Hunger Mountain - Vermont College Journal of the arts

Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize

What is the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize?

An annual contest for the best writing in the boundless field of creative nonfiction. A chance for your creative nonfiction to be read by Hunger Mountain editors and guest judges!

What will the winner receive?

One first place winner receives $1000 and publication
Two honorable mentions receive $100 each.

Who can enter the contest?

Anyone! Everyone!

Who is this year’s judge?

The 2014 judge is Rigoberto González.

Rigoberto González is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose in several genres, including three works of nonfiction. The memoir, Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. A second memoir, Autobiography of My Hungers, and a book of essays, Red-Inked Retablos, were both released in 2013. He edited the anthology, Camino Del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing, which won recognition in 2011 through the International Latino Book Awards and Independent Publishers Book Awards. He is the recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, The Poetry Center Book Award, The Shelley Memorial Award of The Poetry Society of America, ForeWord Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year Award (for his novel, Crossing Vines), and a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has twice been named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, for books of poetry and children’s literature. He is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine, on the executive board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and is associate professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. He served for several years on the Core Faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at VCFA, mentoring students across all three genres.

When is the deadline?

The EXTENDED deadline is September 30.  If you’re entering electronically, you can wait until the last minute of the last hour.  If you’re using snail mail, your entry should be postmarked by Sept. 30.

Where are last year’s winning entries?

Last year’s winning piece, “The Chevra,” by Goldie Goldbloom, will be published in Hunger Mountain 19.

Or Here. Click to read “The Relative Nature of Things” by Lee Reilly, selected by Anthony Swofford and Christa Paravanni.

Or Here. Click to read the 2012 winner, “South Omaha From the F Street Exit, JFK Freeway” by Dani Bojanski, selected by Sue William Silverman.

Or here. Click to read the 2012 runner-up “Blackout” by Daisy Hernandez.

Or here. Another 2012 runner-up, “I Got So Much Love I Don’t Know Where to Put It” by David LeGault.

Or here. Click to read the 2011 winner “Breathing Room On Judgment Day” selected by Melissa Febos.

Or right here. Click to read “Birds Have Eyes” by Valerie Arvidson, the 2010 winner chosen by Robin Hemley.

Or here! Click to read 2010 runner-up “Afterlife” by Susan Southard, chosen by Robin Hemley.

Does Hunger Mountain accept electronic entries?

Yes! Please enter an original unpublished piece of creative nonfiction, no more than 10,000 words. Your name and address should not appear on the essay itself; we read contest entries blind.  Click the link below to access our submission manager. Once in the submission manager, you’ll need to choose “Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize.”  Pay the $20.00 entry fee and upload your entry: Enter the Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize

Does Hunger Mountain still accept entries via snail mail?

Yes! Entries must be postmarked by September 30th and accompanied by your $20.00 entry fee (please send a check or money order made out to Vermont College of Fine Arts).  Please enter an original unpublished piece of creative nonfiction, no more than 10,000 words. Your name and address should not appear on the essay itself; we read contest entries blind.  Instead of writing your name on the manuscript, enclose an index card with the essay title, your name, address, phone number, and email address. If you like, you may also enclose a postage-paid postcard for acknowledgement of entry and a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) for a list of winners.  Entries must be typed, double-spaced, and on one side of the paper only. Use a paper clip or send unbound (no staples or binding, please!)

Send entry and $20.00 entry fee to:

CNF Prize
Hunger Mountain
Vermont College of Fine Arts
36 College Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Will entries be considered for general publication as well as for the CNF prize?

Yes, they will.

Are simultaneous submissions okay?

Yes,  but please let us know right away if your work is accepted elsewhere. And unfortunately we can’t refund entry fees if the work is accepted elsewhere

May I submit more than one essay for the contest?

Yes, multiple entries are allowed. But each entry should be submitted separately, and include its own entry fee. (You may send more than one entry and entry fee in the same envelope if you’re using snail mail.)

What if I have a question that’s not answered here?

Email us at

Thanks for entering our contest, and good luck!


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