Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Robert and Adele Schiff Awards, 2015

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Writers: Polish up your best poems, stories, and creative nonfiction, because we’re gearing up to read entries for the 2015 Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose. One winning poem and one prose piece (fiction or creative nonfiction) will be chosen for publication in our 2016 prize issue. The entry fee of $20 includes a year-long subscription.

Submissions will be accepted from June 1 through July 15.

Please note that we consider only online submissions (through our Submission Manager).

Here’s all the official Schiff Awards information:

One winning poem and one prose piece (fiction or creative nonfiction) will be chosen for publication in our 2016 prize issue, and winning authors will receive $1,000 each. All entries will be considered for publication in The Cincinnati Review. (And yes, we occasionally publish work that does not officially win.)


Writers may submit up to 8 pages of poetry or 40 pages of prose (consisting of a single story, essay, or linked microfictions), per entry. Previously published manuscripts, including works that have appeared online (in any form), will not be considered. There are no restrictions as to form, style, or content. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable under the condition that you notify us if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere.


Entry fee is $20, which includes a one-year subscription to The Cincinnati Review. All entries will receive equal consideration. And every time you enter, you receive a year’s subscription . . . so if you enter three times, you are a subscriber for three years, and so on. Note: You have the option of giving any of your subscriptions as gifts to delightfully lit-hungry significant others.

Entrants will be notified October 1 on our website, and the winning pieces will be published in the Summer 2016 issue.

That’s the basic stuff. We’ll send out another email with some particulars about setting up your entry in Submission Manager (e.g., there are some tricks for international entrants) next week.

Crossword #3: He Hath No Fury

Monday, April 6th, 2015

bali-pirate-mapA post for our passionate puzzlegoers—“goers” because working a puzzle is a bit like taking a journey, both physical (you cross spaces, traverse territory) and mental (you explore both your mind and the puzzle-maker’s). Not to mention, there’s a map—a tricky one, rather like those soiled and tattered bits of parchment in pirate movies, with signs that even intrepid adventurers can’t parse until they’re in the thick of things (dangling from unraveling rope bridges, in the clutches of cannibals, etc.). The title of this month’s puzzle (by, yep, fiction ed. Michael Griffith) is He Hath No Fury. (And yes, there’s a clue in that there adjusted adage.) As before, the first person to send the correct key to cincinnatireview[at]editors[dot]com gets a free issue! Time to head into the volcano, friends. Watch out for the glowing red stuff.

Crossword Key

Friday, February 6th, 2015

As promised, and hopefully in time to save the remaining hairs on your head, here is the key to Michael’s first crossword.

Stay tuned for the next puzzle!

Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The Cincinnati Review invites submissions for the annual Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose. One poem and one prose piece (fiction or creative nonfiction) will be chosen for publication in our 2016 prize issue, and winning authors will receive $1,000 each. All entries will be considered for publication in The Cincinnati Review.



Writers may submit up to 8 pages of poetry or 40 pages of a single prose piece, per entry. Previously published manuscripts, including works that have appeared online (in any form) will not be considered. There are no restrictions as to form, style, or content; all entries will be considered for publication. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable under the condition that you notify us if your manuscript is accepted elsewhere. As the contest is judged blind, no contact information may appear anywhere on the manuscript file. Files that do include identifying information will be rejected unread, and entry fees will not be refunded (though you’ll still get your free subscription).


The entry fee is $20, and includes a one-year subscription to The Cincinnati Review. Multiple submissions are welcome and come with additional yearlong subscriptions, which can be used to extend your original subscription or given as gifts. We will be accepting submissions only via our online submission manager, through which contestants can pay the entry fee. Again, please do not include the writer’s name or any identifying information in the manuscript file. Instead, in the “comments” field at the bottom of the entry page, enter the writer’s name, mailing address, telephone number, email, and the title(s) of the submitted work(s). Also, be sure to use the “genre” tab to indicate whether your submission is poetry, prose fiction, or prose nonfiction.

Note to international entrants: Our payment gateway requires you to enter a US state or territory and zip code as part of your address. We suggest you use ‘OH’ for the state and ‘45202’ for the zip code. If you already have an account with us, you’ll need to change this information on your account page before submitting payment. After your payment has gone through, please change your address back, so that your free subscription will go to the right place.


