The Regeneration Literary Contest 2023

Presented in partnership with the Illinois Regenerative Agriculture Initiative at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Submissions will be accepted from May 1, 2023-June 30, 2023. Winner and finalists will be announced in the fall. Prize: $1,000 and publication in the Fall/Winter 2023-24 print edition of Ninth Letter (with the opportunity to also publish excerpts or full work on and two contributors copies.

Submission Fee: $10 submission fee goes toward paying our judge and the winner of the contest. Contest entrants will have the option to purchase a copy of the Fall/Winter 2023 issue at a discounted price at the time of submission.

General Guidelines: Please do not include any identifying personal information (name, address, etc.) in your submission manuscript. Any identifiable information should only appear in the "Cover Letter" field. Acceptable file formats are .doc, .docx, and .pdf. No email submission will be accepted.

Prose (fiction, creative nonfiction): Please submit one piece of no more than 8,000 words. You may also submit up to three pieces of flash-fiction or flash-nonfiction as long as the total word count of the submission is no more than 8,000 words.

Poetry: Please submit up to 3 poems in a single file of no more than 8 pages.

Theme Explanation: Please also include a note that briefly explains your work's connection to the theme of "regeneration," or how your work responds to the question: 'What would it look like to live in a world where our food systems regenerated not only us, but the planet?'. Submissions without this note will not be accepted.

Eligibility: Writers affiliated with Ninth Letter or the UIUC Creative Writing Department within the last 4 years are not eligible to submit. Any writers with a close, personal connection with the judge that could signify a conflict of interest are not eligible to submit. Regeneration Contest winners within the last 4 years are not eligible to submit.

Guest Judge: Dr. Craig Santos Perez 
is a native Pacific Islander from Guam. He is the co-editor of six anthologies and the author of six books of poetry. He is a professor in the English department at the University of Hawai'i, Manoa, where he teaches creative writing and eco-poetry.





Ninth Letter 2023 Literary Awards

Ninth Letter is pleased to announce our tenth annual Literary Awards call for submissions! We'll be accepting entries from March 8, 2023 to April 30, 2023 for our Literary Awards in three categories: Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction

Prize: The winner in each genre will receive $1000, publication in the Fall/Winter 2023-24 print issue, and bragging rights. Our publication fee purchases first North American print rights only; all other rights are retained by the author.

General Guidelines: All entries should include the author's name, contact information and title(s) of work submitted in the "Cover Letter" field in Submittable. Submissions are read anonymously, so neither the author's name nor any identifying information should appear on the manuscript itself. Acceptable file formats are .pdf, .doc, .docx.

Prose Guidelines: Please submit one piece of no more than 8,000 words. You may also submit up to three pieces of flash-fiction or flash-nonfiction as long as the total word count of the submission is no more than 8,000 words.

Poetry Guidelines: Please submit up to three poems in a single file of no more than six pages.

Submission Fee: There is an $18 submission fee for each entry. You are welcome to send multiple submissions in multiple categories provided a fee is paid for each entry. All U.S. entrants will receive a one-year subscription to Ninth Letter. All international entrants will receive a copy of our Fall/Winter 2023-24 print issue. Payments are accepted via Submittable. 

Mail Submissions: Submissions sent by mail should be accompanied by check or money order made to Ninth Letter. No manuscripts will be returned so please do not send your only copy. Submissions sent via email will not be considered. 

Simultaneous Submissions: Simultaneous submissions are accepted, but please withdraw your submission immediately upon acceptance elsewhere. Neither Refunds nor replacement submissions will be offered. 

Eligibility: No current students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or students associated with the school in the past five years are eligible to submit. Likewise, any entrants with a close relationship with the genre's judge are not eligible to submit.


Our esteemed guest judges for this year's awards are Chet'la Sebree (poetry), Janisse Ray (creative nonfiction), and Robin Marie MacArthur (fiction).  


Chet'la Sebree is an Assistant Professor of English at George Washington University. She is the author of Field Study (FSG Originals, June 2021), winner of the  James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American, and Mistress, selected by Cathy Park Hong as the winner of the 2018 New Issues Poetry Prize and nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Poetry (2020). 






Janisse Ray is the award-winning American author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and eleven other books. Ray has won an American Book Award, Pushcart Prize, Southern Booksellers Award, Southern Environmental Law Center Writing Award, Nautilus Award, and Eisenberg Award, among many others. Her collection of essays, Wild Spectacle, received the Donald L. Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence. Her books have been translated into Turkish, French, and Italian.Ray earned an MFA from the University of Montana and has accepted two honorary doctorates. She serves on the editorial board of; is an honorary member of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment; and has been writer-in-residence on many university campuses. Find out more at her website, or via her Substack newsletter, “Trackless Wild.”






Robin Marie MacArthur lives on the hillside farm where she was born in Southern Vermont. Her debut collection of short stories, HALF WILD, won the 2017 PEN New England Award for Fiction and was a finalist for both the New England Book Award and the Vermont Book Award. Her novel, HEART SPRING MOUNTAIN, was an IndieNext Selection and a finalist for the New England Book Award. Both of her books have been translated into French and published by Albin Michel. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Writing and has taught in many non-traditional settings including the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference and Orion Magazine. She is the founder and director of Word House, an emerging writing space in southern Vermont; her essays and stories have appeared in Orion Magazine, LitHub, Hunger Mountain, The Washington Post, Shenandoah, Alaska Quarterly, and on NPR.





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