Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest

Welcome to the Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest.


Submit your short story for a chance to be published, win a cash prize and meet one of our illustrious contest judges!

See the submission guidelines page for deadline and other information.

The Moment Magazine-Karma Foundation Short Fiction Contest encourages writers to submit stories related to Judaism or Jewish culture or history. Established in 2000, judges and special guests for this prestigious international annual contest have included Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Pinsky, Walter Mosley, Nicole Krauss, Erica Jong, Jonathan Safran Foer, Geraldine Brooks and Dara Horn. Winners receive monetary awards and are honored at a ceremony.

Here’s what the 2018 winners say about the contest:


“Winning the contest, and then being treated so kindly by everyone from Moment, was as magical an experience as I’ve had.  And to appear on the same bill as Andre Aciman, Debra Granik, and Joan Leegant—what a thrill! That Moment and the Karma Foundation, in the face of ever-dwindling interest in fiction—nay, in reading—continue to sponsor the Short Fiction Contest is a testament to those institutions’ enduring belief in the written word, and I’m over the moon to have been recognized by two organizations so vital to Jewish culture (and culture, period).” – Jed Cohen


“I can’t begin to describe how important Moment’s Karma Foundation fiction prize is for writers. I sometimes hear people say they don’t read fiction because they only want to read “the truth,” and I have to tell them that, actually, fiction’s job is precisely to tell the truth. To shine a light on the most pressing things in life: how we live and love and thrive and suffer, and ultimately on what makes us one human family. For those of us who explore our humanity through stories, the recognition and validation that winning the Moment fiction contest provides is so exceptionally affirming.” – Joan Leegant


The 2018 awards ceremony was held February 7, 2019, at the  JCC Manhattan. Winners Jed Cohen and Joan Leegant read from their stories, followed by a conversation with author Andre Aciman, contest judge and author of Call Me By Your Name and Enigma Variations and director Debra Granik, director of Winter’s Bone and Leave No Trace. 

The 2017 awards ceremony was held January 16, 2018, at the Eman-El Streicker Center in New York with special guests Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of the memoirs Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels, and Tova Mirvis, author of the memoir The Book of Separation and three novels, including the bestseller The Ladies Auxiliary. 



Other winners have included Sherri Mandell, Racelle Rosett, Leah Lax, Reena Ribalow and Jason K. Friedman. The contest is supported by Moment Magazine and the Karma Foundation. Click here for submission guidelines, and here for an update on past winners.



2017 Judge: Susan Coll

Moment fiction editor Susan Coll is the author of five novels, most recently The Stager—a New York Times and Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice. Her other books include Acceptance—which was made into a television movie starring Joan Cusack—Beach Week, Rockville Pike, and karlmarx.com. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, NPR.org, atlantic.com, and The Millions.

First: “The Garden of Evil” by Michalle Gould

Second: “The Mark” by Judith Kay Jacobson

Third: “Patient 786” by Richard Jay Goldstein

2016 Judge: Nicholas Delbanco with Robert Pinsky

 The 2016 awards ceremony took place November 15th at Hebrew Union College in New York and featured 2016 judge Nicholas Delbanco in conversation with U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.

First:Turboatom” by Steven Volynets

Read an interview with the author here.

2015 Judge:  Jami Attenberg

Jami Attenberg is the author of the novels The Kept ManThe Melting SeasonThe Middlesteins and Saint Mazie, as well as Instant Love, a collection of stories. She has written for publications including The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalVogueNew York, and many more.

First: “Summer is for People” by Miriam Karmel

Second: “Vanished Jews of Hetta” by Jason K. Friedman

2014 Judge: Alice Hoffman


Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of The DovekeepersPractical MagicThe Museum of Extraordinary Things and many more. Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York TimesThe Boston Globe Magazine and many other publications, and her books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

First:Lecha Dodi” by Paul B. Cohen

Born and raised in Manchester in the UK, Paul B. Cohen read English at the University of Leeds, and holds graduate degrees from Vanderbilt University and the University of Southern California. He lived in Los Angeles for almost ten years before returning to Britain. Formerly a playwright and theatre reviewer, Paul’s plays have been seen in London, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, Orlando, and New York City.  He is now focused on writing literary fiction.  He is married to Deborah, and has three children.

