Introducing the J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction


J.F. Powers

“One foot in this world and one in the next”: that’s how J.F. Powers described the Midwestern priests he wrote about in his fiction. Having one foot in another world can be awkward, and Powers’ characters are known not for their graceful mysticism, but for the humiliating and mordantly entertaining stumbles they make while trying to live their faith. We’re looking for carefully crafted short stories with vivid characters who encounter grace in everyday settings—we want to see who, in the age we live in, might have one foot in this world and one in the next.

The judges will be Eve Tushnet, Andrew McNabb, and Matthew Lickona, and the winner will receive $500. There is no entrance fee. The winning story will be announced in February, 2014 and published in Dappled Things, along with nine honorable mentions. Please submit your short story (no more than one, no previously published work) to our website by November 29.

Click here to make your submission and see the writer’s guidelines.


I think it’s possible to write something, for me to write something, that even God might like. It’s possible for me to hit a note, to get in a mood, to write something that is worthy even of God’s attention. Not as a soul seeking salvation, but just as entertainment for God. This may be blasphemous to say, but I believe it. I don’t think God is there and we’re here, and there are no connections. I think there are connections, and I think art is certainly one.        

– J. F. Powers


    • PKM says

      I know someone who submitted a short story and it hasn’t been reviewed yet. They appear to be behind.

  1. Michael says

    J.F. Powers Prize Winners to be Announced February 28

    Bernardo Aparicio García

    As many readers will recall, late last year Dappled Things began receiving submissions for its first fiction contest, the J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction. The prize will pay $500 to the winner, plus publication in the journal for nine additional honorable mentions.

    We were extremely pleased with the response from authors, having received around 400 submissions total (which was quite a challenge to comb through!). Our three judges, Eve Tushnet, Matthew Lickona, and Andrew McNabb, are now in the process of finalizing their decisions, and they will announce the winners on our website on February 28. We are excited to learn the results, and encouraged by the quantity and quality of material we received. Please check back in a few days to learn more about the contest winners, who will be published during the coming year, starting with the winning story in the Easter 2014 edition