2016 Annual Memoir Award

judge Lidia Yuknavitch

winner: Ming Lauren Holden for "Refuge"

A prize of $1000 and publication by Kore Press for a

full-length memoir, or memoir-in-essays, to a female writer.


Congratulations to the five finalists that broke the judge's heart open:

How to Make Your Mother Cry by Sejal Shah

The End of Tennessee by Rachel Michelle Hanson

The Disinheritance of Fear by Shefali Milczarek-Desai

Mamma Outsider by Asha French

Migrations by Elizabeth McConaghy

Lidia Yuknavitch is the National Bestselling author of the novels THE SMALL BACKS OF CHILDREN (Harpers) and DORA: A HEADCASE (Hawthorne Books), and the memoir THE CHRONOLOGY OF WATER (Hawthorne Books), as well as three books of short fictions –


book on war and narrative, ALLEGORIES OF VIOLENCE (Routledge).

See Lidia's February 2016 TED Talk blog here

How to Submit Your Manuscript

Note: Contest is closed. This competition is a new Award from Kore Press and will be open each year to any female-identified writer writing in English. Relatives and recent students (of one semester or more) of the judge are not eligible to submit their work.

Comment box should include:

  • Daytime and evening telephone numbers
  • Where you heard about the contest

Manuscripts must be:
• A minimum of 100 pages and a maximum of 300 pages. no cover letter needed. Min page count has been reduced from 150 to 100.
• Anonymous (do not include your name anywhere on the manuscript)
• Original memoir or memoir-in-essays written by applicant (translations are not eligible)

$25 reading fee

Submit online here. More guidelines provided on submissions page.

For more information email us or call 520-327-2127.


Ethics Statement

We endorse and agree to comply with the following statement released by the

Council of Literary Magazines and Presses:

CLMP's community of independent literary publishers believes that ethical contests

serve our shared goal: to connect writers and readers by publishing exceptional writing.

We believe that intent to act ethically, clarity of guidelines, and transparency of process form the foundation of an ethical contest. To that end, we agree to:

1) conduct our contests as ethically as possible and to address any unethical behavior

on the part of our readers, judges, or editors;

2) provide clear and specific contest guidelines -- defining conflict of interest for all

parties involved; and

3) make the mechanics of our selection process available to the public.

This Code recognizes that different contest models produce different results, but that

each model can be run ethically. We have adopted this Code to reinforce our integrity

and dedication as a publishing community and to ensure that our contests contribute

to a vibrant literary heritage.


2014 First Book of Poetry Winner

Silent Anatomies

by Monica Ong

Judge: Joy Harjo

Available NOW!

Harjo says of Silent Anatomies: "This is one of the most unique poetry collections. It’s a kind of graphic poetry book, but that’s not exactly it either. Poetry unfurls within, outside and through images. The images are stark representations that include bottles that have been excavated from a disappeared age, contemporary ultrasound images of a fetus, family photographs and charts. They establish stark bridges between ancestor and descendant time and presence. This collection is highly experimental and exciting."

Monica Ong is a poet and artist dwelling in experimental spaces. She completed her MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in Digital Media, and is also a Kundiman poetry fellow. Her work has been published in Seneca Review, Drunken Boat, Glassworks Magazine, Tidal Basin Review, and others. An exhibiting artist for over a decade, she draws from her professional design practice to innovate on the alchemy of text and image. monicaong.com