The winner of each contest will be announced in early June.


This year we chose two winners for the Tartt First Fiction Contest:

Enid Harlow’s Voices and Jeffrey S. Markovitz’s Zero Day Blue Jay. Their collections will be published in July of 2025.

We wish to congratulate the following finalists:

David P. Anderson, Tyler Ayres, Alice Bolstridge, Clayton Bradshaw-Mittal, Dave Cook Fuller, Cary Groner, John Jeffire, Mary Lewis, Geri Lipschultz, Simone Martel, Calvin Mills, Elizabeth Nelson, Kathryn Paulsen, E. G. Silverman, Bill Smoot, P. G. Smith, Cliff Summers, and Jon Ulmer.

Due to an unexpected move across campus, we will need to hold off reading for next year's contest for reorganization.


Tartts Fiction Award, rules 2023

1. Winning short story collection will be published by Livingston Press at the University of West Alabama, in simultaneous library binding and trade paper editions. Winning entry will receive $1000, plus our standard royalty contract, which includes 60 copies of the book.

2. Author must not  have book of short fiction published at time of entry, though novels are okay. In keeping with Tartt’s biography, we are looking for an author who has yet to publish a fiction collection.

3. Stories may have been previously published by magazines or in anthologies, though the author should have all rights. Magazines will be acknowledged. Include a list of publications, if so desired.

4. Manuscripts must be typewritten, and we will ask for a computer file in Windows/Mac Word from the winning author and from the finalists for our anthology.

5. Manuscript length: 160-275 pages.

6. Deadline for email: We have returned the email deadline to December 31 of every year. Please read Number eight for correct file formatting.

7. Entry fee: No entry fee.

8. Please email as either a Word document only. Please use this format for the title of your file: Tarttentry_LastName_FirstName

9. Winner announced in summer 2023. Publication in spring 2024.

10. Winner must be an American citizen; work must be in English.

11. Style and content of manuscripts are completely open.

12. Finalists will be considered for our regular publication schedule and for our Tartt Anthology.

13. Email entries to:







PAST WINNERS:     first        Melissa Fraterrigo                The Longest Pregnancy

                                 second    Philip Cioffari                        A History of Things Lost or Broken

                                 third        Xujun Eberlein                     Apologies Forthcoming

                                 fourth      Stacia Saint Owens              Auto-Erotica

                                 fifth         M. O. Walsh                         A Prospect of Magic

                                 sixth        Kurt Jose Ayau                    The Brick Murder: A Tragedy and other stories

                                 seventh    Josie Sigler                          The Galaxie and Other Rides

                                 eighth       John Oliver Hodges            The Love Box

                                  ninth          Tara Mantel                       Elemental

                                 tenth          Maureen Millea Smith      The Enigma of Iris Murphy

                                 eleventh     John Shea                          Tales from Websster's

                                 twelfth        Amos Jasper Wright         Nobody Knows How It Got This Good

                                  thirteenth     Kendall Klym                      Step Lightly 

                                 fourteenth    Robert McKean                I'll Be Here for You

                                 fifteenth        James Braziel                  This Ditch-Walking Love

                                 sixteenth          Judy Juanita                 The High Price of Freeways (co winner) 

                                 sixteenth            Schuyler Dickson        Yazoo Clay (co-winner) 

                                 seventeenth        Joshua Shaw               All We Could Have Been 


Past Runner ups:    third        Carol Manley                    Church Booty

                                 seventh   Eric Sasson                        Margins of Tolerance

                                 seventh   Robert McVey                  We Have a Pie

                                eighth    Pat Mayer                            Two Legs, Bad

                                 eighth    Armond Boudreaux            That He May Raise

                                 ninth        Betty Jean Tucker           On a darkling Plain

                                 ninth        Gregg Cusick                   MyFather Moves Through Time Like a Dirigible

PAST TARTTS STORIES:   For a complete list, see the Tartt books, under fiction.



Purpose: Though Ruby Pickens Tartt worked for the Works Project Association in collecting slave narratives in Alabama, and though she was published in several literary magazines, her work was only collected under her name and published posthumously. Accordingly, we are hoping to give a beginning fiction writer a chance for publication. All styles considered: we are in the South, not particularly of it.


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