Winners of The Letter Review Prize for Unpublished Books, Nonfiction, Short Fiction, & Poetry (Nov – Dec 2023)

Each round, as we watch the entries arrive, anticipation grows as we move closer to the judging period: We see snippets of creative works which whet our appetite, and an excited buzz begins to thrum from the tips of the toes to the points of our ears. What a thrill! We imagine each entrant putting aside the time to research our Prize, preparing their work (which takes more time), and finally taking the plunge and trusting us with their submission: It’s an enormous act of faith in us, and an extension of trust that we never take for granted.

Needless to say, marking this round has been a privilege: What wonderful work. We almost never see ‘half-attempts’, and when writers put their all into a project the results are inevitably revelatory. We gain immense insight into the thoughts and feelings of a generation of writers, and what greater professional experience could there be? As ever, we wish to thank our creative community, and restate our hope that by maintaining these contests, with our Winner, and extensive Shortlist categories, we are helping writers to connect with the readership they deserve.


Unpublished Books

Nonfiction Winners

Short Fiction Winners

Poetry Winners


Unpublished Books Shortlist

  • Andrew Loschert – Beechwood
  • Matthew Goldstein – The Resonance Gems
  • Brian Ellis – All Anything Anyone
  • James O’Meara – Building The Ruins
  • Kim Henderson – Soft
  • Kevin Lanahan – Hitchhiking with Motorcycle Boy

Nonfiction Shortlist

  • Simon Beechinor – The St. Petersburg Cartel
  • Rebecca Petzel – Aborted Grief
  • Rachel Spence – Teme Diaries
  • Rachel Weaver – A True Fiction
  • Dan McCrory – Loud Labor: Young in an Aging World
  • Mark Hasman – A Bigger Us
  • Michael Tobin – When the Light Fades

Short Fiction Shortlist

  • Betty J. Cotter – The Bird Cardiologist
  • Graham Hubbard – Apparitions
  • Allison Plourde – The Blood and the Body
  • Derek Judge – The Break-In
  • Annabel White – You Think They’re Gonna Make You a Star?
  • Georgie Svrcek – Transparency
  • Suman Morrissette – Birds Know Paradise
  • Angus Yellowlees – Requiem for the Amsterdam Wigeon

Poetry Shortlist

  • Dylan Gilbert – you’re on a plane to california and i’m on a plane to an older heat.
  • Tierney Chapman – The Spring Chickens Are On Fire
  • Sophia Hoobler – Deranged Diary Entry, Please Disregard
  • Linda-Raven Woods – First-Woman Dress
  • Aadhira Vellala – The Merciless Mountain
  • Terence Reilly – Tae A Dug
  • Lauren Oertel – Elegy for My Relationship with Diet Culture
  • Sean Purdue – Skimming the Styx & Colorado
  • Crystal Xue – I’d go to Hell if it means I’ll be warm
  • Micki Mermelstein – The Ocean’s Surface
  • Jennifer M Phillips – Songbird
  • Stuart Forrest – Note On A Kitchen Table
  • Elizabeth Hill – The Debate
  • Dean Engel – Cradle of Regret
  • V. P. Loggins – Ovid in Romania
  • Suzanne Arbil – Ayla at Two