Press 53, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is a publisher of award-winning poetry and short fiction collections, and was founded in October 2005.

  We ignore market trends and publish writing we love.

  We publish 8-10 poetry collections each year, including titles under our Tom Lombardo Poetry Selections, edited by Tom Lombardo; our Silver Concho Poetry Series, edited by Pamela Uschuk and William Pitt Root; plus the winner of our annual Press 53 Award for Poetry.

  We publish 5-6 short fiction collections each year by widely published and award-winning authors. One collection is published by way of our Press 53 Award for Short Fiction, while the remaining story collections come to us by actively seeking out writers we find in journals and magazines, and who are winning other contests, including the Prime Number Magazine Awards (formerly the Press 53 Open Awards).

Prime Number Magazine is our quarterly online journal of distinctive poetry and prose from writers at all levels and tastes. Publishing in journals, magazines, and anthologies is a great way to build your bio, build readership, and meet other writers and editors who will later become your support team.

And check out our free monthly 53-Word Story Contest sponsored by Prime Number Magazine.

  We encourage you to visit our website at and sample our books. This helps support our press and our authors. Also find us on Facebook and give us a 'Like."

Best regards,

Kevin Morgan Watson, Publisher and Editor in Chief

The Press 53 Award for Short Fiction is awarded annually to an outstanding, unpublished short story collection. This contest is open to any writer, regardless of his or her publication history, provided the manuscript is written in English and the author lives in the United States or one of its territories.

The winner of this contest will receive publication by Press 53, a $1,000 cash advance and fifty copies of the book; all prizes will be awarded upon publication.
Reading fee:
 A reading fee of $30 must be paid for each entry. Reading fees are nonrefundable.
Dates for submission:
 Enter September 1 through December 31, 2021
Announcement of winner:
 The winner of the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will be announced no later than May 1, 2022 to all entrants by way of Submittable email and on the Press 53 website, Facebook, Twitter, and via email to our subscribers. A list of finalists will also be announced at that time.
Confirmation of entry:
 Confirmation of receipt of your entry will be sent via e-mail by Submittable immediately after submission.
Multiple submissions:
 Writers may submit multiple story collections. A separate reading fee is required for each entry.
 Claire V. Foxx, Press 53 Short Fiction Editor, will be the only judge for the competition; the story collections will be judged in a blind read solely on the strength of the stories as a collection, and the winning collection will be published by Press 53. The judge’s decision is final. Please note: due to the volume of entries, feedback or critique on individual stories or the collection is not possible.
 The competition is open to manuscripts written in the English language from writers 18 years of age and older, regardless of their publishing history, who live in the United States or one of its territories. Previously published stories may be (and probably should be) included in the collection.
 Previously published story collections, including self-published collections available in print or as an ebook, are not eligible. Individuals who work for Press 53 or have published a book with Press 53 are not eligible to enter.
Story Collection Guidelines (please read carefully):
 1. Manuscripts should contain a collection of short stories, which can include flash fiction, and may include one, and only one, novella. Total page count should be double-spaced with numbered pages, set in a standard 12-point font (such as Times New Roman, Garamond, etc.), and around 100 to no more than 250 pages in length, We do not favor one length over the other. We are only concerned with the quality of every story in the collection.
 2. The author's name should not appear on the collection. We will find your contact information after the winner has been selected via Submittable.
 3. Pages should be numbered.
 4. Include a table of contents with page numbers.
 5. An acknowledgments page for previous publications of stories in the collection may be included but is not necessary.

 ​Any questions or concerns, other than technical issues with the submissions manager, please contact
 Submissions for the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction will open September 1, 2021 and will close at midnight Eastern Time on December 31, 2021. Press 53 reserves the right to extend the deadline. 

Press 53