Opportunity: Columbia University Incarcerated Writers Contest

December 5, 2019 Opportunities

The Columbia University Incarcerated Writers’ Initiative is extending the deadline for their 2019 writing contest. 

Any short fiction, poetry, or nonfiction essay mailed to their office by January 14th will be entered into the contest, and the author will receive a feedback letter from a current or former Columbia MFA Candidate.

The Incarcerated Writers Initiative was started in 2016 by Heather Radke at the Columbia Journal as a way to open the student publishing platform to writers in prisons across the United States.  

The Incarcerated Writers Initiative aims to maintain and sustain space for those writers from vulnerable and at-risk communities who have traditionally been excluded from the larger literary discussion of art, taste, and scholarship.

As part of the Columbia Writing Program’s commitment to bring underrepresented voices into the public sphere, the Incarcerated Writers’ Initiative (formerly a division of the Columbia Journal), would like to extend a special invitation to incarcerated writers to submit their writing. Writers may submit work by mail at no fee.

They accept submissions in the following categories: 

Fiction (up to 5,000 words)
Nonfiction (up to 5,000 words) 
Poetry (up to 5 pages)

All submissions are eligible for general print and online publication in the Columbia Journal, and may be entered into the journal’s Winter Contest. Submitted works are also eligible for publication in Exchange, a literary magazine published through Columbia Artists/Teachers that features work exclusively from incarcerated artists. Both printed publications will be released in Spring, 2020. 

Submission Guidelines and more details are available here