The Larry Brown Short Story Award

We’re pleased to announce the eighth annual Larry Brown Short Story Award. The winners will receive the following prizes: 1st $500 USD, 2nd $50 USD, 3rd $50 USD, and 4th and 5th will receive a copy of the book Tiny Love: The Complete Stories by Larry Brown. Each prize winner will be published in the January 2024 issue of Pithead Chapel.

2023 Guest Judge: Sequoia Nagamatsu

Contest Guidelines

Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting

  • The contest is open from August 1st to October 31st of each year
  • The submitted story must be less than 4,000 words
  • No previously published work will be considered
  • The writer’s name and contact information should only appear within the cover letter box in Submittable; submissions will be judged blindly by our guest judge
  • Again, no identifying information should appear on the submitted manuscript pages
  • There’s a $10 entry fee for each story submission. A discounted submission category is open to BIPOC writers.
  • Writers can submit multiple entries; however, each entry must be submitted separately and each entry requires an entry fee and cover letter with an address and phone number
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine; however, please withdraw the story immediately if it’s accepted elsewhere
  • The winners and honorable mentions will be notified by December 15th, 2023, and the prize money will be awarded the day after publication on January 2nd, 2024
  • Those selected as honorable mentions will have the chance to be published alongside the winning selections in the January 2024 issue of Pithead Chapel


2023 Guest Judge: Sequoia Nagamatsu

Sequoia Nagamatsu is the author of the novel, How High We Go in the Dark, a national bestseller and New York Times Editors’ Choice, as well as the story collection, Where We Go When All We Were Is Gone. His work has been a finalist for the Ursula K. Le Guin Prize, short listed for both The Barnes and Noble Discover Prize and The Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize, long listed for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and has received teaching fellowship support from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference and festival and literary outreach travel support from the U.S. Embassy. His short stories have appeared widely in publications such as Conjunctions, Tin House, The Iowa Review, Lightspeed Magazine, Lit Hub, Electric Literature, and One World: A Global Anthology of Short Stories. He is an associate professor at St. Olaf College and also serves as a faculty mentor in the Rainier Writing Workshop Low-Residency MFA program based at Pacific Lutheran University. He resides in Minneapolis with his partner, a cat, a dog, and a robot dog named Calvino.



Previous Awards

2022 Award Winner: Kate Tooley

2021 Award Winner: Eleanor Walsh

2020 Award Winner: Scott Gould

2019 Award Winner: Stephen Hundley

2018 Award Winner: Robert Maynor

2017 Award Winner: R.S. Wynn

2016 Award Winner: Lucas Flatt

Previous Guest Judges

2022 Guest Judge: Kristen Arnett

2021 Guest Judge: Gabino Iglesias

2020 Guest Judge: Jill McCorkle

2019 Guest Judge: Leesa Cross-Smith

2018 Guest Judge: Silas House

2017 Guest Judge: Anne Valente

2016 Guest Judge: Kyle Minor