University of Southern Indiana

Mary C. Mohr Awards

Southern Indiana Review annually awards three prizes of $2000 each and publication for a poem, a work of creative nonfiction, and a work of short fiction. All entries are considered for publication. Submit up to ten pages of poetry or thirty-five pages of prose. The next deadline is October 2, 2017. 

Click here for complete guidelines.

Click here to upload your entry. Please avoid using marks of punctuation (ampersands, apostrophes, periods, parentheses, quotation marks, slashes, etc.) in your file name. Additional files (maximum of five) must be attached in a single upload to receive the reduced entry fee(s). Please note: We use our own database for contest uploads, not Submittable.

Feel free to email if you have any questions.

Contest mailing address:

Southern Indiana Review
Mary C. Mohr Awards
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Boulevard
Evansville, IN  47712

2017 Judges

Nonfiction judge Reginald Dwayne Betts is a husband and father of two sons. A poet and memoirist, he is the author of three books: The recently published Bastards of the Reagan Era; the 2010 NAACP Image Award winning memoir, A Question of Freedom; and the poetry collection Shahid Reads His Own Palm. Betts is currently enrolled in the PhD in Law Program at the Yale Law School. He has earned a J.D. from the Yale Law School, an MFA. from Warren Wilson College’s Program for Writers, and a BA from the University of Maryland.

Fiction judge Susan Perabo is the author of the collections of short stories, Who I Was Supposed to Be and Why They Run the Way They Do, and the novels The Broken Places and The Fall of Lisa Bellow. Her fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, and New Stories from the South, and has appeared in numerous magazines, including One Story, Glimmer Train, The Iowa Review, The Missouri Review, and The Sun. She is Writer in Residence and professor of English at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and on the faculty of the low-residency MFA Program at Queens University. Perabo holds an MFA from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

Poetry judge Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Weep Up (Tupelo Press, September 2017), The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, and Lamp of the Body. Smith is also the author of three prizewinning chapbooks. Her poems appear in The Best American Poetry, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Guernica, Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Public Radio International called it “the official poem of 2016.”

2016 Winners

Bradford Kammin

Bradford Kammin’s fiction has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, Arts & Letters, the Cimarron Review, and elsewhere, and has been recognized in The Best American Short Stories anthology’s list of distinguished stories. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s MFA program in creative writing, where he was awarded six Hopwood Awards for his short stories, novel, and nonfiction. He is currently pursuing a PhD in English and creative writing at Western Michigan University, where he teaches creative writing and serves as fiction editor of Third Coast.

“In a world of Flying J truck stops, rest areas and nickel slots, a long-haul trucker makes one last run—with his aging and perpetually down-on-her luck sister riding shotgun. With humor and grit, the two must face a lifetime of bad decisions and compromises, making a few new ones along the way. Life at the helm of an eighteen-wheeler is perfectly captured here, from high-elevation engine braking to the flat light of Nevada, but what this author really gets right is the tread-bare voice. 'I’d spent my life chasing the horizon,' the narrator tells us, 'but I was coming to realize that if it ever got any closer, then it wasn’t a horizon at all.'”

—Adam Johnson, 2016 fiction judge

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson was recently awarded Sigma Tau Delta’s Eleanor P. North Poetry Award. His poetry has appeared in Skive Journal, Empirical Journal, and The Avenue, among others. He grew up in rural Canada, and now lives with his wife, Sherise, and son, Jacob, in Houston, Texas, where he is a clinical psychologist and studies creative writing at the University of Houston.

“'manhood' is a poem of the best beauty in that it makes no judgments, no calls to itself in vanity, no explanations that show a distrust for the reader. The poet allows for a marriage of music and narrative that makes the dramatic situation of the poem clear; we see things for what they are and draw our own conclusions. We participate in the art that is in front of us." 

—Jericho Brown, 2016 poetry judge

Bradford's prize-winning story, “The One Good Thing About Las Vegas, Nevada,” and Richard's prize-winning poem, “manhood,” appear in the spring 2017 issue. View complete results of the 2016 contest here.

2015 Fiction Award Winner

Bull ElizabethA writer and filmmaker, Elizabeth Bull holds an MFA in fiction from The New School, and her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, H.O.W. Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Third Coast, and other journals. Elizabeth has also written and directed several films, and has received fellowships from UCLA, Rotary International, and the Fulbright Commission. Originally from Northern California, she currently lives in Brooklyn and is working on a novel.

Elizabeth's prize-winning story, “Dark Data,” appears in the spring 2016 issue. View complete results of the 2015 contest here.

