Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 22, 2017

Book Winner – Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Claire Lordon has won MICE SKATING by Annie Silvestro
Please send your address.

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Welcome to the 26th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Submit published or unpublished work. $4,000 in prizes.

Please submit during October 15, 2017-April 30, 2018. We will award $1,500 each for the top story and the top essay. For this contest, a story is any short work of fiction, and an essay is any short work of nonfiction. Ten Honorable Mentions will receive $100 each (any category). The top 12 entries will be published online. Judge: Judy Juanita, assisted by Lauren Singer. Please submit as many stories and essays as you like. All themes accepted.

Entries may be published or unpublished.

Length limit: 6,000 words.

No restrictions on age or country. When the contest is open, please click the Submittable button below for full details.

Fee: $20 per entry. The results of our 25th annual contest will be announced on October 15, 2017.


Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Judy Juanita

Judy Juanita is the final judge of the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Her debut novel, Virgin Soul, chronicles a black female coming of age in the 60s who joins the Black Panther Party (Viking, 2013). Novelist Jean Thompson said of Virgin Soul: “Hard to believe it’s been almost fifty years since the formation of the Black Panthers. The novel captures that time’s particular combination of violence and possibility, and the urgency of young people who invested everything in the possibility of change, even as grand rhetoric was undercut by very human failings.”

Juanita’s collection of essays, De Facto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland (EquiDistance Press, 2016), examines the intersectionality of race, gender, politics, economics, and spirituality as experienced by a black activist and self-described “feminist foot soldier”. DeFacto Feminism was selected as Book-of-the-Month for December 2016 by the African Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC), and was a Kirkus Reviews Book-of-the-Month for March 2017, which gave it a starred review. Juanita is a contributing editor for The Weekling, an online journal, where many of the essays appeared. The collection was a distinguished finalist in OSU’s 2016 Non/Fiction Collection Prize. Her work is archived at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Crab Orchard Review’s Allison Joseph said Juanita’s fiction “should be required reading for anyone studying the vicissitudes of recent American history.” Juanita’s short stories and essays appear widely, and her poetry has appeared in Obsidian II, 13th Moon, Painted Bride Quarterly, Croton Review, The Passaic Review, Lips, New Verse News, Poetry Monthly, and Drumrevue 2000.

In drama, Juanita’s themes are social issues overlaid with absurdity, humor and pathos (in one play, a distraught nurse whose teenage son has overdosed falls head over heels in love with a duck). Her seventeenth play, “Theodicy“, about two black men who accidentally fall into the river of death, won first runner-up of 186 plays in the Eileen Heckart 2008 Senior Drama Competition at Ohio State University

She was awarded New Jersey Arts Council Fellowships for her poetry and earned an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She has taught writing at Laney College in Oakland, California, since 1993.

Full Bio

Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

Lauren Singer

Lauren Singer is an assistant judge of the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, and the North Street Book Prize. She is a native New Yorker living in Western Massachusetts. Her poetry has been published in Nerve House, Bareback, Feel the Word, Read This, Kosmosis, One Night Stanzas, and other literary magazines across the country. In 2015 she received her MSW at the University of Chicago, is a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and an attendee of the New York State Summer Writer’s Institute. She has self-published three chapbooks, and received an honorable mention in the 2011 Wergle Flomp contest. In addition to her creative interests, Lauren works as a mental health clinician and therapist in Holyoke, MA. Lauren prides herself on her wealth of useless knowledge, namely of nineties R&B lyrics, and she can pretty much quote “The X-Files”.

Full Bio

Judy Juanita offers advice to contestants here.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Yay for Claire 😀 And Winning Writers is great! Never read up on the judges, though, so thanks for posting that, Kathy 🙂


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