Submissions will be accepted from June 1 to July 15.

Winners will be notified October 1, and an announcement will appear on our website and in the Winter 2016 issue. Winning entries will be published in the Summer 2016 issue, which comes out in May.


If you have any questions about the contest or problems submitting and/or making payment, please email editors[at]cincinnatireview[dot]com, and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Five (well, technically ten) Golden Tickets

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Yep, it’s our tenth. And if you’ve been reading our blog posts and status updates, you know celebratory mailings and events are spilling like silk scarves out of the CR tophat. But there’s one we haven’t mentioned yet—the equivalent of the coveted rainbow scarf, rainbow meaning it’s got it all, that we’re going all out, or all in, or a combination of those and some other confusing, very nearly meaningless phrases. Yes, friends, we mean we’re having a gala. In Seattle. When many of you fine writer types will be there. A gala involving fancy hors d’oeuvres (like shrimp toast), and free drinks at the extremely sleek-looking bar, and a huge saltwater fishtank (a WALL of FISH), and a synapse-leaping lineup of readers (Kevin Prufer, Jamie Quatro, Roger Reeves, and Joanna Scott), not to mention a lot of extremely experienced listeners. There’s only one hitch: You have to be invited. We wish there were shrimp toast for all, but the seas are already overfished, so we have to be careful of the numbers. Still, we want to see our most passionate subscribers, those of you who murmur lines from our pages in your sleep, who develop restless leg syndrome when you know a new issue is in the mail. To you—actually only five of you—we offer a chance to attend our swanky offsite soiree (Friday, February 28, from 7 to 10) and to bring a friend. In other words, the first five people to open the current issue of CR and respond to this post with the first four words (a bit of dialogue) on page 71 get the CR tenth-anniversary full monty. By which we mean an invitation and a spare (for a pal)—not that we will get naked. Okay, Trapp might get naked.

We won’t approve the responses until we receive five—which means you can’t cheat by copying someone else. Submit your entry by commenting on this post (click the title). Subscribers, run for your 10.2’s!

AWP Small Press Publisher Award Finalist!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Thanks, AWP! We are finalists for the AWP Small Press Publisher Award, along with One Story and Creative Nonfiction. The winner will receive $2000 and an exhibit booth at the 2015 conference. We’ll be nibbling our nails till the announcement in Seattle!

The Blue Pencil Prize

Friday, November 30th, 2012

As we mentioned Wednesday, we’ve sent off Issue 9.2 to subscribers, no matter the spilled Laffy Taffy, tangled tape, or papercuts necessary to complete the shipping project. Keep an eye on the mailbox for your issue (or order it here if you forgot to renew your subscription!), and when it arrives and you open it with reverence, immediately grab a pen or pencil (even better if it’s blue) and take a careful look for mistakes. Despite our thorough proofreading process, which involves six sets of eyes, we’re not perfect. If you can prove that by finding one legitimate typo or mistake in Issue 9.2, we’ll post the results on our blog—and you’ll win a prize!

Leave your comments by clicking the post title above (unless you can already see the comments section). The first five to respond get their choice of a free issue, thermos, or slingpack, along with a blue Col-Erase pencil, the old-timey editor’s tool of choice. Yes, we’re old school, and we like it that way.

On the Schiff Prize Winners . . .

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Fiction Editor Michael Griffith on choosing Carey Cameron’s “Thursday”:

“Thursday” takes up—in subtle, touching, psychologically acute ways—a subject that seems to get relatively little attention in literary fiction: the slippages and frailties of late middle age, the tectonic grindings and intricate negotiations necessary to long marriage. It’s a sharp, smart story, tender but resolutely unsentimental.

Carey Cameron: You write about what you know, and I wrote “Thursday” because I have a family member dealing with hearing loss, and a family dealing with that family member’s hearing loss. I searched a couple of times on the internet for help—literature, groups—for the families of those experiencing hearing loss—a kind of Al-Anon, but for hearing-loss-affected families—but found nothing. Maybe I was simply not adept enough at searching on the internet, but it led me to want to write something inspired by my family’s experience in the hopes that it might resonate with others. There are a lot of baby boomers out there struggling with hearing loss and other “ordinary” problems of aging, which, however, require extraordinary adjustments.

