Submissions for the 2018 Nelson Algren Literary Award are now open from Nov. 15, 2017, at 10:00 pm central time to February 7, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

The Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Literary Awards is a nationally recognized contest for original short fiction, named in honor of the Chicago literary great Nelson Algren. The contest has been held annually since 1981. The award has been presented to a number of distinguished authors, including Louise Erdrich and Stuart Dybek.

There will be one grand prize winner ($3,500), four finalists ($1,000) and five runners-up ($500 each), and all stories will be considered for publication in Printers Row, the Tribune's digital literary journal.

Official Contest Rules:


•    All Stories must satisfy the following “Submission Requirements”:

•   Stories must be fiction and must not have been previously published.

•   Stories must be written in English, double-spaced, and no longer than 8,000 words.

•   Entrant’s name must not appear anywhere on the submitted Story, including but not limited to identification of the Story author on the pages of the submitted Story.  

•   Stories must be original to entrant (not copied, adapted, or reproduced from any other source and not a collaboration with any other person).

•   All characters in your Story must be entirely fictional and not based on any actual person, whether or not living.

•   Stories must not infringe any identifiable trademark or trade name.

•   Stories must be appropriate for publication in a commercially distributed publication.

•   Stories must not violate the rights of any other person or company (including but not limited to privacy rights and copyrights).

•   Stories must not defame, libel, or slander anyone or any entity.

•   Stories must not contain or describe any obscene, vulgar, offensive, profane, provocative or otherwise inappropriate content.

•       Any Story that is determined by Chicago Tribune in its sole discretion at any time during the Entry Period to violate the Submission Requirements or these Official Rules, or to otherwise be unsuitable, offensive or in poor taste, may be rejected and the accompanying Entry disqualified even if the Entry has previously been submitted for Panel Judging (defined below). Chicago Tribune retains sole discretion as to whether any Story satisfies the Submission Requirements and its decisions are final.

Chicago Tribune Nelson Algren Literary Contest