The Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, the Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing, & the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize:

One first place winner receives $1,000 & online publication, & one runner-up receives $100 & online publication. You may enter more than one piece in each category, or separate pieces in multiple categories, but each entry needs its own entry fee. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please let us know within twenty-four hours if your work is accepted elsewhere, & please know that we can’t refund entry fees. You can read previous winners here.


The 2021 Guest Judges of Hunger Mountain’s literary prizes are all faculty & alumnx of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ low-residency MFA program in Writing:

Trinie Dalton– Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize

Terese Marie MailhotHunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize

Tomás Q. Morín– Ruth Stone Poetry Prize

Ann Dávila Cardinal– Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing


The International Young Writers Prize:

The Young Writers Prize is open to all genres of creative writing: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, hybrid, & writing for children. Please only submit one piece per genre. Our goal is to foster the next generation of creative writers, & to encourage young people to make their voices heard. One winner will receive a $100 honorarium & online publication. You can read previous winners here. This contest is judged by Hunger Mountain’s Assistant Editors.


The May Day Mountain Chapbook Series

The winning author will receive $100 in prize money plus fifty 5x7, handmade letterpress copies of their manuscript, designed and illustrated by May Day Studio of Montpelier, Vermont. 

  • $10.00 reading fee
  • Send 30-50 pages of fiction, short stories, poetry, poetics, nonfiction, hybrid, short scripts, experimental biography & autobiography, as well as new approaches to journalism, scholarship, & critique.
  • If needed, include a table of contents and acknowledgments.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. 

This contest is judged by Hunger Mountain’s Assistant Editors & Managing Editor.


We recommend you read previous issues, our general guidelines (below), & our Mission Statement to get an idea of who we are and what excites us.


General Guidlines

Hello! If you’re reading this before submitting to Hunger Mountain, welcome (& good for you, friend)!

These are guidelines for what we seek to include in our magazine in order to support our mission, which is to exalt traditionally silenced voices, to expand representation in literature, & to examine with a critical eye. We pursue this mission through the work we both solicit & select from submissions.

We want writing that explores, questions, & challenges. We want writing that remains open. We want work that thinks about what it’s trying to do for others & the world.

We are here to champion writing that upsets systems of power & dominance. Our magazine isn’t going to destroy the cis-heteronormative white-supremacist ableist patriarchy. But we are going to try, & we seek to celebrate art that is trying alongside us.

Above all, we seek work that is self-aware & avoids the risk of harm. We hold the intention of including all, especially those who have been most excluded from society & from literature. Our paramount values are transparency & consent. No writer sets out to do harm. But because we believe that writing has ramifications in the world, we want the people who submit to us to consider the repercussions their work has on those reading it.

Writing submitted to us will be thoroughly & open-heartedly read by at least two members of our community, & unlike many literary journals we reserve roughly 50% of each issue for unsolicited work. Because we value the wellbeing of our editors (who in turn value the wellbeing of our readers), we request content warnings & recommend sensitivity readers. If you don’t have a sensitivity reader, or don’t know what that is, & feel you might need one, you can find more information here & here. Content warnings also help us get your work into the hands of readers best able to meet it on its own terms. These requests will change as our editorial board changes. We appreciate your including these content warnings with your submission:

  • violence & abuse—including sexual, toward children, & toward animals
  • racism
  • tragedies in marginalized communities
  • suicide
  • mental health issues
  • loss & grief
  • hate speech or slurs
  • medical trauma

While a cover letter is not required, feel free to submit one along with your work. If you chose to include one, in it please tell us whatever we need to know about you & how you identify in order to meet your work on its own terms. We care more about why you wrote this piece & why you're sending it specifically to us than we care about any credentials. 

While we have no problem with simultaneous submissions, if your work is accepted elsewhere, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible. For us, this means within 24 hours in most cases. Please withdraw through Submittable, not by sending us an email. 

Anyone who is not a current student in our residential MFA in Writing & Publishing may submit to our contests—this includes alumnx of W&P, & current students in any of VCFA’s low-residency programs.    


We only consider work that has not been previously published in print or online—personal websites and social media platforms do count as previous publication.

The winning author will receive $100 in prize money plus fifty 5x7, handmade letterpress copies of their manuscript, designed and illustrated by May Day Studio of Montpelier, Vermont.  

  • $10.00 reading fee.
  • Reading period: November 3, 2020 – March 1st, 2021. 
  • Winner will be announced in the spring of 2021.
  • Send 30-50 pages of fiction, short stories, poetry, poetics, analysis, nonfiction, hybrid, short scripts, experimental biography and autobiography, as well as new approaches to journalism, scholarship, and critique.
  • If needed, include a table of contents and acknowledgments.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere. 

