for publication
  • Fiction submissions should be approximately 150-300 double-spaced pages (37,500- 75,000 words)
  • The reading fee is $35 (We will waive the submission fee for those undergoing financial hardship or living with limited means. Before you reach out to request a waived fee, please read our full statement and instructions here. If the guidelines are not followed, we will not be able to offer a waived fee.) All fee waivers for the 2024 Fiction Prize have been spoken for; we apologize for any inconvenience.
  • All fiction sub-genres (short stories, short-shorts, novellas, or novels) or any combination of sub-genres are eligible
  • The book should be previously unpublished
  • We only accept original manuscripts; AI-generated or AI-supported works are not accepted.
  • Do not include your name anywhere on the actual manuscript
  • You may include a brief bio in the “cover letter” section of Submittable
  • Do not include a bio or an acknowledgments page in the manuscript
  • Feel free to include a table of contents (This does not count as part of your final page count)
  • Simultaneous submissions permitted
  • Friends, family members, and former students of judges or Autumn House editors may not submit to the contest. Students do not include interactions at short-term residencies or fellowships.
  • Former employees of Autumn House, including interns, may not submit to the contest.

If you have any questions, please check our FAQ page.

Kristen Arnett is the queer author of With Teeth: A Novel (Riverhead Books, 2021) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction, and the New York Times bestselling debut novel Mostly Dead Things (Tin House, 2019) which was also a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in fiction and was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. She was awarded a Shearing Fellowship at Black Mountain Institute, has held residencies at Ragdale Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, the Millay Colony, and the Key West Literary Seminar (upcoming 2024), and was longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize recognizing mid-career writers of fiction. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, TIME, The Cut, Oprah Magazine, Guernica, Buzzfeed, McSweeneys, PBS Newshour, The Guardian, Salon, The Washington Post, and elsewhere. Her next novel, CLOWN, will be published by Riverhead Books (Penguin Random House).

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Winners of the Autumn House Fiction Prize

Year Author Title Judge
2023 Marian Crotty Near Strangers Pam Houston
2022 Salvatore Pane The Neorealist in Winter: Stories Venita Blackburn
2021 Wendy Wimmer Entry Level Deesha Philyaw
2020 Kevin Honold Molly Dan Chaon
2019 Michael X. Wang Further News of Defeat: Stories Aimee Bender
2018 Hadley Moore Not Dead Yet and Other Stories Dana Johnson
2017 Glori Simmons Carry You Amina Gautier
2016 Andrew Bourelle Heavy Metal William Lychack
2015 Kathy Anderson Bull and Other Stories Sharon Dilworth
2014 Mark Brazaitis Truth Poker Sharon Dilworth
2013 Tom Noyes Come by Here Kathleen George
2012 Sarah Gerkensmeyer What You Are Now Enjoying Stewart O’Nan
2011 Sharma Shields Favorite Monster Stewart O’Nan
2010 Ashley Cowger Peter Never Came Sharon Dilworth
2009 Matthew Pitt Attention Please Now Sharon Dilworth
2008 Samuel Ligon Drift and Swerve Sharon Dilworth


We strive to run our contests ethically and subscribe to CLMP’s guidelines. We encourage you to reach out if you are uncertain about a potential conflict of interest.