Emerging Writer's Contest

The Emerging Writer's Contest is now closed.

Since 1971, Ploughshares has been committed to promoting the work of up-and-coming writers. Over the years, Ploughshares has helped launch the careers of great writers like Edward P. Jones, Sue Miller, Mona Simpson, Tim O’Brien, and many more. 

In the spirit of the journal’s founding mission, the Ploughshares Emerging Writer's Contest recognizes work by an emerging writer in each of three genres: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. One winner in each genre per year will receive $2,000 and publication in the literary journal.  We consider authors “emerging” if they haven’t published or self-published a book.

To submit, see our guidelines. The 2019 contest judges are Ottessa Moshfegh (Fiction), Lesley Jamison (Nonfiction), and Fatimah Asghar (Poetry). The winners will also receive a conversation with our partnering literary agency, Aragi, Inc. regarding their work and writing careers.