Prizes

FC2 conducts two annual manuscript contests

The Sukenick

$1,500 and publication by FC2. Open to writers of, from, or in the US writing in English who have not previously published with FC2.

The Doctorow

$15,000 and publication by FC2. Open to writers of, from, or in the US writing in English with at least three books of fiction published.

Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest

Eligibility

The FC2 Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest is open to writers of, from, or in the United States writing in English who have not previously published with FC2. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. There is no length requirement. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included. Translations and previously published or self-published novels and collections are not eligible. To avoid conflict of interest, employees and Board members of FC2, as well as former or current students or close friends of the final judge, are not eligible to enter. FC2 remains dedicated to recruiting new and diverse makers of the images of tomorrow and to forging an ever more representative and provocative collective to challenge and overwrite the brutal conventions of our insufficient now. We particularly encourage submissions from writers who dismantle assumed points of view and dominant narratives.

Prize

The Prize includes $1,500 and publication by FC2, an imprint of the University of Alabama Press. In the unlikely event that no suitable manuscript is found among entries in a given year, FC2 reserves the right not to award a prize.

Judges

Finalists for the Sukenick Contest will be chosen by the FC2 Editorial Board. The winning manuscript will be chosen from the finalists by our final judge. Selection criteria will be consistent with FC2’s mission to publish fiction considered by America’s largest publishers too challenging, innovative, or heterodox for the commercial milieu, including works of high quality and exceptional ambition whose styles, subject matter, or forms push the limits of American publishing and reshape our literary culture. For more information on FC2’s mission, history, aesthetic commitments, authors, events, and books, please visit our About page.

The final judges for the 2025 contest will be Steven Dunn and Katie Jean Shinkle.

Steven Dunn (a.k.a Pothole, cuz he’s deep in these streets) is a Whiting Award winner who was shortlisted for Granta‘s Best of Young American Novelists. He’s the author of three novels: Potted Meat (Tarpaulin Sky, 2016), water & power (Tarpaulin Sky, 2018), and Tannery Bay (FC2/University of Alabama Press, 2024), which is co-authored with his homie Katie Jean Shinkle. He teaches in the MFA programs at Regis, Stetson, and Naropa universities.

Katie Jean Shinkle’s books and chapbooks include The Only Way Out is Through (YesYes Books, forthcoming), Tannery Bay (coauthored with Steven Dunn, FC2, 2024), None of This is an Invitation (coauthored with Jessica Alexander, Astrophil Press at University of South Dakota, 2023), and Thick City (Bull City Press, 2023). Other work can be found in or is forthcoming from Another Last Call: Poems on Addiction and Deliverance (Sarabande Books), American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, The Nation, Denver Quarterly, New Letters, Witness, and elsewhere. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Literary Arts from the University of Denver, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alabama. Awarded fellowships and residencies from Lambda Literary and Ragdale, she serves as co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM.

Guidelines

Submissions for the 2025 contest will open on August 15, 2024.

  1. Submit a previously unpublished manuscript of any length through our online submissions manager. Electronic submissions only.
  2. The manuscript must be anonymous. The author’s name or address must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. The title page should contain the title of the manuscript only. Pages should be numbered consecutively. Files should be uploaded as a MS Word document or PDF.
  3. Please include a cover letter, including a brief biography and your name and contact information, in the space allotted on the submission form.
  4. Include a $25 submission fee. Submission of more than one manuscript is permissible if each manuscript is submitted separately and accompanied by a $25 submission fee. FC2 welcomes submissions from all writers regardless of their ability to pay the submission fee; if the fee represents a significant barrier for you, please write us.

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Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize

Eligibility

The FC2 Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize is open to writers of, from, or in the United States writing in English with at least three books of fiction published. Submissions may include a collection of short stories, one or more novellas, or a novel of any length. There is no length requirement. Works that have previously appeared in magazines or in anthologies may be included. Translations and previously published or self-published novels and collections are not eligible. To avoid conflict of interest, FC2 authors and employees of FC2, as well as former or current students or close friends of the final judge, are not eligible to enter.

FC2 remains dedicated to recruiting new and diverse makers of the images of tomorrow and to forging an ever more representative and provocative collective to challenge and overwrite the brutal conventions of our insufficient now. We particularly encourage submissions from writers who dismantle assumed points of view and dominant narratives.

Prize

The Prize includes $15,000 and publication by FC2, an imprint of the University of Alabama Press. In the unlikely event that no suitable manuscript is found among entries in a given year, FC2 reserves the right not to award a prize.

Judges

Finalists for the Doctorow Prize will be chosen by the FC2 Editorial Board. The winning manuscript will be chosen from the finalists by our final judge. Past judges include Amina Cain, Matt Bell, Cristina Rivera Garza, Joyelle McSweeney, Renee Gladman, Shelley Jackson, Mary Caponegro, Rikki Ducornet, Percival Everett, Laird Hunt, Stephen Graham Jones, Ben Marcus, Carole Maso, Stacey Levine, and Sam Lipsyte. Selection criteria will be consistent with FC2’s mission to publish fiction considered by America’s largest publishers too challenging, innovative, or heterodox for the commercial milieu, including works of high quality and exceptional ambition whose styles, subject matter, or forms push the limits of American publishing and reshape our literary culture. For more information on FC2’s mission, history, and aesthetic commitments, please visit our About page.

The final judge for the 2025 contest will be K-Ming Chang. K-Ming Chang is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award winner, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and an O. Henry Prize Winner. She is the author of the novel Bestiary (One World/Random House, 2020), which was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and the Otherwise Award. In 2021, her chapbook Bone House was published by Bull City Press. Her story collection Gods of Want (One World/Random House) won a Lambda Literary Award. Her latest novel is Organ Meats (One World, 2023), and her next book is a novella titled Cecilia (Coffee House Press, 2024).

Guidelines

Submissions for the 2025 contest will open on August 15, 2024.

  1. Submit a previously unpublished manuscript of any length through our online submissions manager. Electronic submissions only.
  2. The manuscript must be anonymous. The author’s name or address must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. The title page should contain the title of the manuscript only. Pages should be numbered consecutively. Files should be uploaded as a MS Word document or PDF.
  3. Please include a cover letter, including a biography, your name and contact information, and a list of three previously published works of fiction with ISBNs and publishers, in the space allotted on the submission form.
  4. Include a $25 submission fee. Submission of more than one manuscript is permissible if each manuscript is submitted separately and accompanied by a $25 submission fee. FC2 welcomes submissions from all writers regardless of their ability to pay the submission fee; if the fee represents a significant barrier for you, please write us.