Please enter one original, unpublished story under 8,000 words. 

Please submit up to three poems in one entry (all three poems in one Word document or PDF).


Please enter an original, unpublished piece under 8,000 words. Your entry may be a short story or a book/novel excerpt, but if it's an excerpt it should stand alone. 

Please let us know if this piece is intended for Young Adult, Middle Grade, or younger audiences. 

We do accept (but we don’t require) illustrations along with picture book manuscripts. 

Please enter an original unpublished piece of creative nonfiction, no more than 8,000 words. 

This contest is open to only high school student writers (ages 14-18) from around the world, in all genres of creative writing: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, writing for young adults & children, & hybrid work. Students in Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA Program in Writing & Publishing will judge submissions and choose an overall winner, as well as a finalist in each genre. The winner will receive $100 and online publication, and the finalists' names will be listed online. 

Our goal with this prize is to foster the next generation of creative writers, and to encourage young people to make their voices heard. We look forward to reading your best work. 

We accept, per entry: 

  • One short story of up to 5,000 words
  • One essay of up to 5,000 words
  • One document with up to 3 poems included 
  • One piece of writing for children of up to 5,000 words 

You may enter multiple submissions, but please limit to one entry per genre category. 

Here's your chance to get your copy of the newest issue from Hunger Mountain! 

Issue 24: Patterns, is guest edited by TC Tolbert, Toni Jensen, & Celia C. Pérez.

It has been designed beautifully by Marielena Andre, and feautures new work from Kristiana Kahakauwila, Geffrey Davis, Natanya Ann Pulley, Natalie Serber, Nick Almeida, tanner menard, Jennifer Tseng, torrin a. greathouse, Michael Mlekoday, Xelena Gonazález, & more.  

PRIDE—hybrid, lyric microessays by Julie Marie Wade 

Handmade letterpress chapbook designed and illustrated by May Day Studio of Montpelier, Vermont, signed and numbered by the author.


Julie Marie Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami. She has published eleven collections of poetry and prose, most recently the book-length lyric essay, JUST AN ORDINARY WOMAN BREATHING (The Ohio State University Press, 2020) and THE UNRHYMABLES: COLLABORATIONS IN PROSE (Noctuary Press, 2019), co-authored with Denise Duhamel. A recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir and grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Julie lives in the Sunshine State with her spouse Angie Griffin and their two cats.

The debut May Day Mountain Chapbook Contest winner, plus our current print issue—#24: Patterns—for $15 (normally $20).


P*R*I*D*E—hybrid, lyric microessays by Julie Marie Wade 

Handmade letterpress chapbook designed and illustrated by May Day Studio of Montpelier, Vermont, signed and numbered by the author.

Julie Marie Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami. She has published eleven collections of poetry and prose, most recently the book-length lyric essay, JUST AN ORDINARY WOMAN BREATHING (The Ohio State University Press, 2020) and THE UNRHYMABLES: COLLABORATIONS IN PROSE (Noctuary Press, 2019), co-authored with Denise Duhamel. A recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir and grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Julie lives in the Sunshine State with her spouse Angie Griffin and their two cats.

The debut May Day Mountain Chapbook Contest winner, plus our current print issue—#24: Patterns—and #23: Silence & Power, for $20 (normally $28).

P*R*I*D*E—hybrid, lyric microessays by Julie Marie Wade

Handmade letterpress chapbook designed and illustrated by May Day Studio of Montpelier, Vermont, signed and numbered by the author.

Julie Marie Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University in Miami. She has published eleven collections of poetry and prose, most recently the book-length lyric essay, JUST AN ORDINARY WOMAN BREATHING (The Ohio State University Press, 2020) and THE UNRHYMABLES: COLLABORATIONS IN PROSE (Noctuary Press, 2019), co-authored with Denise Duhamel. A recipient of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir and grants from the Kentucky Arts Council and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Julie lives in the Sunshine State with her spouse Angie Griffin and their two cats.

Your subscription gets you the next two print issues* of Hunger Mountain, which publishes award-winning poems, stories, essays, artwork, children's lit, and other surprises. Your subscription begins with the most current issue in print, and will continue until the next print issue is released. Our issues are published annually in the spring.

*Note: International orders that need to be shipped outside of the U.S. will receive one print issue.

Your purchase gets you a back issue of Hunger Mountain from our selection of available older print issues of the journal, featuring work by writers such as George Saunders, Pam Houston, Tiphanie Yanique, Paul Tran, Michael Martone, & many more. 

Hunger Mountain: the VCFA Journal of the Arts