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Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction

by Christine Weiser

Marguerite McGlinnMarguerite McGlinnThis annual national short fiction contest features a first place $2,000 cash award and invitation to an awards dinner on Friday, October 7th, on the campus of Rosemont College; a second place cash prize of $500; and third place cash prize of $250. The first place story will be published in the print issue of Fall 2016 of Philadelphia Stories; the second and third place winning stories will appear in the Fall 2016 online issue. The Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction is made possible by the generous support of the McGlinn and Hansma families.  

Contest Submission Guidelines:

  • Submission period: January 1-June 15, 2016. CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE CONTEST.
  • Previously unpublished works of fiction up to 8,000 words. Please note, "published" includes any work published in print or online, including online magazines, blogs, public social media sites, etc. 
  • Multiple submissions will be accepted for the contest only. Simultaneous submissions are also accepted, however, we must be notified immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Only authors currently residing in the United States are eligible.
  • Submissions will only be accepted via the website. Please email if you are having any trouble with your submission.
  • There is a $12 reading fee for each story submitted.
  • All entrants will receive a complimentary one-year membership to Philadelphia Stories.
  • Winners will be announced by October 1, 2016.


Robin BlackRobin BlackAbout the 2016 Judge: Robin Black's story collection, If I loved you, I would tell you this, was a Finalist for the Frank O’Connor Story Prize and the winner of the 2010 Philadelphia Athenaeum Fiction Award. Her novel Life Drawing, was long listed for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the Folio Prize, and The IMPACT Dublin Literary Award. Her newest collection, Crash Course: Essays From Where Writing and Life Collide, has been called "an oasis for writers at any stage" by Karen Russell. ​Black's work​ has been published in such publications at The New York Times Book Review, One Story, O. Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, and The Chicago Tribune. She was the Distinguished Visiting Writer at Bryn Mawr College and will begin teaching in the Rutgers Camden MFA Program in 2016.

About the Previous Winners

2015 FIRST PLACE: Bob Johnson holds an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers Workshop. His stories have appeared in the online journals Wag’s Revue and Winning Writers. He was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s 2014 “Family Matters” fiction contest and a 1st Runner Up in Pinch Journal’s 2015 Literary Awards. He lives in South Bend, Indiana, with his wife Cindy and his retriever/lab mix Ellie. Much of his Monday-Friday career has been spent teaching, and in various creative capacities at the CBS affiliate in South Bend, WSBT-TV. Click here to read the full press release. Click here to see Bob read at the awards ceremony.

2015 SECOND PLACE: Oindrila Mukherjee is an Assistant Professor at Grand Valley State University. She has worked as a journalist in Calcutta, India, and been the creative writing fellow in fiction at Emory University. She is a regular contributor to the Indian magazine Scroll, and is currently working on a novel set in India and a collection of stories about recent Indian immigrants in the US.

2015 THIRD PLACE: Larry Loebell is a Philadelphia-based playwright, fiction writer, filmmaker, and teacher. He is a four-time recipient of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship in playwriting, and was a Barrymore nominee for his play, House, Divided. He wrote and directed the film, Dostoyevsky Man, and his second feature, Portrait Master, will premier in 2016. He has recently completed a short story collection, which includes "49 Seconds in the Box."

About the 2015 Judge
Bonnie Jo CampbellBonnie Jo CampbellBonnie Jo Campbell is the author of the novels Once Upon a River, a National Bestseller, and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters (Autumn 2015). Her critically acclaimed short fiction collections include American Salvage, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award; Women and Other Animals, which won the AWP prize for short fiction; and Q Road. Her story “The Smallest Man in the World” was awarded a Pushcart Prize and her story “The Inventor, 1972″ was awarded the 2009 Eudora Welty Prize from Southern Review. She was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow. Read the full press release about this year's judge here.

About the Previous Winners

ChadChad2014 FIRST PLACE: Chad Willenborg teaches writing at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, though his resumé tracks stints as a bartender, a gravedigger, a dry ice blaster, and a wild game packer. Click HERE to read Chad's winning story, Stone and Paper and Vinyl and Skin, and HERE to hear judge Julianna Baggott introduce Chad and hear from his winning story at the award celebration.

2014 SECOND PLACE: Mary McMyne lives in northern Michigan, where she is an assistant professor of English and fiction editor of Border Crossing at Lake Superior State University. Learn more at Click HERE to read Mary's winning story, Camille.

CheCheChe Yeun earned her B.A. in History & Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on biomedical ethics. She is currently an M.F.A. candidate at the University of New Orleans, and the Stanley Elkin Scholarship recipient for the 2013 Sewanee Writers' Conference. Her short fiction received the 2012 Enizagam Literary Award and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work can be found in The Pinch, Enizagam and Kartika Review. She is working on a collection of short stories. Click HERE to hear Che read from her winning story. Click HERE to hear what judge Michael Martone had to say about her story (and hear his Push to Publish keynote address HERE).

