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2009 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest


Must be under 30 years of age at time of submission.

Submissions accepted: Feb. 1st-28th

Final Judge: Richard Ford

Word limit: 1200 words

Entry fee: None

How do I submit?

Award: Publication in the Winter 2010 issue of KR; scholarship covering tuition, room, and board to attend the 2009 Writers Workshop, June 20th-27th in Gambier, Ohio.


Applications now being accepted for the 2009 Writers Workshop! Rolling admissions; each workshop capped at 10 participants–apply early! Our instructors for 2009:

Workshop Leaders


David Baker

DAVID BAKER is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Midwest Eclogue and Treatise on Touch: Selected Poems, as well as of two critical books. He currently serves as Professor of English at Denison University where he holds the Thomas B. Fordham Chair of Creative Writing. He is a recent recipient of a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation and is the poetry editor of The Kenyon Review.
Carl PhillipsCARL PHILLIPS is the author of seven collections of poetry. His books include In the Blood, winner of the 1992 Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize, From the Devotions (1998), a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry, and Rock Harbor (2002). His most recent collection, The Rest of Love: Poems, (2004) was named a National Book Award finalist. Phillips is the recipient of, among others, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Witter Bynner Foundation Fellowship from the Library of Congress, two Pushcart Prizes and the Academy of American Poets Prize. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in such journals as The Nation, The Paris Review and The Yale Review.


Nancy Zafris

NANCY ZAFRIS is the author of two novels, The Metal Shredders (a New York Times Notable book of the year) and more recently, Lucky Strike. Her collection of short stories, The People I Know, won the Flannery O’Connor award for short fiction as well as the Ohioana Library Association award. She is a two-time recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.
Lee Martin

LEE MARTIN is the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Bright Forever; a novel, Quakertown; a story collection, The Least You Need to Know; and two memoirs, From Our House and Turning Bones. His most recent book is River of Heaven. He has won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, a Lawrence Foundation Award, and the Glenna Luschei Prize. He currently directs the creative writing program at The Ohio State University.

Literary Nonfiction

Rebecca McClanahan

REBECCA McCLANAHAN is the author of nine books, most recently Deep Light: New and Selected Poems 1987-2007 and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings, which won the 2005 Glasgow Prize in Nonfiction, and Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively. Her poems, essays, and stories have appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review, and numerous literary magazines and anthologies throughout the country. She has received a Pushcart Prize, the Wood Prize from Poetry, and has twice won the Carter Prize.

Poetry for New Writers

Deborah Digges

DEBORAH DIGGES is the author of four books of poems. Her first book, Vesper Sparrows (Atheneum), won the Delmore Schwartz Prize from New York University. Late in the Millennium (Knopf) was published in 1989 and Rough Music (Knopf) in 1995, which won the Kingsley Tufts Prize. Her latest book, Trapeze (Knopf), appeared in March 2004. A new book of poems, Dance of the Seven Veils, is in progress. Digges has also written two memoirs, Fugitive Spring (1991) and The Stardust Lounge (2001). She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ingram Merrill Foundation.

Fiction for New Writers

Geeta Kothari

GEETA KOTHARI is the fiction editor of The Kenyon Review. Born and raised in New York City, she now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a two-time recipient of the fellowship in literature from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the editor of ???Did My Mama Like to Dance?’ and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including The Kenyon Review, the Massachusetts Review, Fourth Genre, and Best American Essays. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Listen to a reading of her short story “If You Are What You Eat, Then What Am I?”

About the Program

The Kenyon Review Associates Program provides Kenyon students with valuable experience in literary editing, publishing, and programming. KR Associates work closely with Kenyon Review staff, gaining valuable experience in a number of editing, publishing, and programming areas including manuscript evaluation, publicity and marketing, copy editing, developing web site and social media content, outreach programming, event planning and promotion, and other creative and editorial projects

KR Associates attend regular seminars conducted by Kenyon Review editorial staff, visiting readers, and publishing industry professionals. These seminars cover a wide range of topics including editorial philosophy, evaluation of submissions, print and electronic production, marketing, and design.

KR Associates enjoy also enjoy exclusive access to visiting writers and speakers, free issues of The Kenyon Review, and valuable work experience and employment references.

This program is made possible through an initiative of the Kenyon Review, part of the mission of which is to contribute to the enrichment of the academic, cultural, and artistic life of the Kenyon College community.

Requirements and Expectations

  • Submission Evaluation: All Associates are required to read and evaluate eight Kenyon Review submissions per week. Associates who are not able to complete their weekly submission assignments for more than two weeks in a row may not be allowed to continue in the program.
  • Trainings and Seminars: In-person attendance is mandatory at all trainings and seminars. We plan on scheduling six to eight seminars per semester, and most will take place on Thursdays during common hour.
  • Literary Engagement: Associates are expected to participate in literary events on campus and throughout the local community.

Application Details

The application deadline for the 2023-24 program has passed. Applications for the 2024-25 program will open in the fall of 2024. Please check back then for more details.

Questions? Please contact Tory Weber for more information.