miami university

CONGRATS to H.C. Gildfind, the winner of our 2020 Novella Prize! Her book, BORN SLEEPING, was chosen by Joe Squance.

Thanks to everyone who submitted manuscripts (150 this year) and all of the CW students, faculty, and friends of the press who were our first readers!

H.C. GildfindAbout the Author: H.C. Gildfind

H.C. Gildfind is an Australian writer who has published fiction, articles and book reviews in Australia, overseas and online. She won an Australia Council Grant to complete a collection of short stories, The Worry Front, which was published in 2018 by Margaret River Press. Gildfind also received an Australian Postgraduate Award to complete a PhD at the University of Melbourne, which enacted a creative reading of the relationship between Australian literature and history. 


Joe Squance2020 Judge: Joe Squance

Joe Squance is a writer and teacher in Oxford, Ohio. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in The Best Micro Fiction Anthology 2019, Atticus Review, Cease Cows, Everyday Fiction, Fiction Southeast, Gravel, Juked, Monkeybicycle, and elsewhere. He has written essays for Organic Life, Runner's World, Salon, and Serious Eats, and is the recipient an Award for Individual Excellence from the Ohio Arts Council. He lives with his wife and their young daughter and keeps a neat house.


The 2021 Novella Prize submission window will open in early March, 2020.


The Miami University Novella Prize is awarded annually to a novella-length manuscript of original fiction (18,000–40,000 words). The winner receives $750, a standard contract, publication and 10 copies of the book.


We announce the prize winner on this website as well as Facebook and @MiamiUPress. We also send emails with the news to all entrants. All entrants are eligible to receive a copy of the winning book. Request a thank-you novella.


Reading Fee: $25

18,000-40,000 words. Unfortunately, shorter or longer manuscripts will be disqualified without refund.

Format Requirements:
 Manuscripts should be double-spaced, use a standard 12 pt. font, and include page numbers. Please be sure your name does not appear anywhere on the manuscript.

: All entries and fee payment must be submitted through Submittable.

Previously published works are not eligible. Simultaneous submissions are welcomed; please notify us immediately if your submission is accepted for publication elsewhere. Previous Novella Prize winners are ineligible. Previous finalists may enter again. Students, former students, faculty, former faculty, or anyone connected to Miami University are not eligible to enter. By submitting your work and the online form you certify that you are not in any way affiliated with Miami University. 

Miami University Press adheres to the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses (CLMP) Contest Code of Ethics:
CLMP's community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.

Previous winners and finalists:

2019 – History of an Executioner by Clancy McGilligan
Final judge and editor: Daisy Herñandez

2018 – Temper CA by Paul Skenazy
Final judge and editor: TaraShea Nesbit

2017 – Day of All Saints by Patricia Grace King
Final judge and editor: Brian Roley

2016 – That Night Alive by Tara Deal
Final judge and editor: Margaret Luongo

2015 – Camp Olvido by Lawrence Coates
Final judge and editor: Joseph Bates

Runners up: The Slush Pile by William Nixon & Desirée Women by Marlene Miller

2014 – Fountain by Tote Hughes
Final judge and editor: Joseph Bates

Runners up: The Sorrow Proper by Lindsey Drager & Newborn by Agustin Maes

2011 – Men Beware Women by Gwen Thompson
Final judge and editor: Margaret Luongo

Runners up The New Century by Monica Hileman, Continuity by David Crouse, No Creature Loves an Empty Space by Sudip Bose, Unspeakable by Erika Rummel, My Bo and Me by Roberta Anthes

2010 – Mitko by Garth Greenwell
Final judge and editor: David Schloss

2009 – The Old Whitaker Place by David Chambers
& Under the Small Lights by John Cotter

Final judge and editor: David Schloss

The 2009 contest resulted in a tie—so we broke with tradition and awarded two authors the prize.

2008 – The Guide to the Flying Island by Lee Upton
Final judge and editor: Joseph Bates

2007 winner – A Fight in the Doctor’s Office by Cary Holladay
Final judge and editor: Brian Roley

2006 – Badlands by Cynthia Reeves
Final judge and editor: Margaret Luongo

Runner up The House of My Father by John Michael Cummings

2005 – The Waiting Room by Albert Sgambati
Final judge and editor: Eric Goodman