Creative Writing Contests

Information about the creative writing contests in the Creative Writing program

The Calvino Prize

The Calvino Prize is an annual fiction competition sponsored by the Creative Writing Program in the English Department of the University of Louisville. They will be awarded to outstanding pieces of fiction in the fabulist experimentalist style of Italo Calvino. Please note that these prizes are meant to encourage experimental writing, in the mode of Calvino, and are not meant to encourage merely imitative work.

The winning entrant will receive $2000 will be published in Miracle Monocle, the University of Louisville's award-winning online literary journal. One runner-up (if named by the final judge) will receive $500. All contest finalists will be posted on the website. 

First Place: $2000 and Publication
Second Place: $500

Submission Guidelines 

Past Winners


2023 Calvino Prize Winner:

Young Rader"A Bit of Green Apple, a Bit of Rotten Meat" by Young Rader 

Young Rader lives and writes in Berlin. His work appears or is forthcoming in the Chicago Review, Gulf Coast, Little Star, New England Review, New World Writing, Passages North, Smokelong Quarterly, swamp pink, and elsewhere. His stories have been shortlisted for the Berlin Writing Prize and the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize. 

Of the winning story, judge Aimee Bender writes, “I was struck by the utter assurance of this story and the originality in the language and the storytelling— I never quite knew where it was going but I felt I was in excellent hands. And on a sentence-by-sentence level, it's loaded with its own charm, a quality I find and treasure in Calvino’s work all the time.”



“Faces” by Nicholas DiChario 



“Dr. Sax and the Double” by Conrad Aragon 

“The Working Draft of a Very True Story of an Imaginary Encounter” by Suzanne Burns 

“Trash People” by William Burns 

“Queens’ Catte” by Susann Cokal 

“Five Faces of the Moon” by Brendan Egan 

“Three Stories” by Dennis Pahl 

“Cinderella and the Frog Prince” by Katrin Redfern 

“Wreck Tangles of Désirée Acking,” by Christy Sheffield Sanford