Blood Orange Review Annual Contest

Submission Guidelines

Submissions in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry will be accepted only via Submittable. Winners in each genre will receive $500 and publication in the contest issue of Blood Orange Review. The contest fee is $10. All entries will also be considered for publication in a forthcoming issue of Blood Orange Review.

Contest Guidelines

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction: Please submit one previously unpublished essay or story, up to 7,000 words. Submissions should be double-spaced.

Poetry:  Please submit up to three (3) previously unpublished poems with each new poem beginning on a new page.

Submissions need not be submitted anonymously—names will be removed before being sent to our judges. Simultaneous submissions are encouraged, though if your work is picked up by another journal (congrats!), please promptly withdraw it from our contest. Multiple entries are accepted, as long as each entry is submitted separately and accompanied by its own contest fee.

Writers who are close friends or students (beyond week-long workshops) of the judge in their genre, should refrain from submitting. Those affiliated with Blood Orange Review and/or Washington State University, should also refrain from submitting.

2019 Contest Results


Winner | Benjamin Bartu | "Do You Love Her"

Jericho Brown (contest judge): “’Do You Love Her’ is beautiful in the way that it allows the reader to travel along the terrain of the speaker’s mind. And this speaker is on a trip that seems to me going from one change to another!”

About Benjamin Bartu

Benjamin Bartu is a poet and writer. He spent the last four years in Oregon, earning a B.A. in Political Science and Creative Writing from Linfield College. His poetry has been published in The Mekong Review, The Albion Review, Esthetic Apostle, Cathexis Northwest Press, and elsewhere. He is relocating to New York City in the Fall to study Human Rights, Gender, and Public Policy at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs.

Runner-Up | Joseph Gunho Jang | “Spring Concert”

About Joseph Gunho Jang

Joseph Gunho Jang has received a fellowship and support from the University of Pittsburgh, where he studies under Dawn Lundy Martin. His work has appeared in Three Rivers Review and Zeniada. He is currently working on a full-length manuscript.


Winner | Joel Streicker | “For the Bounty Provided Us”

Aimee Phan (contest judge): “’For the Bounty Provided Us’ immediately stood out to me for the original voice, charisma and sympathy the writer infused in the compelling unforgettable narrator. The writing felt fresh, exciting and important. This is one of the rare stories that seems to increase in emotional depth and complexity, and builds on its promise to a satisfying, thought-provoking ending.”

About Joel Streicker

Joel Streicker’s fiction has been published in The Opiate, Great Lakes Review, Kestrel, Gravel, and Futures Trading, among other magazines. He has published poetry in Spanish, including the volume El amor en los tiempos de Belisario, as well as in English. Streicker’s translations of such Latin American writers as Samanta Schweblin, Mariana Enríquez, and Tomás González and have appeared in numerous journals, including A Public Space and McSweeney’s. He lives in San Francisco.

Runner-Up | Sakae Manning | “Michiko’s Waltz”

About Sakae Manning

Sakae Manning’s work centers on historical and contemporary alliances, solidarity, and intersectionality amongst women of color. Her work may be read in Carve Magazine, Dryland, Making Waves: An Anthology of Asian-American Women Writers, and The Salt River Review. She was writer-in-residence at The Annenberg Community Beach House where she produced public programs focused on women writers of color. She is a member of Women Who Submit and the Mount Washington Writers Workshop. Manning is a 2019 Summer Fishtrap Writes Fellow, a returning resident at the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and is currently working on a novel, Kimono Blues.


Winner | Austin Maas | “Trigger Finger”

Aisha Sabatini Sloan (contest judge): “This story isn’t just told, it refracts through the infrastructure of its telling. Each moment is described with rich detail, and for a purpose, though the essay never feels pedantic or predictable. The narrator’s voice is organic and precise. Repetition functions as a lyric tool, sometimes building to a panic, folding the story back on itself, reminding the reader that the compulsion to share is complicated by the difficulty of what’s remembered, who’s involved, the stakes. “Trigger Finger,” which sometimes surges into poetry, accomplishes what beauty can at its most potent: catalyzing all these fragments. Most of all, I’m taken aback by this essay’s kindness.”

About Austin Maas

Austin Maas is a queer northern Idahoan whose creative work often features scenes from childhood on the Maas family tree farm, questions regarding the boundaries of their identities, and, these days, the squirrels living in their ceiling. Austin is a current University of Arizona MFA candidate studying creative nonfiction.

Runner-Up | Sarah Rose Cadorette | “Rape Card”

About Sarah Rose Cadorette

Sarah Rose Cadorette grew up in Minnesota, but currently calls California home. Her work has appeared in Meridian, The Massachusetts Review, and was Second Place in the 2017 Frank McCourt Memoir Prize by The Southampton Review. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College, and is working on finishing her book of essays on ideas of control and possession, especially as they relate to religion, family and mental illness. You can find more of her writing at:

CLMP’s Contest Code of Ethics:

CLMP’s community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing. We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to 1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior on the part of our readers, judges, or editors; 2) to provide clear and specific contest guidelines—defining conflict of interest for all parties involved; and 3) to make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public. This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute to a vibrant literary heritage.