Vestal Review encourages diversity in writing and publishing. A wide range of voices is good for the reader and literature in general, enhancing our understanding of the world. It’s fair, beneficial, and long overdue. We encourage underrepresented writers to send us their stories.



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For us, a flash story is no longer than 500 words, and it moves from point A to point B. If it’s longer than 500 words or is too static, it’s not for us. We also reject pornography, racism, and excessive gore. On the other end of the spectrum, no preachy stories, please. Our target audience is over 18, so R-rated content is okay, but not X-rated. We accept most genres, and we love humor. We also appreciate diversity, whether racial, socioeconomic, or gender-based.

Format your story in Microsoft Word, including a heading with a word-count. Please include a brief author bio in the message space. 200 words maximum. We try to get back to submitters within one month.

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500-word limit. All entries will be judged anonymously. No author-identification of any kind on the manuscript. 

First prize: $250

Second prize: $150

Third prize: $75

Five runners-up: a cookie assortment from Insomnia Cookies

All winning entries will be published in a special issue of Vestal Review and advertised ceaselessly on social media.


Contest judge:

Mark Rotella, author of Stolen Figs: And Other Adventures in Calabria and Amore: The Story of Italian American Song, both from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Other publications include The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and Saveur Magazine. He has appeared on National Public Radio, CBS’s The Insider, Entertainment Tonight, and ABC News. A former senior editor at Publishers Weekly, he is now a creative writing professor and director of the Coccia Institute at Montclair State University.

Send us two brief paragraphs, one outlining your proposal and the other with your bio, including publications. The interview itself should weigh in at no more than 500 words.

We try to get back to submitters within one month.

Send us two brief paragraphs, one outlining your proposal and the other with your bio, including publications. The review itself should weigh in at no more than 500 words.

We try to get back to submitters within one month.

Vestal Review