Cameron is the author of Daddy Boy (Algonquin, 1989) and Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana (Algonquin, 2002, published under the pseudonym “Isadora Tattlin”).

Poetry Editor Don Bogen on choosing Emily Hipchen’s “Boy into Polished Concrete”:

“Boy into Polished Concrete” struck me at first reading by its command of music and structure. The stanzas each have a clear focus as the poem progresses from the schoolroom, to the test, the boy going to bed, and his feelings in bed; and the whole poem is framed brilliantly by the far-away galaxies we cannot see at the start and the close-in memory of the spiral “galaxy” of spilled milk at the end. That milky way spills out as a fluid play on blank verse in the last line, a subtle and effective contrast to the rattling, consonant-laden phrases that express the boy’s anxiety at the start. The craft here is both noteworthy in itself and seemingly natural to the scenes described.

Great craft alone, of course, does not make a poem, but in the case of “Boy into Polished Concrete” it builds an intimate and persuasive character study. I’m impressed by the way the boy’s distinctive integrity grows even as we get closer and closer to his inner thoughts. This poem brings us inside the boy’s world—and his family’s too—with insight and grace. It’s a rich and deeply moving piece of work.

Emily Hipchen: “I just hit things,” my friend said, “hard. Like in football. And for a split second I could think.” He took a sip of beer; I frowned. “Look,” he said, “It’s a cognitive disorder. This is what we had to do: my son’s teachers thought that children needed to sit still to take tests. My son needs to throw himself on the floor. Over and over.”

This is where the poem came from—my trying to understand what that must be like for my friend and his son—but more generally what the relationship is between knowledge and the floor, and the motion of falling to the floor, and the point in that gesture at which knowledge becomes accessible, and why that place? It’s not like I got answers over the raft of revisions I did (the only original line here is the title), which makes all the periods in this version look really bizarre to me. I just had the questions, and this picture in my head of the boy, his fat pencil, the test, the floor; his father, his mother; the way the noise in his head must be like watching a badly-tuned television. The way my father used to pound the side of ours to fix it, which did fix it, most of the time.

Hipchen is a Fulbright scholar, the editor of Adoption & Culture, one of the editors of a/b: Autobiography Studies, and the author of a memoir, Coming Apart Together: Fragments from an Adoption (2005). Her essays, short stories, and poems have appeared in Fourth Genre, Northwest Review, Arts & Letters, and elsewhere. She is an associate professor at The University of West Georgia.

Schiff Prize Winners and Notables

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Thanks to all of our amazing entrants in the 2012 Robert and Adele Schiff Prizes in Poetry and Prose.

We are delighted to announce that Emily Hipchen is the winner of the Poetry Prize for “Boy into Polished Concrete,” and Carey Cameron is the winner of the Prose Prize for “Thursday.” Cameron and Hipchen will each receive a $1,000 prize, and their pieces will appear in the Summer 2013 issue of The Cincinnati Review, due out in May.

The judges, Don Bogen for poetry and Michael Griffith for prose, have also named the following honorable mentions:

Jacob Appel

D. M. Armstrong

Renee Ashley

Aaron Burch

Andrew D. Cohen

Petrina Crockford

Kathy Flann

Janis Hubschman

Janet Joyner

Earle McCartney

Susan McCarty

The editors would like to thank Heather Hamilton and Becky Adnot-Haynes for their invaluable help with the judging.

(Tune in next week for comments by the writers on their winning pieces and from the editors who chose them.)

Monthly Contest: Issue 9.1 Mash-Up

Monday, September 24th, 2012

For this month’s contest, associate editor Becky Adnot-Haynes took a cue from Glee (back when it used to be good) and created a mash-up of words and phrases from choice poems and stories in CR’s latest issue. And now we want you, readers, to get in on the fun: Take out your super-secret spy glasses, pull out issue 9.1, and unlock our code! Be one of the first five people to send us the correct sentence (we will wait till we have five before we release the comments) and win your choice of free back issue, CR thermos, or CR slingpack.

(Note: Instructions do not take into account titles or author names; for example, “line ten” refers to the tenth line of the body of the poem).

The fourth word of the thirtieth line on page 92.

The last word of the tenth line on page 18.

The fourth word of the fourth line on page 150.

The fourteenth and fifteenth words of page 71.

The fourth word of the second line on page 80.

The third through seventh words of line 6 on page 74.