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$23.00 USD

Kurt Vonnegut Speculative Fiction Prize

The Vonnegut Prize is an annual fiction competition sponsored by North American Review. This award is intended to recognize the finest speculative fiction, which can include, but is not limited to, work influenced by the postmodern science-fiction of Kurt Vonnegut. We love Vonnegut’s dark humor, but please avoid mere imitation. We are enthusiastic about all work painted with speculative fiction’s broad brush: fairytale, magical realism, fabulism, the fantastic, horror, Afro-futurism, science fiction hard and soft, and everything in between. The winning entry will appear in the North American Review's annual summer fiction issue, and all finalists will be considered for publication.


Contest Information

Open for submission: August 10, 2021. 
First Prize: $1,000
Deadline: November 1st, 2021. Results will be announced in January.
Wordcount: 500 - 12,000 words
Judge:  Brenda Peynado

  • Submissions are judged anonymously; please remove identifying information.
  • Current University of Northern Iowa students are not eligible to submit.
  • The winner will be published in the Summer 2022 Issue. All entry fees include copy of the Summer Issue.


Frequently asked questions:

  • You may submit novel excerpts so long as they stand alone as a complete short story with beginning, middle, and end. 
  • We will accept flash fiction as well as works up to 10,000 words. That said, most of our finalists and all of our winners have had wordcounts in the 2,500 - 7,500 range. 
  • We are interested in experimental fiction; however, if publishing your piece would require unusual layout or formatting, please query first.


Our judging process:

  • All submissions are read by the contest coordinator, Dr. Brooke Wonders/Dr. Jim O’Loughlin (alternating years), as well as by fifteen or more North American Review preliminary readers, most of whom are undergraduate or graduate students at UNI. They select a slate of semifinalists, then finalists, from the submission pool. All finalists are sent to the prize judge.
  • Our prize judge selects a winner, runner-up, and honorable mentions from the slate of finalists. All finalists and semifinalists will be listed in the magazine and on Open Space. 
  • The contest coordinator may offer publication--in a future issue of North American Review and/or on Open Space--to notable stories, even if they are not sent to the prize judge.
  • The winner will be published in the Summer 2022 Issue. 
  • All entry fees include a copy of the Summer Issue.


We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.