Quarterly West Poetry and Prose Contest/ How To Submit (Prize: 1400$)
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Quarterly West Poetry and Prose Contest/ How To Submit (Prize: 1400$)


Quarterly West is the online literary journal run and staffed by PhD creative writing students at the University of Utah. QW was founded by James Thomas in 1976.

Quarterly West is looking for writing that is: Exciting. Challenging. Risky. Unpredictable. And Different.

The editors are QW define Different as a victim to form—to the “fragment sentence,” “non-linear plot,” and “hybrid genre.” Different will be beholden to space, time, story, and moment. This does not seem the way to open the door for Different.

QW editors think Different doesn’t open a door, actually. Different doesn’t know doors or windows. Different stomps in. Maybe it seeps in. Sometimes, and in our favorite works, different is always already there and it strikes flint and blazes. This is what they seek.


Submission Guidelines for Quarterly West


  • To enter, please submit up to three poems or a prose piece (i.e., fiction, non-fiction, or any hybridization therein) through their Submittable.
  • The first weekend of the contest (October 1st and 2nd), there will be no fee to submit.
  • After that point, submissions for BIPOC writers will remain free, and there will be a $5 submission fee for all other writers.
  • Poetry Contest submissions will remain open October 1st – November 1st.
  • Prose Contest submissions will open October 1st until we reach a cap of 500.
  • Please submit no more than one entry per genre. Multiple entries will go unread.
  • This year, the poetry judge is Sally Wen Mao and the prose judge is Amina Cain.

Quarterly West Contest

Transparency Statement

  • QW believes in transparency, and feel strongly that submitters should know how this contests work. Because of this, they have outlined the contest process below:
  • First, your submission is read and voted upon—without identifying submitter information—by at least two of their trusted readers.
  • After this initial reading process, senior and associate genre editors (who will have access to identifying submitter information) review every submission, paying closest attention to submissions that have received at least one preliminary upvote.
  • From there, the genre editors at QW would select finalists from the submission pool; all finalists receive an offer of publication. Submissions selected by editors as finalists then get passed along to the respective genre’s contest judge: Amina Cain (Prose) or Sally Wen Mao (Poetry). Then, each judge will decide—without identifying submitter information—the winner and runner-up of each respective contest.





Quarterly West will open for its poetry and prose contests on October 1st. The winners will each receive $500 and publication in a forthcoming issue of Quarterly West. Runners-up in poetry and prose will each receive $200, and all entries will be considered for publication.





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