2024 Spring Contest

Each year Blue Mesa Review holds a writing contest in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. In previous years, we held the contest over the summer, but we recently moved the contest to the spring semester. Submissions will open from December 1, 2023 - March 6, 2024. The judges for the 2024 contest are Shayla Lawson for Poetry, Sarah Gerard for Creative Nonfiction, and Jennifer Givhan for Fiction. We encourage you to submit your very best work online through our submissions manager.

For our annual contest issue, first-place recipients receive $500, second-place recipients receive $100, and third-place recipients receive $25. All recipients are published in the issue.

Contest guidelines can be found below the judge profiles.

Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson is an American poet and writer, currently the writer in residence at Amherst College. Shayla is a poet, performance artist, and public intellectual.

Sarah Gerard


Sarah Gerard is an American writer of fiction and nonfiction. She worked for Bomb Magazine. She is the author of three books. The first, a novel, Binary Star, was published in 2015 by Two Dollar Radio.

Jennifer Givhan


Jennifer Givhan is a Mexican American poet who grew up in the Imperial Valley in Southern California. She earned her MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina and an MA in English Literature at California State University, Fullerton.

Contest Guidelines

Submission Period
December 1, 2023 - March 6, 2024


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 The submission must be an unpublished work.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 March 06. Please submit a packet of up to 3 poems or up to 6,000 words of prose. You may submit in all three genres, as well as submit multiple works per genre. Results will be announced via e-mail and posted on our website.