The Porch Prize

Established in 2019 and open to published and unpublished writers over the age of 18, The Porch Prize honors fresh voices and excellent writing. In years past, our judges have included the notable writers Megan Stielstra, Tiana Clark, Silas House, Edgar Kunz, Kristen Arnett, Margaret Renkl, David James Poissant, Maggie Smith, Aimee Nezukhumatathil, Natalie Lima, Marianne Worthington, and Kevin Wilson. We award a cash prize and Porch gift certificate to one winner in each category, and all finalists are acknowledged at our annual fundraiser. Winning entries are also published in SWING, The Porch's biannual literary print journal.

We're thrilled to announce our 2024 Winners!
• Fiction: Amelia Dirks
• Poetry: Lou Turner
• Creative Nonfiction: Laili Gohartaj

• Fiction: Gerry Wilson
• Poetry: Jed Myers
• Creative Nonfiction: Kate Parrish

Other finalists in fiction: Daniel Reiss, Josh Wolpert, Sarah P. Blanchard

Other finalists in poetry: Erin Miller Reid, Eric Mayle, Jessica Lee

Other finalists in creative nonfiction: Lena Newlin, JR Robles, Diane Gottlieb

Thanks to our final judges:
• Fiction: Jamie Quatro
• Poetry: Ananda Lima
• Creative Nonfiction: Matthew Vollmer


Call for Entries

Open to published and unpublished authors over the age of 18 who have not received The Porch Prize in a previous year. The manuscript entered must be the author’s original work and be unpublished and uncontracted at the time of deadline and unpublished during the contest judging time itself. If you submit an entry that is accepted for publication prior to our announcement of the winners, please contact us to withdraw the entry.

Manuscript must also not exceed a word count of 3,000. All entries must be submitted via Google Form.
Fiction – Manuscripts can be a short story, flash fiction, or excerpt from a longer fiction work. Maximum 3,000 words.

Creative Nonfiction – Manuscripts can be personal essay or memoir. Maximum 3,000 words.

Poetry – One poem per entry.
Entry Fee
$20.00 for Porch members, $25 for non-members. Learn more about Porch membership here. Please note: One fee per entry.

Document Formatting Requirements
.doc, .docx, and .pdf files only.

The title of the document being uploaded must match the title of the entry.

If submitting multiple entries, each one must be submitted individually.

A single document with multiple submissions will not be accepted.

Times New Roman or approximate font, 12-pt font size

Manuscript must NOT include author name to ensure blind judging. Manuscripts that include any identifying author information will not be considered.

Pages should be numbered, but must not include any other identifying information.

The following guidelines refer to PROSE entries ONLY:

Double-spaced – no extra spacing between paragraphs.

One-inch margins on top, bottom, and both sides

Unjustified right margins

Contact for questions or help with formatting.

Note: We are unable to accept screenplays or other alternative formats/genres.

Judging Specifics
All manuscripts will undergo a first round of numerical scoring by a committee of preliminary judges.

Scores will be totaled and the top five finalists from each category will be announced.

All entrants will be notified of their manuscript’s status at this time.

Our final judges will read each of the five finalists in their category and select a winner.
One winner from each of the three categories will receive:

Cash prize of $500

Publication in SWING, The Porch's biannual print literary journal

Gift certificate for a multi-week Porch class(es) valued at $300

Final Judges
Fiction: Jamie Quatro
Poetry: Ananda Lima
Creative Nonfiction: Matthew Vollmer

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