The Offbeat is now open for contest submissions.

Submit your best work that is zany, bizarre, and altogether “offbeat.” We want to recognize your unique work; show us writing that falls off the beaten path in an intriguing way, whether through form, content, style, etc.!

PRIZE: One winner will receive half of the profits from the submitted contest genre or $100, whichever is greater. Winning pieces will be included in the Fall 2018 volume of The Offbeat. Finalists will be noted as well. All entries considered for publication.

FINAL JUDGES: Heid E. Erdrich, Matthew Gavin Frank, and T. Geronimo Johnson


You may submit as many pieces as you wish but must pay the entry fee for each piece to be considered. You may submit one poem for $5, three poems for $10, one prose piece for $10, or two prose pieces for $15 using the appropriate forms.

All submissions must not exceed 4,000 words.

We ask for different. We DO NOT mean unnecessarily explicit content produced purely for the purpose of being shocking. We are interested in quality. No matter where you come from or what you do, we want to hear from you!

Simultaneous submissions will be accepted under the condition that you will immediately inform us if your work is being published elsewhere. Multiple entries are accepted when submitted separately and the entry fee is paid for each.

Legalities: Upon acceptance of your submission, you have granted The Offbeat first publication rights of your piece.


Judge’s Information:

Heid E. Erdrich is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Curator of Ephemera at the New Museum for Archaic Media from Michigan State University Press. Her recent non-fiction work is Original Local: Indigenous Foods, Stories and Recipes. She is editor of two anthologies of literature by Native writers including the forthcoming NEW POETS OF NATIVE NATIONS form Graywolf Press. Heid’s writing has won numerous awards as have her collaborative poem films, which you can see on her Vimeo channel.  Heid grew up in Wahpeton, North Dakota and is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. She teaches in the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program of Augsburg College.

Matthew Gavin Frank is the author of the nonfiction books, The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America’s Food, Preparing the Ghost: An Essay Concerning the Giant Squid and Its First Photographer, Pot Farm, and Barolo; the poetry books, The Morrow Plots, Warranty in Zulu, and Sagittarius Agitprop, and 2 chapbooks. “Preparing the Ghost” was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, an NPR Notable Book, and a New Yorker Book to Watch Out For.  “The Mad Feast” was selected as a Staff Pick by The Paris Review, a Best Book of 2015 by Ploughshares, The Millions, and Paste Magazine, and featured in The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, and Entertainment Weekly. His work appears widely in journals and magazines, including The Kenyon Review, The Paris Review, Guernica, The New Republic, Iowa Review, Salon, Conjunctions, and The Normal School. After spending 17 years in the restaurant industry, he now teaches at Northern Michigan University, where he is the Nonfiction/Hybrids Editor of Passages North.  He persevered through this past winter via the occasional one-handed cartwheel in his mind.

Geronimo Johnson was born in New Orleans. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford, Johnson has taught writing at UC Berkeley, Stanford, the Writers’ Workshop, the Prague Summer Program, Oregon State University, San Quentin, and elsewhere. He has worked on, at, or in brokerages, kitchens, construction sites, phone rooms, education non-profits, writing centers, summer camps, ladies shoe stores, nightclubs, law firms, offset print shops, and a political campaign that shall remain unnamed. He also wrote a couple of novels that have—between the two—been selected by the Wall Street Journal Book Club, named a 2013 PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, shortlisted for the 2016 HurstonWright Legacy Award, longlisted for the National Book Award, longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, a finalist for The Bridge Book Award, a finalist for the Mark Twain American Voice in Literature Award, included on Time Magazine’s list of the top ten books of 2015, awarded the Saroyan International Prize for Writing, named the winner of the 2015 Ernest J Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and the Inaugural Simpson Family Literary Prize.  Johnson was a 2016 National Book Award judge. He lives in domestic and commercial political exile.