2014 Poetry Award Winner

Mark Wagenaer (1)Mark Wagenaar is the winner of numerous poetry awards, including, in the past two years, the New Letters Poetry Prize, The Pinch Poetry Award, the James Wright Poetry Prize, the Poetry International Prize, & the Yellowwood Poetry Award. This past summer he served as the University of Mississippi’s 2014 Summer Poet in Residence. His debut manuscript, Voodoo Inverso, was the 2012 winner of the University of Wisconsin Press' Felix Pollak Prize, & his second manuscript, "The Body Distances," was first runner-up in Tupelo Press' 2014 Dorset Prize. Recent acceptances or publications include the New Yorker, Narrative Magazine, Field, the Chattahoochee Review, Shenandoah, & the Laurel Review. He and his wife, poet Chelsea Wagenaar, are doctoral fellows at the University of North Texas in Denton.

“This poem, from the first line, startled me with its beauty and seriousness of purpose, its reach and vision. It speaks with an awareness of the rise and fall of whole civilizations, yet from this moment, right now; appalled at the injustice of our age, it speaks with mercy and rage, and so much compassion. I read it again and then again and again. And then again. In a time when so many poems are games or mere solipsism this poem is necessary.”

—Marie Howe, 2014 judge

Mark's prize-winning poem, “Nocturne with Horses (Another Exile),” appears in the spring 2015 issue. View complete results of the 2014 contest here.

2013 Fiction Award Winner

Leslie CampbellLeslie Kirk Campbell is the author of Journey Into Motherhood (Riverhead) and has published her personal essays in the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine,, and Literary Mama. Her short story "Thunder in Illinois" was a finalist for the Iowa Review and the Bellevue Literary Review, received an Honorable Mention at Carve Magazine, and won the 2013 The Briar Cliff Review Award. Leslie received an MA in English/Creative Writing (poetry) from San Francisco State University and an MFA (fiction) from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She teaches creative writing at Ripe Fruit School of Creative Writing, a program she founded in 1991.

"If this was a high dive and not a story competition, 'Nightlight' would impress, in part, because of its level of difficulty. The story—a secret sharer themed story—is risky, ambitious, unpredictable, gracefully written, and rich in both its external detail and its characterizations."

—Stuart Dybek, 2013 judge

Leslie's prize-winning short story, "Nightlight," appears in the spring 2014 issue. View complete results of the 2013 contest here.

2012 Poetry Award Winner

Jed MyersJed Myers is a Philadelphian living in Seattle whose poems have appeared in Prairie SchoonerNimrod International JournalGolden Handcuffs Review,qarrtsiluniAtlanta ReviewQuiddityFugue, theJournal of the American Medical Association, the Rose Alley Press anthology Many Trails to the Summit, and elsewhere. He is also the winner of the 2012 Abbie M. Copps Poetry Prize.

"Music is a hard element to translate into words; something is always in danger of sonic loss, either the poem, or the subject itself. So I admired the task the poet of "Wire in Water" set for themselves, which in some small way, must mirror the dilemma Henryk Górecki must have had in composing his Symphony No. 3; how to say this, how to translate the near incomprehensible into notes? This poem does its duty to music, to language, to us."

— Cornelius Eady, 2012 judge

Jed's prize-winning poem, "Wire in Water," appears in the spring 2013 issue. View complete results of the 2012 contest here.

2011 Fiction Award Winner

Mary LarkinMary Larkin earned a PhD in creative writing and English at Florida State University and her MA from Hollins University’s Creative Writing Program, where she won the Andrew James Purdy Award. Larkin is a Pushcart nominee, a Fellow of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, an AWP Intro Journals Award nominee, a Writers@Work National Finalist, a two-time finalist for the Doris Betts Fiction Award, and the recipient of the North Carolina Blumenthal Writers Award. Her short stories have appeared in ShenandoahCutthroat: A Journal of the ArtsThe Nebraska ReviewThe Chattahoochee ReviewInkwellThe New Purlieu Review, and other journals.

Read an interview with Mary conducted by SIR interns Whitney Litherland and Trista Riggs.

2010 Poetry Award Winner

Amanda Auchter portraitAmanda Auchter is the founding editor of Pebble Lake Review and the author of The Glass Crib, winner of the 2010 Zone 3 Press First Book Award judged by Rigoberto González, and the chapbook Light Under Skin (Finishing Line Press, 2006). A former Theodore Morrison Poetry Scholar for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, she has received awards and honors from Bellevue Literary ReviewBOMB Magazine, Crab Orchard ReviewCutthroatMid-American Review, and others. She holds an MFA from Bennington College and teaches creative writing and literature at Lone Star College-CyFair.

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