Creative Nonfiction Prize

What is the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize?

An annual contest for the best writing in the boundless field of creative nonfiction. A chance for your creative nonfiction to be read by Hunger Mountain editors and guest judges.

What will the winner receive?

One first place winner receives $1,000 and online publication. One runner-up receives $100 and online publication.

Who can enter the contest?

Any writer – residing in any country or U.S. state – is eligible to enter; Hunger Mountain and VCFA staff and currently enrolled students are ineligible.

Who is this year’s judge?

The 2019 judge for the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize was Elissa Washuta. Read her full bio here.

When is the deadline?

The deadline for 2019 was March 1.

Where are last year’s winning entries?

2018’s winning piece, “The Cord” by Helen Whybrow, can be read on our website here.

Does Hunger Mountain accept electronic entries?

Yes! We use Submittable. Please enter an original unpublished piece of creative nonfiction, no more than 10,000 words. Your name and address should NOT appear on the essay itself; we read contest entries blind. There is a $20.00 entry fee, payable online.

Click here to enter the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize.

Does Hunger Mountain still accept entries via snail mail?

We only accept postal mail in exceptional circumstances; please query Editor Erin Stalcup at if you have a situation that requires you to mail your submission.

Will entries be considered for general publication as well as for the CNF prize?

Finalist pieces that do not win a monetary prize and online publication will be reconsidered for the next print issue of Hunger Mountain.

Are simultaneous submissions okay?

Yes,  but please let us know right away if your work is accepted elsewhere. Unfortunately, we cannot refund entry fees if the work is accepted elsewhere. Previously published submissions are not eligible for the contest. Please send original, unpublished work.

May I submit more than one essay for the contest?

Yes, multiple entries are allowed. But each entry should be submitted separately, and include its own entry fee. (You may send more than one entry and entry fee in the same envelope if you’re using snail mail.)

Are previously published essays eligible?

No. We accept original, unpublished work for the contest.

What if I have a question that’s not answered here?

Email us at

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