The Megaphone Prize
The Megaphone Prize (previously the Own Voices Prize) is an annual contest from Radix Media dedicated to the discovery of timely, urgent, and interrogative collections from debut writers of color.
This year, the prize is open to short story collections by debut writers of color. Submissions are open from July 15 until September 30.
The Guest Judge for this year’s prize is author Deesha Philyaw.
One winner will receive $1,000 and 20 author copies. At Radix Media, we pride ourselves on the production of superior quality, purposefully designed books. Our in-house designers will conceptualize the book cover, which will be letterpress printed on quality cover stock.
ABOUT THE GUEST JUDGE
Deesha Philyaw’s debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, won the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the 2020/2021 Story Prize, and the 2020 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies focuses on Black women, sex, and the Black church, and is being adapted for television by HBO Max with Tessa Thompson executive producing. Deesha is also a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow and will be the 2022-2023 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR
The Megaphone Prize by Radix Media is open to writers of color writing in the English language who haven’t published a full-length book. We are looking for work that believes the personal is political, that comes from a place of deep interrogation and critique of one’s self and the society at large, that is rebellious at heart, and that seeks to question everything. At a time when there is a deep reckoning with political thought in the literary community, we want to identify and highlight emerging writers who are at work on collections they deem urgent and essential to the discourse.
For the debut iteration of the prize, we opened submissions to chapbook-length poetry collections from poets of color. This year, we are inviting writers to submit book-length short story collections. We are not bound to any particular kind or genre of short stories—domestic fiction, sci-fi, magical realism, all are welcome. We like collections where the stories are bound together thematically, where there is a strong intention in their curation.
All entries will be considered for publication. Finalists may be offered publication with Radix Media.
- Open to debut writers of color writing in the English language (not exclusively); must be living in the USA at the time of publication. Should not have published a full-length collection. Chapbook publications are okay.
- There is an entry fee of $20. As a small press, charging an entry fee allows us to pay an honorarium to our guest judge and offset the printing costs of the project. If you are unable to pay the fee at this time, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and your submission fee will be waived. 25 fee waivers are available.
Because of a kind anonymous donation, we can also offer 8 additional fee waivers
- Please submit a manuscript of roughly 35,000-80,000 words. We will not turn away a manuscript based on length, but please do not submit a manuscript that is much longer than the prescribed length. If you are uncertain if your manuscript will qualify, please email us to confirm.
- Your manuscript must be a single Word or PDF document. Please include a title page and table of contents page. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME, EMAIL ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, OR ANY IDENTIFYING INFORMATION IN THE MANUSCRIPT. Please do not include a dedication page or publishing acknowledgements at this stage. Manuscripts that do not adhere to these guidelines will be immediately disqualified. Please double-space your manuscripts.
The manuscript should ONLY include the following: Title page, table of contents or list of stories.
- Translations and self-published books are not eligible. The manuscript must be the product of only one author.
- You can include illustrations or photographs only if they are integral to the narrative. If not, please do not include them at this stage.
- In the cover letter, please include a 100-word synopsis about your collection, list of acknowledgements for the published stories in the collection, and a brief third-person bio with pronouns.
- Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please notify us ASAP if your collection is accepted elsewhere.
- Please submit your manuscripts via Submittable.
ABOUT RADIX MEDIA
Radix Media is a worker-owned independent press and print shop based in Brooklyn, New York. We publish new ideas and fresh perspectives, prioritizing the voices of typically marginalized communities to get to the root of the human experience.