Submit

show us your work

Subscribe

to the publication

ProForma

enter contest

Submit

show us your work

Subscribe

to the publication

ProForma

enter contest

PROFORMA CONTEST

Grist's ProForma Contest

ABOUT THE CONTEST

Every spring, Grist welcomes submissions of unpublished creative work for our ProForma contest in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and/or hybrids that explore the relationship between content and form. Our contest is open to all forms of literary expression.

“Pro forma” often means an established way of doing things. For the contest, we look for work that makes the most of its form, whether that’s an essay that breaks from traditional expectations, a set of poems from a sonnet sequence, a short story that blends or bends its genre, a hybrid text or a genre-less piece. However you define the relationship with form in your writing, we want to see your best work.

PRIZES

First Prize: $1200 plus publication in the print journal
Runners Up: publication in the print journal (along with normal payment rates)

ENTRY

Contest entry fee: $18 or $24 (includes a subscription to Grist or a Grist t-shirt).
Multiple submissions have the option of gifting the subscription or extending an existing subscription.
For longer works: no more than 5000 words
For shorter works: no more than 5 pieces
Reading will be done anonymously, so please remove your name or any other identifying information from both the file name and the manuscript itself. Otherwise, we will be unable to consider it. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please notify us if the submission is accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are also fine, but you will be charged the full reading fee per submission. We cannot refund the fee if the submission is withdrawn. No one currently or recently affiliated with the University of Tennessee is eligible to enter. Additionally, former students of our final judge and close associations of current Grist staff are also ineligible. All submissions will also be considered for publication outside of the contest feature.

IMPORTANT NOTE

Please indicate in the comments section on Submittable if your manuscript should be considered in a certain way (if three flash pieces or poems should be grouped together rather than read as separate pieces, for example).

SUBMISSIONS WINDOW

Submissions open: March 15, 2022, 12:01 EST
Submission deadline: April 30, 2022, 11:59 EST
Please submit your manuscript through the Submittable link above.

Issue 15 Winners

Whitney Collins (first place) for her work Cray

It is rare to be so fully re-immersed in the dissolved friendships of our childhood. Rare to be pulled back so forcefully into some of the most tangible losses of our lives. “CRAY” is a powerful vacuum of both love and loss, that stings with unimaginable familiarly. That cuts with the painful serration of a too-old steak knife. It is brilliant. Haunting, of course. And brimming with tenderness, hurt, raw adoration, and an astute sub-textual pulse of a child beginning to understand the scope and unshakable weight of socioeconomics and ridged castes. I am truly awed. When reading this story, I remembered my life and all I buried.” –Kayleb Rae Candrilli, contest judge 

Caitlyn Curran (runner up) for The Land of Ordinary Violence and other poems

Alysse McCanna (runner up) for Crown for Forgetting

CONTEST JUDGING

Julie Marie Wade is a member of the creative writing faculty at Florida International University in Miami and a regular reviewer for Lambda Literary Review and The Rumpus. A winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir, her collections of poetry and prose include Wishbone: A Memoir in FracturesSmall Fires: Essays, Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems, When I Was Straight, Same-Sexy Marriage: A Novella in Poems, Just an Ordinary Woman Breathing, and Skirted. Her collaborative titles include The Unrhymables: Collaborations in Prose, written with Denise Duhamel, and Telephone: Essays in Two Voices, written with Brenda Miller.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Grist is committed to diversity, inclusivity, cultural interchange, and respect for all individuals. In the case of all submitted and/or accepted work, if an author behaves or speaks publicly—or is revealed or accused to have behaved or spoken, even in private—in ways that contradict these expressed values of the journal, then we reserve the right to disqualify an author’s submission, release the author from any contract, and/or remove their work from our archives. CLMP We adhere to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses’ 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.

Read Online Content

Author Photo for J. Lazar
Issue 14

How To Fix Everything

J Lazar is a writer and co-founder of the Field Academiy, a school that seeks to make learning and life indistinguishable. She is currently working on a family memoir exploring whiteness and erasure through stories of alchemy and migration. Jen is grateful for the best mammals she knows: her partner, Daniel, her daughter, Artemis Grace, and their provocative housecat, Radio. Keep up with J’s work at jenlazar.com.

