Short Fiction Contest Details

“Tres Marias,” by Stephen Henriques


“The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghostlike.”

– Ralph Ellison





Three times a year, Jerry Jazz Musician awards a writer who submits, in our opinion, the best original, previously unpublished work of short fiction.   

The Jerry Jazz Musician reader has interests in music, social history, literature, politics, art, film and theater, particularly that of the counter-culture of mid-twentieth century America.  Our newsletter subscribers include publishers, artists, musicians, and fellow writers.  While your writing should appeal to a reader with these interests and in these creative professions, all story themes are considered.

Winning stories are announced on the home page of Jerry Jazz Musician, and it will reside on the website permanently.  In 2017, Jerry Jazz Musician nominated six writers and poets for the Pushcart Prize.  Click here to view them.


Contest details

No entry fee is required. One story entry only. 

A prize of $100 will be awarded for the winning story.

In addition to the story being published on Jerry Jazz Musician, the author’s acceptance of the prize money gives Jerry Jazz Musician the right to include the story in an anthology that could appear in book or magazine form.  All other ownership rights are retained by the author.  If story appears subsequently in other publications, we ask authors to note that the story was originally published on Jerry Jazz Musician.

Submission deadline for the next contest — our 50th — is January 31, 2019.  Publishing date will be on or about March 1, 2019.  Ideally, stories will not exceed 3,000 words but stories of up to 5,000 words are considered.  There are no age limitations.

Please submit your story by March 1, 2019 via Word (preferred) or PDF attachment to, and be sure to include your name, address and phone number with your submission. Please include “Short Fiction Contest Submission” in the subject heading of the email.

Good luck!

Read a winning story