2024 Montana Prize for Fiction

Once a year, Whitefish Review offers a $1000 prize, winner-takes-all, for the best story submitted to our fiction contest, judged by author Rick Bass.

Submissions for the 2024 prize are open Oct 1, 2023 - Feb 15, 2024. 

Submission link at bottom of page.


CLOSED on Sept. 30

The submission period is closed for "Dangerous Ideas."

Whitefish Review reads submissions for fiction non-fiction, essay, poetry, visual art of all kinds, and photography. 

Dangerous Ideas (#30)

In 1642, Galileo Galilei was imprisoned under house arrest for life for publishing theories that stated the earth was not the center of the universe. His dangerous idea was scary to the Church, who believed in an Earth-centered universe.

We realize that there are dangerous ideas, that are, well, dangerous!  What we are seeking here is to challenge conventional wisdom for the better. Give us an analysis of some aspect of our culture or world that might seem scary or puzzling at first, but considered in a new light, might also make perfect sense.

The earth revolves around the sun. Let’s explore dangerous ideas. What are yours?

Accepting submissions through September 30, 2023. Publication is planned for June 2024.


CLOSED on April 15

Opening Up: The Music Issue (#29) 

It takes time for an acoustic guitar to open up. Some say years or even a lifetime. Wood born from an old-growth forest, cut from downed timber and crafted by a luthier, needs to adjust to its new environment and relax into its new shape. 

As the wood opens, the strings vibrate more freely. The instrument begins to sing its magic. Over time, the sound will change as the instrument finds its true tone.

Does a tree have a voice? Every living thing has a voice. Of all the living creatures, wood has the best voice, for the voice of wood has a life beyond itself. Wood vibrates, resonates forever, physicists say, with all the sound it has ever generated or received. The wood has a memory.

Issue #29 is a celebration! We seek stories, poems, songs, and art raising a toast to old growth, new beginnings, music, and beauty — at the nexus of art and science as we continue to open up.

Publication is planned for February 2024. Also features the newest Montana Prize for Fiction winner.



2023 Montana Prize for Humor

Submissions for the 2024 prize will open on March 1, 2024.



#28 Into the Unknown

Publication: August 2023

Issue #28 "Into the Unknown" features 40 writers and artists including winners of the Montana Prize for Fiction and Montana Prize for Humor. We also feature an interview with Susan Bridges to discuss her newly released collection of black and white photographs that she took on the set of the American Western epic, Heaven's Gate (Partisan Productions, 1980). Featured in the collection are never-before-seen images, including striking scenes from the director's chair and intimate portraits. In addition to Susan's work as an artist, the editors discussed a wide range of cultural and environmental issues including food insecurity, grizzly bears, community, and family—as well as the near-death scare and illness of her husband, the actor Jeff Bridges.

#27 The Vortex 

Publication: June 2022

After taking flight, the winds begin to spin. The air whirls in a circular motion that forms a vacuum in the center. On the river, we call this an eddy, the water swirling back upstream counter to the main current, forming a whirlpool. Inside these center spaces, there is calm. Let’s explore circles. What is lost and what is found? Coming together.

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Author Rick Bass serves as the judge for Whitefish Review's annual fiction prize.

Rick has a new book coming out from Counterpoint Press, available 2/6/24: With Every Great Breath - New and Selected Essays, 1995-2023.

Rick is also hosting his Annual White Sulphur Springs Writers Boot Camp Workshop, Dec. 8-10, 2023. Limited to six writers and only one adverb per day.  Email editor@whitefishreview.org for more info with subject line "Rick Bass 2023 Workshop."

The first-place (and only) Montana Prize for Fiction winner will receive $1,000 and be published in issue #30 to be released in fall 2024. All submissions will be considered for publication, but only one story will be awarded the prize.

 There is no theme restriction, but Rick is serious about adverbs.

"I'm so hungry for good stories. Surprise me," says Rick. "What makes me smile when I read a good story? Beauty. Attentiveness. Crystalline specificity in an era of great uncertainty. The basics. Hold the adverbs.”

RICK BASS is the author of over thirty books. He is a winner of the Story Prize, the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, a PEN/Nelson Algren Award Special Citation for fiction, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has served as a contributing editor to Sierra, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Big Sky Journal, Amicus Journal, Outside, Orion, Field & Stream, The Contemporary Wingshooter, and many other publications. He currently serves on the editorial board of Whitefish Review. He was born and raised in Texas, worked as a petroleum geologist in Mississippi, and has lived in Montana’s Yaak Valley for almost thirty years.

Bryan Woolley of the Dallas Morning News  said, "Probably no American writer since Hemingway has written about man-in-nature more beautifully or powerfully than Rick Bass."

Submission Fee: $22

   Submission Information

     → Prose should be typed double-spaced in 12-point Times font.

     → Submit one (1) previously unpublished story under 7000 words per entry. The word limit is a guide and not a strict rule; we will read all submissions to the contest.


         → File Naming Standard: "fictionprize_your last name_titleofwork.doc"

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