About the Prize

Beloved teacher and former director of the University of Mississippi MFA program, Barry Hannah was born in Meridian, Mississippi. He joined the UM faculty in 1982, and served as MFA director from 2001 until his death in 2010. Author of many works, including National Book Award finalist Geronimo Rex, the critically acclaimed collection Airships, and Pulitzer Prize finalist High Lonesome, Hannah received numerous awards during his career including The William Faulkner Prize and the Robert Penn Warren Lifetime Achievement Award. Known for his sharp use of language and electric energy, Hannah’s writing blends traditional genre conventions and pushes the limits of the Southern literary tradition.


About the theme
Named in memoriam, the Barry Hannah Prize in Fiction celebrates southern United States writing at its finest. It is in this spirit that we announce a theme for this contest: We are looking for stories that examine the United States South. Stories may approach this theme broadly or narrowly, geographically, thematically, formally, or all of the above. For this contest, we are looking for stories that push on southern boundaries, defy stereotypical narratives about what the U.S. South is and what it is to be southern, and / or in some way question the notion that the U.S. South is definable. Most importantly, we are looking for authors and characters whose voices have been marginalized or silenced and stories that have been underrepresented.


About the Judge
Garth Greenwell will serve as the final judge for this contest. Garth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, it was named a Best Book of 2016 by over fifty publications in nine countries, and is being translated into a dozen languages. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and VICE, and he has written criticism for The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, and the New York Times Book Review, among others. He lives in Iowa City.


Submissions Info
Contest Submissions were open from September 15th through November 1st. First prize winner will win $500 and publication in the Winter issue of Yalobusha Review. All finalists will also be considered for publication. Winner and finalists will be announced in December.


Please note:
  • Submissions will be judged blind. Please do not include your name anywhere on the manuscript.
  • We will consider stories of 7,500 words or less.
  • All work must be previously unpublished.
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed; please withdraw the submission immediately via Submittable if accepted elsewhere. Multiple submissions are allowed; writers must pay the contest fee for each submission.
  • We are open to realism, surrealism, magical realism and everything in between. Yalobusha Review seeks stories that resist outdated tropes and ideologies, rather than uphold them. Writers of color, women writers, and writers who identify as LGBTQIA+ are especially encouraged to submit.


2017 Contest winner and Finalists:
Theme: Fairy tale/myth/ folklore
Judge, Catherine Lacey, chose “Junkland.” by K.A. Rees as the winning submission. Lacey wrote: “Junkland. is a piercing meditation on wreckage and ruin of all sorts— human wastefulness, bodily injury, the oppressive weight of memory. Yet its language is nimble, agile, unexpected. At the heart of this story there is a deep, alluring tension— heavy and ebullient, clear and mysterious, tender and sharp.”


“Now You’ll Have Something to Cry About” by C.G. Thompson

“Toy Whistle” by Cezarija Abartis

“In Floating Fields” by Susan DeFreitas
“Lullaby (Dark Night)” by Jeanne Genis
“Time and Oranges” by Molly Gutman
“Ladies’ Night at the Arctic Club” by Thomas Israel Hopkins
“The Laughing Owl” by Kaely Horton
“Meat Shack” by Kate Jayroe
“Holy Ground” by Joshua Storrs