The Non/Fiction Collection Prize

The Non/Fiction Collection Prize is awarded annually to a book-length collection of short stories, essays, or a combination of the two. The prize (which in previous iterations was known as the Sandstone Prize and The Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction) carries a cash award of $1500 and publication with The Ohio State University Press under its standard contract.

Submission deadline: February 1 – March 15, 2022

  • The award is open to writers of fiction and creative nonfiction, whether or not they have previously published a book.
  • Eligible submissions include an unpublished manuscript of short stories or essays; two or more novellas or novella-length essays; a combination of one or more novellas/novella-length essays and short stories/essays; a combination of stories and essays. Novellas or novella-length nonfiction must be part of a larger collection. Manuscripts may be no fewer than 150 and no more than 350 typed double-spaced pages, 12-point font. Prior publication of your manuscript as a whole in any format (including electronic or self-published) makes it ineligible. Individual stories or essays that have been previously published may be included in the manuscript. Each submission must include a list of acknowledgments of previously published work (title and magazine/journal/anthology) included in the manuscript.
  • All submissions must be accompanied by a $23 entry fee ($11.50 for BIPOC writers)
    • If it is a hardship to meet the submission fee, please contact our editor to discuss options for a fee waiver at
  • All manuscripts will be judged anonymously. The author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. All identifying information will be submitted through the online submission manager only.
  • Manuscripts may also be under consideration by other publishers, but if a manuscript is accepted for publication elsewhere, the submission should be promptly withdrawn from consideration.
  • Authors may submit more than one manuscript to the competition as long as one manuscript or a portion thereof does not duplicate material submitted in another manuscript and a separate entry fee is paid.
  • Manuscripts must be received in Winter 2022 via our online submission manager:
  • No hard-copy manuscript submissions will be considered.
  • Anyone with a personal relationship to this year’s judge should refrain from submitting.

Please direct all inquiries to:

About the 2022 Judge:

Michelle Herman is the author of three collections of personal essays, a collection of stories and novellas, and four novels, including her newest, Close-Up. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in The SunAmerican ScholarO, the Oprah MagazinePloughshares, Creative NonfictionConjunctionsThe Southern Review, and many other journals, and she writes a weekly column for Slate. A co-founder of the MFA program at Ohio State, where she has taught since 1988, she also founded and directs a graduate interdisciplinary program across the arts at OSU.

The 2021 Winner: 

Rebecca Bernard is the winner of the 2021 Non/Fiction Collection Prize. Her fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Shenandoah, Colorado ReviewSouthwest ReviewPleiades, and Witness among other journals. Her work received notable mention in the Best American Short Stories of 2018. She is an Assistant Professor in the English department at Angelo State University, and she serves as a Fiction Editor at The Boiler.

2021 prize judge Nick White says of Rebecca Bernard’s work: “Each story walked such a tightrope – from the first one onward, there were moments these characters and their situations had me gasping, shuddering, looking up from the page to catch my breath.”

Bernard’s collection is forthcoming from Mad Creek Books, the literary trade imprint of The Ohio State University Press.

Inadequate Methods of Self-Preservation by Kim Magowan & Michelle Ross
All Rivers Flow Into the Sea & Other Stories by Khanh Ha

Semifinalists for the 2021 Non/Fiction Collection Prize
Every Goddamn Day by Carrie Grinstead
Pulling Up Roots: A Mennonite Girlhood Remembered by Mary Hostetter
The Amnesiac in the Maze by Michael Czyzniejewski
Day of The Rat by Clancy McGilligan
Zoo World by Mary Quade
Menagerie & Other Beasts by Sean Bernard
Wild Gods by Mike McClelland
Even Angels Are Astonished by Courtney Sender
The Paper Anniversary: Stories by Dinah Cox

About the 2021 Judge:

Originally from Mississippi, Nick White is the author of the novel How to Survive a Summer (Blue Rider/Penguin, 2017) and the story collection Sweet and Low. He is an Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University’s MFA Program in Creative Writing. His short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in a variety of places, including The Kenyon Review, Guernica, Catapult, The Hopkins Review, Indiana Review,The Literary Review, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. He is currently at work on a new novel.

The 2020 Winner:

Becky Hagenston is the author of the story collections Scavengers, Strange Weather, and A Gram of Mars. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Ninth Letter, Oxford American, New England Review, and many other journals, and have been selected for the Pushcart and O. Henry anthologies. She lives in Starkville, Mississippi and teaches creative writing at Mississippi State University.



2020 Finalists:
How Far I’ve Come by Kim Magowan
Where People are People
by Toni Mirosevich

2020 Semifinalists:
Collateral Damage by Nancy Ludmerer
Freak Lip
by Julia Cohen
Mother of Stories
by Alice Dailey
Rite of Reclaiming
by Connie Corzilius Spasser
The Sweetness of the Vine
by Lydia Kann
One Person Away from You
by Andrew Bertaina
Parched Souls
by Bipin Aurora
Zoo World
by Mary Quade
The Last Jews of Long Island
by Michael Orbach
The Object of Desire
by Elizabeth Oness
Sister Zero
by Nancy Van Winckel
by Madeleine Mysko

About the 2019 Winner: 

Jill Sisson Quinn is the author of Deranged: Finding a Sense of Place in the Landscape and in the Lifespan (2010), published by Apprentice House Press of Loyola College, Maryland. Jill’s essays have appeared in Orion, Natural History, OnEarth Magazine, and many literary journals. Her essays have been selected for Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 and Best American Essays 2016. She has received numerous awards, including the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, a John Burroughs Nature Essay Award, and a Rona Jaffe Writers’ award. Jill has a B.A. in English from UMBC, an M.A. in Environmental Studies from Montclair State University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College. She lives in Scandinavia, Wisconsin, with her husband and son and teaches at Mid-State Technical College.

Sign Here if You Exist will be published by Mad Creek Books, an imprint of The Ohio State University Press, in 2020.

2019 Finalists:
Fathers of Cambodian Time-Travel Science by Bradley Bazzle
Carrion by Wes Jamison

2019 Editorial Board Semifinalists:
Some People Let You Down by Mike Alberti
School Circle by Michael Ramos
Surfacing by Manini Samarth
Where the Rivers Run/History of Other Places by Shannon Bowring

2019 Semifinalists:
Hide Fox and All After by Lesley Jenike
Grown Children by Stefani Farris
My Grandfather Ran Off to the Woods by Garrett Ashley
Cripple Creek and Other Stories by Amy Foster Myer
The Rubble That is the Past: Stories by Priscilla Long
A Reason for Everything by Samantha Schoech
In the Days of Time Machines by Melanie McCabe
Weep at the Base of the Fire by Sally Breen
Only Mostly True by Steven Goldleaf
Questions of Home: Reflections of a Rooted Traveler by Nancy Penrose
What the Blood Tells You to Be by Kami Westhoff
Comparative Seismologies: Stories by Jacob Appel
Up in Michigan by Stefan Kiesbye
I was One of My Memories by Laurie Blauner
They Crawl to the Surface by Kirk Sever
I am Here to Make Friends by Robert Long Foreman
Questions of Home: Reflections of a Rooted Traveler by Nancy Penrose