The 2017 Scythe Prize – Update – 6.11.17

Hello, all!

Recently, I’ve been receiving many eager notes from writers who submitted work to the 2017 Scythe Prize contest/book. Here’s a note on where we are and what to expect in the near future:

Of the essay/creative nonfiction submissions, about one in five were selected for publication. Another handful were in the official “maybe” pile; I have given those “maybes” to a trusted set of eyes. She’s currently sifting through.

Of the short stories submitted, about one in ten of those were selected for publication. Another 12 or 13 are in the fiction maybe pile. Those will go to the same eyes mentioned above.

Once the maybe pieces are put in the yes or no piles, the entire contents of the book to be released will go to the official prize jury. Those three judges (a writer/teacher, a poet, and the Executive Director of Omaha’s Public Library system, will rank their top stories and essays/CNF pieces. At that point, I’ll send an email to all participants disclosing the pieces to be published and the winning story and essay/CNF piece. The winners will receive $200 and special recognition in the book.

A couple of other notes on the book’s publishing:

Authors to be included in the book will receive an electronic document to sign expressing that Rusty Scythe LLC has permission to publish their work. I/the LLC will not own copyright, so if you’d like to publish elsewhere, too, there’s nothing here restricting you from doing so. Your inclusion in the 2017 Scythe book is protected by copyright law for one year (you own it).

While the prize jury is deciding, I’ll be formatting, designing a front and back cover, and proofreading the contents. Last year, the book was released on September 5 (I believe) and this year shouldn’t be much different. If it takes until October, it takes until October. If I am ready before September, I’ll publish then. We will see!

The book will be able for purchase on Amazon and a number of copies will be available for purchase from me (support your independent, opportunity-giving publisher!). The prices will be about the same, so it’s your choice!

Check back in wherever you’re reading this, whether it’s the Scythe Prize website (, the Scythe Prize’s Kickstarter page, on Facebook or on Twitter, for more updates.

Keep writing!


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