From Our Staff | August 27, 2014

cat glasses

By Michael Nye

Yeah, yeah, I get it—the pools haven’t even closed yet, it’s not even Labor Day, and it still feels like a dog’s mouth outside (at least it does here in Columbia, Missouri). The crisp fall weather, bonfires, and pumpkin-flavored everything that accompanies the October 1st deadline is merely a twinkle in your eye. I totally understand why you’d want to wait a few more weeks to submit to TMR’s 24th Annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction, Essay, and Poetry—each genre winner earning a feature in our Spring 2015 issue, a fancy reading in Columbia’s finest country club, and a cool five grand.


Here are the top ten reasons why you should go ahead and submit to the Editors’ Prize right-dang-now!

10. You’ll forget about it later. This is especially true if you’re in school (teaching or a student, or both) and the semester has just started. Everything is going to pick up, and by the end of September you’ll be flailing in a whirlwind of projects and deadlines. Might as well get it out of the way now so you’ll have less to stress about later.

9. Likewise…procrastination. You’re still in summer break mode and don’t feel like doing the reading assignment. Submitting to the contest is the perfect way to both procrastinate AND do something productive. Win-win!

8. Starbucks has apparently already started serving Pumpkin Spice Lattes. You can treat yourself to one after you submit. No need to wait!

7. It feels good to check tasks off a to-do list. Almost as good as winning $5,000.

6. Speaking of which, you may be broke now, but think about how good it would feel to win that dough. What will you spend it on? Books? Shoes? Wine? Fixing your iPhone screen (had to do that this summer and it was expensive!)? The world is your oyster!

5. You can’t daydream about everything you’ll buy if you haven’t submitted yet. That’s the rule.

4. You also can’t pick out your prize reading outfit if you haven’t submitted yet. That’s another rule.

3. Here’s the online submission link, right here, in front of your face: SUBMIT HERE. No excuses now!

2. You’ve been hard at work writing new stuff and editing old stuff all summer, and now it’s time to send it off into the world and see what happens. We can’t wait to read.

1. Baby hippo wants you to submit. Why would you say no to baby hippo?

baby hippo

Editors’ Prize Guidelines

24th Annual
Jeffrey E. Smith
Editors’ Prize in 
Fiction, Essay and Poetry

Not Just Any Contest!

Select winning entries in the past have been reprinted in the Best American series.

$5,000 Fiction | $5,000 Poetry | $5,000 Essay  

Deadline: October 1st, 2014

Submit online now or download the entry form (PDF) for print submissions.

Interested in reading a past Jeffrey E. Smith Editor’s Prize winner? Check out the essays “Big Jim,” “Letters to David,” and “My Thai Girlfriends” on textBOX, The Missouri Review‘s free online anthology:

Complete Guidelines

(No other information is needed to enter)

▪   Page restrictions: Please include no more than 25 typed, double-spaced pages for fiction and nonfiction. Poetry entries can include any number of poems up to 10 pages in total. Each story, essay, or group of poems constitutes one entry.

▪   Entry fee: $20 for each entry (make checks payable to The Missouri Review). Each fee entitles the entrant to a one-year subscription to TMR in print or digital format (for a free sample of a digital issue, go here!), an extension of a current subscription, or a gift subscription. Please enclose a complete address for subscriptions.

▪   Entry instructions (for mailed entries): Include the printable contest entry form. On the first page of each submission, include author’s name, address, e-mail and telephone number. Entries must be previously unpublished and will not be returned. We accept simultaneous submissions but ask for immediate notification if the piece is accepted for publication elsewhere. Mark the outside of the envelope “Fiction,” “Essay,” or “Poetry.” Each entry in a separate category must be mailed in a separate envelope. Enclose a #10 SASE or e-mail address for an announcement of winners. Entries will not be returned.

▪   Eligibility: Previous winners of the Editors’ Prize and previous employees of TMR are ineligible. Previous finalists, however, may enter again.

▪   Mailing address:Missouri Review Editors’ Prize
357 McReynolds Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

▪   What Are You Waiting For? Enter Online Now!

Download the entry form for print submissions.

The winners will be announced in January 2015.

If you have any questions regarding the Editors’ Prize Contest, please feel free to e-mail us at:

meow or never