Pushcart Prize Nominations

We are delighted to reveal our chosen nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize, selected from our magazine and this year’s Big Book, Heart/h . Our deepest thanks to each of our authors and poets for entrusting us with your work – you make this possible!

For Poetry

Holly Magill for Dad Teaches Me to Light Matches7th April 2021

Kayleigh Campbell for Lunar Eclipse28th April 2021

Clive Donovan for Buttons26 May 2021

For Short Stories

Mikki Aronoff for ‘Nature/Nurture‘ in Heart/h

Sean Burke for ‘A Silver Maple‘ in Heart/h

Kelly Kaur for ‘The Kitchen is her Home‘ in Heart/h

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pushcart Prize?

The Pushcart Prize is a time-honoured literary project in the United States. Founded in 1976, it recognises the best small presses in the world by publishing the winning pieces in a yearly anthology.

Why didn’t you choose my piece?

We are deeply passionate about all our authors’ work – that’s why we published you! We’re only allowed six nominations, though, so we went for those pieces which had especially stuck with us this past year.

Can I nominate my own work?

The Pushcart Prize only accepts nominations from publishers, not from individuals.

How do you take your triangles?

Editors. 

We don’t always get it right. At the end of the day, we are simply people with opinions – lots of them! Take, for example, these infamous rejection letters for books and series which would later become absolute classics.  

“An irresponsible holiday story that will never sell.”

Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

“An absurd and uninteresting fantasy that was rubbish and dull.”

William Golding, Lord of the Flies

“I haven’t the foggiest idea about what the man is trying to say. Apparently the author intends to be funny.”

Joseph Heller, Catch 22

“I’m afraid I thought this one as dire as its title. It’s a kind of Prince of Denmark of the hotel world: a collection of clichés and stock characters I can’t see being anything but a disaster.”

Fawlty Towers

T.S. Elliott rejected George Orwell’s Animal Farm whilst working for Faber & Faber.

F. Scott Fitzgerald was told to de-Gatsby The Great Gatsby. 

Louisa May Alcott (author of Little Women) was encouraged to “stick to teaching.”

One person’s trash is another’s treasure. It’s an undeniable fact that as editors we are gatekeepers – but are we opening the door to new voices, or checking names against a VIP list? 

We started Fragmented Voices because we know all too well the feeling of not fitting in, of not being the right shape. We do want good writing – writing that gets you in the belly, that sticks with you. We just don’t believe it comes from one type of person. 

Meet Finn.

Our mascot. Our totem. Finn the fox is a loner. He is made up of all the pieces that wouldn’t fit – those thought too pointy, too awkward, just… not the right shape. Put ’em together, and you get something special. There is a place for everyone in the publishing world. You just have to make foxes out of them!

So, English isn’t your first language? Submit to us! You haven’t yet been published? Submit to us! You’re just dipping your toe in? Dive in! 

We currently have an open callout for our Big Book project over the summer. Our online magazine opens again from September. 

You may not be accepted. We receive a lot of submissions, and we have a very full publishing roster – but we will aim to help you understand why you weren’t successful this time. Let’s demystify the process! 

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Rue

* With thanks to good old QI, Season 15, for many of these rejection letters.