Slide M A J O R Shayla Lawson is the author of THIS IS MAJOR: NOTES ON DIANA ROSS, DARK GIRLS & BEING DOPE (Harper Perennial, 2020) and three poetry collections: I THINK I'M READY TO SEE FRANK OCEAN, A SPEED EDUCATION IN HUMAN BEING and PANTONE. She has written for Tin House, PAPER, ESPN, Salon, Guernica, Vulture and New York Magazine, but she mostly writes for you. A MacDowell and Yaddo Artist Colony Fellow, Shayla Lawson curates The Tenderness Project with Ross Gay and writes poems with Chet’la Sebree (pronounced Shayla, no relation). She was raised in Lexington, Kentucky, is a professor at Amherst College and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


What kinda writing are we looking for? We want work that elevates and amplifies underrepresented voices, work that shines a light somewhere we should be looking, but maybe aren’t, work that settles into our bones so we can carry it with us awhile. Send us your warm, your thoughtful, your unsettling, your funny & devastating, your necessary words. We can’t wait.


  • DEADLINE: September 15, 2020
  • JUDGE: Shayla Lawson
  • PRIZE: $500 + publication
  • Submissions should not exceed 4,000 words and must be previously unpublished
  • We accept (and encourage) entries from all ages and countries
  • One piece maximum per entry
  • $14USD reading fee must accompany first entry, $10USD for additional entries.
  • Finalists will be notified in October.
  • Multiple entries are permissible, as long as they are accompanied by separate reading fees.
  • Stand alone excerpts from larger works are welcome.

Since we are an entirely volunteer based non-profit, prize submission fees pay for our winners, our lovely judges, and all other associated costs with running a journal. However, if you cannot afford the entry fee please email us at, no questions asked.