The Clay Reynolds Novella Prize

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$1,000 + Publication

2024 Judge: Steven Dunn

Established in 2001, The Clay Reynolds Novella Prize highlights one book a year that excels in the novella format. Since 2024, the Prize comes with a $1,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and 10 copies of the published book.

Recent judges include Michael Martone, Renee Gladman, Leslie Jill Patterson, Hannah Pittard, and Rita Bullwinkel.

Submissions open each year on January 1 and close on March 31.

Winner of the 2024 Clay Reynolds Novella Prize:

On Remembering My Friends, My First Job, and My Second-Favorite Weezer CD, by Francisco Delgado

Selected by Steven Dunn

Submission Guidelines

Submit to The Clay Reynolds Novella Prize

General Guidelines

*Writers who studied with the final judge or TRP staff for a semester-length period are not eligible. Writers who studied with the final judge or TRP staff for two-week residencies, single workshops, or other instances less than a semester in length are eligible, provided the work submitted is previously unseen by TRP staff or the final judge.

Manuscript Guidelines

Contest Judge: Steven Dunn

Beowulf Sheenah Steven Dunn Steven Carl Dunn Jr.jpegSteven Dunn (a.k.a Pothole, cuz he’s deep in these streets) is a Whiting Award winner who was shortlisted for Granta Magazine’s Best of Young American Novelists. He’s the author of three novels: Potted Meat (Tarpaulin Sky, 2016), water & power (Tarpaulin Sky, 2018), and Tannery Bay (FC2/University of Alabama Press, 2024), which is co-authored with his homie Katie Jean Shinkle. Potted Meat is a 2017 Colorado Book Award Finalist, VICE Magazine’s Best Books of 2016, and adapted into a short film by Foothills Productions called The Usual Route. The Usual Route has played at the LA International Film Festival, Houston International Film Festival, and others. Steven teaches in the MFA programs at Regis University, Stetson University, and Naropa University.

Photographer Credit: Beowulf Sheenah

Clay Reynolds

Clay Reynolds (1949-2022), for whom this competition is named, is the author of ten novels, and his short fiction has won numerous awards. Reynolds’ critical evaluations have appeared in national magazines including Chronicles, American Way, and Texas Monthly.

Previous Winners:

2024: Francisco Delgado – On Remembering My Friends, My First Job, and My Second-Favorite Weezer CD
         Judged by Steven Dunn

2023: Julie Marie Wade – The Mary Years
         Judged by Michael Martone

2022: Jane V. Blunschi – Mon Dieu, Love
         Judged by Renee Gladman

2021: Deirdre Danklin – Catastrophe
         Judged by Leslie Jill Patterson

2020: Cecilia Pinto  Imagine the Dog
         Judged by Hannah Pittard

2019: Dylan Fisher  The Loneliest Band in France
         Judged by Rita Bullwinkel

2018: Patrick Stockwell  The Light Here Changes Everything
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2017: Chelsea Catherine – Blindsided
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2016: Curt Eriksen – A Place of Timeless Harmony
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2015: Rusty Dolleman – The Megabucks
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2014: Ernest J. Finney – Elevation 6,040
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2013: Benjamin Ludwig – Sourdough
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2012: Adam Berlin – Both Members of the Club
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2011: Bruce Douglas Reeves – Delphine
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2010: Tina Egnoski – In the Time of the Feast of Flowers
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2009: Daniel Robinson – The Shadow of Violence
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2008: William Orem – Across the River
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2007: Tara Deal – Palms Are Not Trees After All
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2006: Lonnie Busch – Turnback Creek
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2005: Suzanne Freeman – Omnibo
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2004: Mark Connelly Fifteen Minutes
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2003: Rebecca Bailey – The Only Road There Is
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2002: Stephen March – Armadillo
         Judged by Clay Reynolds

2001: Charles Wyatt – Falling Stones: The Spirit Autobiography of S.M. Jones
         Judged by Ron Rozelle