National Writing Contests

Please read our submission guidelines thoroughly as they have changed slightly this year.

The winners of the previous issue’s contest can be found here:

hulmes drawing


National Writing Contest in Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Poetry

$18 Entry Fee

*** $1,000 First Place Prize in Each Genre ***


Alligator Juniper is an award-winning national literary magazine published by the Arts & Letters program at Prescott College and featuring contemporary poetry, fiction, & creative nonfiction. We encourage submissions from writers at all levels, emerging, early-career, and established.

We produce one annual issue comprised of the winners and finalists of our national contests, judged by the current editors and staff. Our contests are open between August 15th and October 15th of each year. All entrants pay an $18 submission fee and receive a copy of that year’s issue in the spring. We also offer editorial feedback on every manuscript submitted. First place winning writers in each genre receive a $1000 prize. All finalists are published and paid in contributor copies.

Submission Guidelines

  • *Reading period is August 15-October 15th annually.*
  • Maximum length: 30 pages or 5 poems
  • Include a $18 entry fee payable to Alligator Juniper for each story, essay, or up to five poems. Additional entries require an additional fee.
  • No children’s literature or genre work please.
  • No previously published work.
  • Simultaneous submission accepted, but contact us if your work is selected elsewhere.
  • Please omit any personal information from your manuscript and instead submit a cover letter with name, permanent address, phone number, and email.
  • Manuscripts should be typed with numbered pages. Prose double-spaced, 12 point font, and 1″ margins. Poetry single-spaced.
  • Submit  via our submissions link at ($3 printing fee) or by snail mail (gratis) beginning 8/14.
  • No email submissions please.
  • Note: We usually inform in January.

Online submissions now accepted!

Submit with our online submissions manager at our website or through the link on this blog.

For hard copy submissions: Make checks or money orders payable to “Alligator Juniper”

  • Indicate genre category with a large F, NF, or P on cover letter and mailing envelope.
  • Include SASE for notification; manuscripts are not returned.
  • Send to: Alligator Juniper, Prescott College, 220 Grove Avenue, Prescott, AZ 86301
  • Manuscripts should be typed with numbered pages. Prose double-spaced, 12 point font, and 1″ margins. Include author’s name on first page. Double-sided submissions are encouraged.

Selection Process: All entries are read and discussed by writing students and distinguished writers in their genre. Due to the rotating nature of our editorial staff, each issue has a unique aesthetic. All entrants receive a personal letter from one of our staff regarding the status of their submission, as well as minor feedback on the piece. This is a rare opportunity for writers to get a word back from the editors. (Check out praise from past submitters regarding the feedback they received in the “Love Notes” section of our website and the “Reviews” section of this blog.) The individual attention we devote to each manuscript takes time, thus informing submitters in late January. We appreciate your patience.

Learn what we’ve liked by reading Alligator Juniper

Back issues are available for most years for only $5 and free shipping. Order here.



Thank you for your interest!

2 Comments on “National Writing Contests”

  1. Jon Dong says:

    First, I really did like the story about the mental patient you posted, though I thought a few of “ly” adverbs made from adjectives should have been changed. Second, do you usually charge $18 for what will most likely be a rejected submission, or do you ever have a cheaper, reading period?

    • Hi Jon,

      At this time, our open submission period (August 15th -October 15th) is via our national contest only. Your contest fee enables the publication of the journal, as we are a nonprofit, and includes a one-year subscription ($12 value). We hope you will consider submitting to us next year.

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