2020 Summer Contest - Opens June 1

Each year Blue Mesa Review holds a writing contest in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction. The 2020 judges are: Eduardo Corral for Poetry, Amy Irvine for Nonfiction, and for Fiction, Denise Chávez. We encourage you to submit your very best work online through our submissions manager. First place winners receive a cash prize and publication in Blue Mesa Review and second place will also receive publication. We look forward to reading your work!

Contest guidelines can be found below the judge profiles.

Eduardo Corral

Eduardo C. Corral’s second book, Guillotine, will be published by Graywolf Press next August. Slow Lightning, his first book, won the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 2011. He’s the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.

Amy Irvine

Amy Irvine's memoir, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award, the Ellen Meloy Desert Writer’s Award and the Colorado Book Award. Her most recent work, Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness (Torrey House Press, 2018), was a response to Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness on the 50th anniversary of its publication. An excerpt was counted in Orion Magazine’s “25 Most-Read Stories of the Decade,” and the book was named on Stanford University’s climate scientists’ 2019 Summer Reading List, Outside Magazine’s "Adventure Canon," and Backpacker's "New Wilderness Classics." Irvine teaches in the Mountainview Low-Residency MFA program at Southern New Hampshire University, but lives and writes on a remote mesa in southwest Colorado, just spitting distance from her Utah homeland.

Denise Chávez

Denise Chávez is a Fronteriza writer, teacher and community activist from Las Cruces, New Mexico. She is the author of novels The King and Queen of Comezón, Loving Pedro Infante, Face of an Angel, The Last of the Menu Girls, and other works including A Taco Testimony: Meditations on Family, Food and Culture, Descanos: An Interrupted Journey, and a children's book, La Mujer Que Sabía el Idioma de Los Animales/The Woman Who Knew the Language of the Animals.

She is the Director of Libros Para El Viaje/Books for the Journey, on ongoing book drive that distributes books to Refugee, Migrant and Asylum families on the U.S./México.

She is the owner and bookseller at Casa Camino Real Bookstore in the historic Mesquite District in Las Cruces, on the Camino Real.

Contest Guidelines

Submission Period
June 1 – August 31

Publication, $500 cash prize for the first place winner in each genre.

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 August 31. Please submit a packet of up to 3 poems or up to 6,000 words of prose. You may submit in both genres, as well as submit multiple works per genre. Results will be announced via e-mail and posted on our website in early November.