The Plaza Literary Prize

The Plaza Literary Prize is a national novella competition. We believe a great story is never defined by its length and welcome all genres and themes with compelling characters and evocative moments. We’re looking for our generation’s Hemingway, Oates, or Steinbeck. The City of Orange, California was incorporated on April 6, 1888. The center of the town became known as the Plaza, which has become a symbol of the community and a catalyst for storytelling.


  1. Write a novella and submit via Submittable.
  2. Submissions are accepted from June 1 through July 31. Our team of readers will consider each submission for content, craft, and voice and select ten (10) finalists to be reviewed by our jury. One (1) novella will be selected for publication.


1888 publishes contemporary novellas through The Plaza Literary Prize, an annual anthology of international short stories titled The Cost of Paper, and community essays supporting our Why We Write project. Click here to view our collection.


New Novella – The Plaza Literary Prize 2016 Winner

When a man falls from a balcony during a concert of Stravinsky’s Petrushka, a mystery begins to unfold in the local newspaper. In a dreamlike, whimsical vision of Charleston, South Carolina, a strange puppeteer seems to pull the strings on several unconnected individuals who face trials of death, aging, and adultery. Cut the Thread questions the reality of what is witnessed within the confines of fiction. What seems to be ordinary occurrence under an umbrella of printed mystery becomes a grand gesture of performance.READ MORE

The Plaza Literary Prize 2016 Artist Announced

The Plaza Literary Prize 2016 cover artist is Toronto-based illustrator Eric Diotte. Born and raised in Ottawa, Eric Diotte spent most of his youth making a mess with any sort of medium he could get his hands on. At Sheridan College, he fell in love with illustration. Preferring to use traditional media, his approach to illustration employs a cubist sensibility with a strong street art influence.  In 2014, Eric co-founded LOCUS zine, a quarterly zine that features artwork from illustrators around the world.READ MORE