The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans: 2014

Jeff Sharlet

Now accepting submissions!

This creative writing contest for U.S. military veterans and active duty personnel is hosted by The Iowa Review and made possible by a gift from the family of Jeff Sharlet (1942–69), a Vietnam veteran and antiwar writer and activist. The contest is open to veterans and active duty personnel writing in any genre and about any subject matter. 

Judge: Anthony Swofford
Prizes: First place: $1,000 plus publication in the Spring 2015 issue of The Iowa Review. Second place: $750. Three runners-up: $500 each.
Entry fee: $15* 
Deadline: May 15, 2014

Contest Rules

  • Submit a manuscript in any genre (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction) of up to 20 pages. Prose submissions must be double-spaced. Work must be previously unpublished. Simultaneous submissions are fine, assuming you inform us of acceptance elsewhere.
  • The judge will select winners from a group of finalists chosen by Iowa Review editors. All manuscripts, whether selected as finalists or not, are considered for publication.
  • To submit online, please visit beginning April 15, 2014, and follow the instructions.
  • To submit via mail, please follow these guidelines:
    1. Manuscripts must include a cover page listing your name, address, e-mail address and/or telephone number, and the title of each work, but your name should not appear on the manuscript itself.
    2. Enclose a $15 entry fee* (checks payable to The Iowa Review). Enclose an additional $10 if you would like a yearlong subscription to the magazine.
    3. Label your envelope as a contest entry and note its genre. For example: “Veterans’ Contest: Fiction.” One entry per envelope. (Note: multiple poems or prose pieces can comprise a single entry if the total number of pages does not exceed 20. For instance, you may submit two short stories of ten pages each in a single envelope, with a single entry fee.)
    4. Enclose a SASE for final word on your work. Manuscripts will not be returned.
    5. Postmark submissions by May 15, 2014, and mail to the address below.

*A limited number of fee waivers are available for entrants with financial need. To request a waiver, please submit a written request to or to the address below in advance of submitting. Entrants with fee waivers must submit via postal mail. (If this is not possible, we can make special arrangements to accept work via e-mail, but only for those with fee waivers.)

The Iowa Review
308 EPB
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242




Read sample submissions:

These were named winner or runners-up in our 2012 Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans contest and were published in our Spring 2013 issue.

Eligibility and Conflicts of Interest

Current students, faculty, or staff of the University of Iowa are not eligible to enter the contest.

Work is ineligible to win our contest if it is slated for publication before April 2015, whether in another magazine or as part of a book, or if it has been named winner or runner-up in any other contest. Please withdraw work from our contest immediately if these conditions apply.

The judge has been instructed not to award the prize to entrants with whom he has had a personal or professional relationship. Despite reading the entries with author names removed, the judge may sometimes be able to guess the identity of the entrant. Even if he can't tell during the judging process, he has the right to change his decision if it turns out that the entrant is someone with whom there is any appearance of conflict of interest. Therefore, we advise entrants not to enter the contest if the judge is someone they know personally or have worked with professionally.

Winner of the 2012 Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award

The Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans is supported by a 2014 Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.