Blue Mesa Review Annual Contest: Opens June 1, 2016

Each year Blue Mesa Review holds a writing contest in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. The 2016 judges are: Ocean Vuong for Poetry, Jensen Beach for Fiction, and Debra Monroe for Nonfiction. We encourage you to submit your very best work online through our submissions manager. First place winners receive a cash prize and publication in Blue Mesa Review and second place will also receive publication. We look forward to reading your work!


Ocean Vuong is the author of NIGHT SKY WITH EXIT WOUNDS (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). A winner of a 2016 Whiting Award and a Ruth Lilly fellow, he has received honors from The Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, Narrative magazine, and a Pushcart Prize. His writings have been featured in the Kenyon Review, Granta, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in New York City.

Jensen Beach is the author of two collections of short stories, most recently SWALLOWED BY THE COLD . His fiction has appeared in A Public Space, The Paris Review, and The New Yorker, among others. He lives in Vermont with his family, where he teaches at Johnson State College and in the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Debra Monroe is the author of four books of fiction and two memoirs. Her most recent memoir, MY UNSENTIMENTAL EDUCATION, was published in 2015. Her books have won many awards including the Flannery O’Conner Award, the John Garner Fellowship, The Violet Crown Award, and the Quarterly West Novella Competition. She’s also been nominated for the National Book Award twice. Originally from Spooner, Wisconsin, Debra now resides in Texas with her daughter and husband where she teaches creative writing in the MFA program at Texas State University.

Full Details


Submission Period
June 1 – August 31

Publication, $500 cash prize

This competition is open to original English language works in the genres of Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. The submission must be an unpublished work. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable; please note that reading fees are non-refundable, and you must withdraw the submission immediately via Submittable if it is accepted elsewhere.

Reading Fee

What We’re Looking For
Startling, compelling, and beautiful original work. We’re looking for fresh prose and powerful poetry.

Guidelines for Electronic Submissions
Submissions are accepted exclusively through our online submissions manager, Submittable. Entries must be received no later than August 31. Please submit a packet of up to 3 poems or up to 6,000 words of prose. The same person may submit in both genres, as well as submit multiple works per genre. Results will be announced via e-mail and posted on our website in mid-October.