Second:Killing Brother Michael” by Danielle Leshaw

Danielle Leshaw’s work has appeared in The New York TimesTabletKveller and The Jewish Daily Forward. She is a recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, and she is the executive director and rabbi of Ohio University Hillel.

Third:Lead Apron” by Courtney Sender

Courtney Sender’s fiction has appeared in EsquireTin HouseFive ChaptersThe Carolina Quarterly, and has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She holds an MFA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars.


2012 Judge: Alan Cheuse


Alan Cheuse is Moment‘s late fiction editor and longtime NPR book critic. He is the author of five novels, four collections of short fiction and a memoir. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Antioch Review and other places. He teaches in the writing program at George Mason University and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

First: Becky Tuch for The Inker

Becky Tuch is the founding editor of The Review Review, a website dedicated to reviews of literary magazines and interviews with journal editors. Her fiction has been awarded fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Somerville Arts Council, as well as awards from Briar Cliff Review, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. Her fiction has appeared in Hobart, Quarter After Eight, Folio, and numerous print and online magazines. She lives in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Second: Lauren Watel for The Nothing of History

Lauren Watel’s short fiction was awarded the 2012 Mississippi Review Prize and the 2005 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets and Writers. Her stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Five Points, Colorado Review, Mississippi Review and New Writing. She lives in Decatur, Georgia.

Third: Roberta Newman for The Girl of the Comet

Roberta Newman’s fiction has been published on JewishFiction.net and Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal. She is the co-author of a study of Yiddish letter-writing manuals, which will be published by Indiana University Press in 2014. She lives in New York City.

2011 Judge: Walter Mosley

© David Burnett

Walter Mosley is one of America’s most celebrated and best-known writers. He has written more than 38 books, which have been translated into more than 20 languages. A few of his numerous awards include: the Anisfeld Wolf Award, NAACP Image Award, the “Risktaker Award” honored by Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and a Grammy. Mosley presently serves on the boards of The Nation and TransAfrica. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he now lives in New York City.

First: Joan Leegant for Roots

© Elli Katzoff
Joan Leegant is the author of a novel, Wherever You Go, and a story collection, An Hour in Paradise, which won the Winship/PEN New England Book Award, the Wallant Award for Jewish Fiction, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. Currently, she divides her time between Boston and Tel Aviv, where she teaches at Bar-Ilan University.

Second: Ruchama King Feuerman for A Beggar’s Place

Ruchama King Feuerman is the author of the novel Seven Blessings, several books for children and young adults, and the anthology/writer’s handbook, Everyone’s Got a Story. Her second novel, In the Courtyard of the Kabbalist, will be published in 2013 by NYRB Lit, a new e-book series from The New York Review of Books. She has been awarded a Christopher Isherwood Fellowship and a New Jersey State Council on the Arts grantHer writing has appeared in the New York Times, Tablet and Self. She teaches creative
writing and lives in Passaic, New Jersey with her family.

Third: Avital Chizhik for Those Who Go About the City

Avital Chizhik is a graduate of Yeshiva University whose writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tablet and Haaretz. She lives in New York.

Finalists: Stuart Rosh for The Muskie and Wendy Zierler for The One Lamb You Should Offer

2010 Judge: Nicole Krauss

© Joyce Ravid
Nicole Krauss is the author of the international bestsellers Great House, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Orange Prize, and The History of Love, which won the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing, France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, and was short-listed for the Orange, Medicis, and Femina Prizes. Her first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for First Fiction. In 2007, she was selected as one of Granta‘s Best Young American Novelists, and in 2010 The New Yorker named her as one of the 20 best writers under 40. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire and Best American Short Stories, and her books have been translated into more than 35 languages. She lives in Brooklyn.

