May 24, 2022

Booth Summer Writing Contest: Beyond the Margins

We are excited to announce the winner of our 2022 Beyond the Margins Prize! Congratulations to Geramee Hensley, who will receive $500 for “Forest Fire.” Our runner-up is Xueyi Zhou, who will receive $250 for “Implications of Color.” Both pieces will appear on our website in October and in our forthcoming print issue, Booth 18.

Three other finalists, “How My Grandmother Exited the Last Harbor” by Sneha Subramanian Kanta, “It is June 2018–” by Alfredo Aguilar, and “Dressed in Paper” by Sara Backer, will be published on our website later this year as well.

We are deeply grateful for all the intriguing, spectacular, out-of-the-box work that the contestants sent our way. We asked for work that lives beyond the margins, that demands instead to be centered, and you all delivered. Our finalists are testaments to that call. To all of our contestants, their words, their ideas, their imaginations, thank you.

We would also like to thank our judge, the brilliant Steven Espada Dawson, for the time and care he showed our finalists. Please support him by visiting his website, reading his words wherever they appear, and following him on Twitter.

Check out our website for our newest publications for the month of September, and be on the lookout for our next round of online publications on Friday, October 7, at

Finally, thank you to our readers and future contributors for your support—we look forward to hearing from you soon.

We are excited to announce our shortlisted finalists for our 2022 Beyond the Margins Prize.

Shortlisted Works

“Implications of Color” by Xueyi Zhou
“How My Grandmother Exited the Last Harbor” by Sneha Subramanian Kanta
“Young Men in Flip-Flops, Reading Hegel” by Stefani Nellen
“Dressed in Paper” by Sara Backer
“Two Lovely Berries” by Kristin Saetveit Dyal
“It is June 2018” by Alfredo Aguilar
“Forest Fire” by Geramee Hensley

Our winner and runner-up will be announced in September and appear later on our website and in our print issue, Booth 18.

Send us your work that lives outside of the box, whether in content, in form, or both. Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, comics, lists, hybrid work, recipes, maps to hidden treasure or the secrets of the universe. The work that lives, has been made to live, on the margins and beyond. We want to champion work that does not receive the seat at the table where it rightfully belongs. 

Winner: $500 + publication

Runner-Up: $250 + possible publication

Entry: $10. Includes shipped copy of prize issue.

As we wrote in our statement on racial justice and equity in 2020, found here, all writing contests will be free to submit for all BIPOC writers through 2025. Read our most recent statement on Booth’s role in working towards equity in the publishing industry here.

Submissions open from June 1 - July 1 2022 at 11:59PM.

Guidelines: One submission per writer. Work should be no longer than 6,000 words or 25 pdf pages.

All submissions considered for publication.

Prizes will be announced in Fall 2022.

Winners will be chosen by our guest judge, Booth contributor and poet Steven Espada Dawson. Dawson’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Gulf Coast, Colorado Review, Adroit Journal, Kenyon Review Online, The Pinch, Thrush, and Waxwing, as well as in the anthology Best New Poets 2020. In 2021, Dawson received a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He has served as an editor at Copper Nickel and Sycamore Review.

See our Submittable page starting June 1st to enter.