Read More »
Author Photo of J. Kasper Kramer
Issue 14

Bones

J. Kasper Kramer is the author of the critically acclaimed middle-grade novel The Story That Cannot Be Told (2019) and The List of Unspeakable Fears (2021), and an adjunct professor in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her nonfiction can be found in The Rumpus, Writer’s Digest, and The Coachella Review. Visit her at jkasperkramer.com.

Read More »
Author Photo of Jasmine Sawers
Issue 14

Elephants Bury Their Dead

Jasmine Sawers is a Kundiman fellow in fiction and a graduate of the MFA program at Indiana University. Originally from Buffalo, New York, Sawers now lives and pets dogs outside St. Louis. Sawers’s work has appeared in such publications as Ploughshares, Fairy Tale Review, and The Offing. Find out more at JasmineSawers.com

Read More »
Grist's ProForma Contest

ABOUT THE CONTEST

Every spring, Grist welcomes submissions of unpublished creative work for our ProForma contest in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and/or hybrids that explore the relationship between content and form. Our contest is open to all forms of literary expression.

“Pro forma” often means an established way of doing things. For the contest, we look for work that makes the most of its form, whether that’s an essay that breaks from traditional expectations, a set of poems from a sonnet sequence, a short story that blends or bends its genre, a hybrid text or a genre-less piece. However you define the relationship with form in your writing, we want to see your best work.

PRIZES

First Prize: $1200 plus publication in the print journal
Runners Up: publication in the print journal (along with normal payment rates)

ENTRY

Contest entry fee: $18 or $24 (includes a subscription to Grist or a Grist t-shirt).
Multiple submissions have the option of gifting the subscription or extending an existing subscription.
For longer works: no more than 5000 words
For shorter works: no more than 5 pieces
Reading will be done anonymously, so please remove your name or any other identifying information from both the file name and the manuscript itself. Otherwise, we will be unable to consider it. Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please notify us if the submission is accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are also fine, but you will be charged the full reading fee per submission. We cannot refund the fee if the submission is withdrawn. No one currently or recently affiliated with the University of Tennessee is eligible to enter. Additionally, former students of our final judge and close associations of current Grist staff are also ineligible. All submissions will also be considered for publication outside of the contest feature.

IMPORTANT NOTE

Please indicate in the comments section on Submittable if your manuscript should be considered in a certain way (if three flash pieces or poems should be grouped together rather than read as separate pieces, for example).

SUBMISSIONS WINDOW

Submissions open: March 15, 2020, 12:01 EST
Submission deadline: April 30, 2020, 11:59 EST
Please submit your manuscript through the Submittable link above.

Issue 14 Winners

Christian J. Collier (first place) for his work Selah and other poems

“This is a poet familiar with received form and the disruption of form; tradition and the rupture of tradition. This poet pulls a canon from the margins into the playground’s center. ‘America: A Biggie Smalls Cento’ capture our country’s mythos as I read it on the evening of July 4th, where fireworks and gunshots pop off together—twinned symbols of this nation’s hybrid history. This poem assumes many forms: the polyvocal Cento is an archive, where samples become a whole mixtape, quoted lyrics a contrapuntal, and the remix an Ode to 90s hip hop. But the poet doesn’t just illuminate the moment we are in, the poet illuminates the continuum in which we have always been. What Biggie was rapping about ominously in the 90s, the speaker feels now, except this time we’re surer that ‘criminals’ is a descriptor for cops. The poet’s artful hybridization of America’s forms and Biggie’s voice geniuses anger, choruses it, canonizes it, honors it, holds—in the same space—words that ‘taste like death / full of grace.’” —Joy Priest, ProForma contest judge

O-Jeremiah Agbaakin (runner up) for landscape with as a necromancer & a horse-rider and other poems
Joshua Burton (runner up) for Man in a Hole and other poems

CONTEST JUDGING

Kayleb Rae Candrilli
Kayleb Rae Candrilli is the recipient of a Whiting Award and of a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts. They are the author of Water I Won’t TouchAll the Gay Saints, and What Runs Over. Candrilli’s work is published or forthcoming in POETRYAmerican Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and others.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Grist is committed to diversity, inclusivity, cultural interchange, and respect for all individuals. In the case of all submitted and/or accepted work, if an author behaves or speaks publicly—or is revealed or accused to have behaved or spoken, even in private—in ways that contradict these expressed values of the journal, then we reserve the right to disqualify an author’s submission, release the author from any contract, and/or remove their work from our archives.

 

CLMP

 

We adhere to the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses’ 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.