Submission Guidelines for the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize

Those entries that succeed in this contest are typically those that do one thing: they tell a simple story well, without the garnish of fancy experimental styles or attempts to write abstractly rather than directly. The features our judges look for are great characterization, dialogue, accuracy and vividness of setting, consistency in point of view and technique, and, above all else, a well-written piece of fiction that is free of jargon, grammatical error, and stylistic nonsense. Grammar and mechanics errors will disqualify an entry faster than anything, so please take care in manuscript preparation and mechanical correctness. We are not interested in work that appears trendy or that tries too hard to be fashionable. We also shy away from work that imitates some other contemporary, popular writer. We look for honesty and directness in the writing. Be aware of the language that is appropriate to the time and place you write about.

Clay Reynolds is our final judge.

We will accept submissions from February 1 through October 15, 2017

  • All submissions must be made electronically through our Submittable account.
  • Manuscripts should be between 20,000 and 50,000 words in length.
  • The authors name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript.
  • All entries should be double-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with page numbers.
  • A cover letter should be included with your entry. This is to be copied and pasted into the Submittable entry form, not included with the manuscript itself.
  • A reading fee of $20 must accompany each manuscript.
  • Winning manuscripts will be published the year after acceptance.
  • Winners will receive 20 free copies of their books.
  • Winner will be announced on the Texas Review Press website.


Click covers to read about each book or order a copy.

Past Clay Reynolds Novella Prize Winners:

  • Rusty Dolleman
  • Ernest J. Finney
  • Benjamin Ludwig
  • Adam Berlin
  • Bruce Douglas Reeves
  • Tina Egnoski
  • Daniel Robinson
  • William Orem
  • Tara Deal
  • Lonnie Busch
  • Suzanne Freeman
  • Mark Connelly
  • Rebecca Bailey
  • Stephen March
  • Charles Wyatt

For 2016, the winner is:

A Place of Timeless Harmony
by Curt Eriksen from Brookline, MA

Second place is:

On the Rocks
by Theodora Ziolkowski from Tuscaloosa, AL

Third place is:

Railroad Man
by Nancy Brock from Columbia, SC