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Cleaver’s 2024 Short Creative Nonfiction Contest

Submissions open January 15, 2024 and close April 20, 2024


Judge: Clifford Thompson

$500 First Prize

$250 Second Prize 

$100 Third Prize

Submission Guidelines

Creative nonfiction is a genre of exploration into ourselves, our society, and our world. We invite short works that explore life in its dualities: memory and imagination, self and society, perfection in flaws, language and its limitations, how the truth can both unite and divide. Far from singular or simple, the world around us glistens with contradictions. Show us where you hold yours.


  • Theme: Duality
  • Submission length: up to 1000 words
  • Submission fee: $20
  • Do not submit previously published work.
  • Please remove your name and any other identifying information from your manuscript, including the file name.
  • All work must be submitted through our Submittable by 11:59 pm EDT on April 30. We cannot accept paper submissions.
  • Winners and finalists will be announced in August.
  • Winners will be published in the September 2024 Issue of Cleaver. Finalists may be offered publication.



Questions? Contact Claire Oleson, Contest Manager  

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.