First place: Jason K. Friedman for Blue

Jason K. Friedman’s work has appeared in literary journals and anthologies including Best American Gay Fiction and the cultural-studies reader Goth. His book of stories, Fire Year, won the 2012 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and will be published by Sarabande in November 2013. He has published two children’s books, Phantom Trucker and Haunted Houses. His novel The Creek is Gone was the runner-up in the Associated Writing Programs Award Series in the Novel. He lives in San Francisco and works as a technical writer.

Second place: Dalia Rosenfeld for Infections

Dalia Rosenfeld is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her stories have appeared in such journals as The Atlantic, Mississippi Review, Shenandoah, Tikkun and Zeek Magazine.

Third place: Laura Price Steele for Processes

Laura Price Steele is a graduate of the University of Montana creative writing program. She has been published in The Oval and was chosen as a finalist for Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers.

2009 Judge: Erica Jong




First place: Sherri Mandell for Jerusalem Stone

Sherri Mandell won a National Jewish Book Award for her spiritual memoir, The Blessing of a Broken Heart. Translated into three languages, the book was adapted into a stage play, which opened at the San Diego Repertory Theater. Mandell has an MA in creative writing and teaches writing in Jerusalem. She made aliyah in 1996 and lives in Tekoa with her husband and children. She co-directs the Koby Mandell Foundation, founded in honor of her son Koby who was murdered by terrorists in 2001 when he was 13 years old. The foundation runs summer camps in Israel for bereaved children and mothers.

Second place: Sally Schloss for The Goose Girl

Sally Schloss is a writer for the Nashville Arts Magazine and conducts fiction and memoir writing workshops. She is working on a collection of short stories and a novel.

Third place: Kathryn Winter for Mirušenka Moja

2008 Judge: Anita Diamant





First place: Racelle Rosett for Levi

Racelle Rosett’s debut short story collection, Moving Waters, was published in 2012. She has won the Lilith Fiction Prize, and her work has appeared in Tikkun, Ploughshares, the New Vilna Review, the Santa Monica Review and Zeek. As a television writer, she won a Writers Guild Award for thirtysomething.

Second place: Judith Groudine Finkel for Two By Four

Judith Groudine Finkel’s short stories and personal narratives have appeared in literary journals, newspapers and magazines. Her most recent novel is Texas Justice.

Third place: Amy Graubart Katz for The Kiss

2007 Judge: Geraldine Brooks

First place: Joe Kraus for How Beautiful Are Your Tents, O Jacob

Joe Kraus is an associate professor of English at the University of Scranton and co-author of An Accidental Anarchist.

Second place: Andi Arnovitz for Three Dreams

Andi Arnovitz lives in Jerusalem, where she maintains a full-time art studio and creates etchings at the Jerusalem Print Workshop.

Third place: Ellen Davis Sullivan for Yiddish Land

Ellen Davis Sullivan practiced corporate law for 20 years. Her play, The Unveiling, was selected for the 2008 New Play Development Workshop of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.

2006 Judge: Jonathan Safran Foer

First place: Shaun Levin for Mark Gertler in 13 Sketches

Shaun Levin is the author of Seven Sweet Things and A Year of Two Summers. He lived in Israel for many years and wrote for Haaretz. He now teaches creative writing in London.

Second place: Lisa K. Buchanan for Trade Show

Third place: Sande Boritz Berger for The Sweetness

2005 Judge: Judy Budnitz

First place: Susan Messer for Remanants, Like Dust in Pocket Seams

Second place: Andrew Fox for Raoul Wallenberg in Orbit

Third place: Isaac Leung for Notes on Jewish Beauty (or Tamara Herschel)


The upcoming deadline is March 31 2019 See Guidelines for Submission for more information. Thank you for supporting Jewish fiction and our special contest.

Best of luck in all your writing ventures,
The editors at Moment[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]