AnnamAnnamAnnam Manthiram is the author of the novel, After the Tsunami (Stephen F.  Austin State University Press, 2011), which was a Finalist in the 2010 SFA Fiction Contest and in the 2012 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards, and a short story collection (Dysfunction: Stories, Aqueous Books, 2012), which was a Finalist in the 2010 Elixir Press Fiction Contest and in Leapfrog Press’ 2010 Fiction Contest. 

Adam SchwartzAdam Schwartz2012 Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction: The winner for the fourth annual Marguerite McGlinn National Prize for Fiction is Adam Schwartz’s "The Rest of the World." Board members reviewed more than 400 stories for this year's contest. Nine finalists were reviewed by celebrated author and 2012 judge, Kevin McIlvoy. He was impressed with the quality of all nine finalists, but finally selected Schwartz’s "The Rest of the World" as the winner. McIlvoy desribes the piece as an "unflinching story, written with remarkable sensitivity and skill, [that] pours darkness into your heart at the very moments it pours in piercing light." Read about the 2012 winner HERE. Hear Adam read from his story on WFTE's "Tell Me a Story" program by clicking HERE for Part One and HERE for Part Two..

BG FirminiBG Firmini2011 Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction: B.G. Firmani. After board members narrowed down 300 story submissions to nine finalists, renowned author and 2011 judge Steve Almond chose New York City resident B.G. Firmani’s story, “To the Garden.” Read the full announcement of the 2011 winner HERE. Click HERE to see a slideshow of the awards  ceremony held on the campus of Rosemont College. Click HERE to hear Ms. Firmani read from her winning story at the awards ceremony.

Allison AlsupAllison Alsup2010 Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction: Allison Alsup received the $2000 prize for her story, “East of the Sierra”, which was chosen by contest judge Ru Freeman as the winner. The story was published in the Winter 2010/2011 issue of Philadelphia Stories. Click HERE to hear Ms. Alsup read from her winning story at the awards ceremony held on the campus of Rosemont College, or visit to listen to the podcast.

Katherine HillKatherine Hill2009 Winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction: Katherine Hill received the $1,000 prize for her story, The Work Boyfriend, which was chosen by contest judge Elise Juska as the winner. Her winning story was published in the winter 2009/2010 issue of Philadelphia Stories. Click HERE to hear Ms. Hill read at our 2010 Marguerite McGlinn National Prize awards celebration.

About Marguerite McGlinn
Marguerite McGlinn was the essay editor of Philadelphia Stories from 2004-2008. Her travel stories appeared in the New York Times, the Sun-Sentinel, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Los Angeles Times. She edited The Trivium: The LiberalArts of Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric (Paul Dry Books, 2002). Three of her short stories won places in “Writing Aloud,” a program of dramatic readings that matches contemporary fiction with professional actors. She was an adjunct instructor at Saint Joseph University in Philadelphia, and her story “The Sphinx” appeared in the Fall 2007 issue of Philadelphia Stories and the second volume of the Best of Philadelphia Stories (2009). Her mystery novel, Murder in the Yeats Castle, was published posthumously (TWM Books, 2014).


I received a PayPal notice, but is there a way to check on this site to see if you have indeed received the online submission properly?

I would need your name to check. Please email Thanks.

My questions are the same as an earlier emailer's, Carole:

"On the submission form, it says "description" -- of the story? Under the covering letter, it says "tell us about your submission." Are you asking for a plot summary? Thanks."

Yes, thanks.

This is an optional field.

On the submission form, it says "description" -- of the story? Under the covering letter, it says "tell us about your submission." Are you asking for a plot summary? Thanks.


Hello, is the competition only available to US residents?


David Pilling

Yes, US residents only please.

Hi! I submitted my story a few days ago, and it had my name on it. I only just saw that I shouldn't have done that. What do I do?


No problem - our editors can take care of that for you. Good luck.

Do you accept chapters or excerpts from a novel? Thanks!

As long as your excerpt works as a short story, that's fine.

If the work has already won a different contest that has the publishing rights to the story can I still enter it in the contest?

Sorry, no. Per guidelines: "We accept previously unpublished works of fiction up to 8,000 words."  You are welcome to submit a new unpublished work.

My name is Ruby and I just wanted to know if the story can be about anything. It doesn't have to have a specific type of genre, right?

Yes, your story can be about anything.

My short story is only six pages. will that count?



 Yes! The only rule of length is that the story must be under 8,000 words or it will be disqualified.


- Nicole Pasquarello


Do you accept YA fiction for this contest? Thanks!

Yes! All genres are welcome for submission. :)

Is there a age limit?




No, the contest does not include an age limit. Good luck!


If I submit my piece, whether it wins not or wheather appears on the issue, the magazine doesn't own rights to my work? Because I would love to also pitch it in other contests and/or short film festivals.



 Philadelphia Stories has one-time rights only, and then the rights revert back to the author. 

 Thank you and good luck! :)





I am interested in submitting to your contest. Would you like the pages of my work to include my name, or ought it stay anonymous?





 It is suggested that all of the submitted works remain anonymous for our readers, so please do not include your name in your piece. Thank you and good luck! :)


- Nicole Pasquarello


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