2019 Yemassee Journal Fiction Contest

Guest Judge

James E. McTeer II

Born and raised in Beaufort, SC, James McTeer won the 2015 South Carolina First Novel Prize for his novel Minnow. A school librarian in Columbia, SC, he is the grandson of the late J. E. McTeer, whose 37 years as High Sheriff of the Lowcountry (and local witch doctor) served as inspiration for the book. Minnow has gone on to win a regional Gold IPPY, received starred reviews from Kirkus and Library Journal, and was called a “fabulous tale” by Pat Conroy. James lives in Columbia with his wife, infant son, and two dogs.


Overview: Yemassee is accepting entries for its 2019 Writing Prizes, including the 2019 Fiction Contest. The author of the winning story will receive $750 and publication in Yemassee 25.2. The editors will select ten finalists and pass those stories on to the guest judge. The ten finalists will receive acknowledgment and all entries will be considered for publication in an upcoming issue of Yemassee.

Timeline: Submissions open November 9, 2018 and close January 31, 2019.

Entry Instructions: To enter, submit one story up to 7500 words. An entry fee of $17 must accompany each entry.

Discounted Subscription: Entries accompanied by $20 qualify the submitter for a one-year subscription to Yemassee. Please select the appropriate fee category.

Formatting and Other Guidelines: Submissions that do not conform to these guidelines may be disqualified at the editors’ discretion. Entries must be submitted online using Submittable; paper submissions will not be accepted. The author’s name must not appear anywhere in the submission or in the file name. We welcome multiple entries. However, each entry must be submitted separately and accompanied by an additional entry fee. While we do allow simultaneous submissions, please inform us immediately if the submission is accepted elsewhere by withdrawing in Submittable. Note that no refunds will be issued for submissions that are withdrawn or disqualified. All entries must be submitted by the deadline.

Eligibility: Current or previous Yemassee staff, close personal friends or family of the Yemassee staff, and writers who have been published in Yemassee within the past two years are ineligible for entry.

Applicants can enter here on Submittable.


“Gig Marks” by William Wallace

I was immediately pulled in by this story’s inventive structure and its confessional tone. And, well, the wrestling. It brilliantly weaves elements of that world — and its supposed artifice — together with the family material in a way I deeply admired: this story can’t be told in any other way. The moment the narrator reads my mind with the line, “Wait, a wicked stepmother story? Yeah, I’m aware,” — I knew I was in extremely capable hands, and I would follow her anywhere. Every sentence is pitch-perfect, down to its last devastating page.

— Jennine Capó Crucet, 2018 Fiction Contest Judge