Announcing this year's genre contest guest judges: Cheryl Strayed, Joe Wilkins, and Alicia Mountain

CutBank is excited to announce our guest judges for this year’s genre contests for the Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction, the Montana Prize in Fiction, and the Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry.

The Montana Prize in Creative Nonfiction
Judged by Cheryl Strayed


Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir Wild, the New York Times bestsellers Tiny Beautiful Things and Brave Enough, and the novel Torch. Wild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. Strayed's books have been translated into nearly forty languages around the world and have been adapted for both the screen and the stage. Strayed's essays have been published in The Best American Essays, the New York Times, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Salon, The Sun, Tin House, The New York Times Book Review, and elsewhere.

The Montana Prize in Fiction
Judged by Joe Wilkins


Joe Wilkins was born and raised north of the Bull Mountains, out on the Big Dry of eastern Montana. His debut novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, speaks to the community, struggle, violence, and care Joe knew growing up in the rural West, and his memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, captures the lives of boys and men in that desolate country, a place that shapes the people who live there and rarely lets them go. The Mountain and the Fathers: Growing up on the Big Dry won a 2014 GLCA New Writers Award—an honor that has previously recognized early work by luminaries such as Alice Munro, Richard Ford, and Louise Erdrich—and Wilkins’s work has been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best American Magazine Writing, New Poets of the American West, and Best New Poets. 

The Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry
Judged by Alicia Mountain


Alicia Mountain’s debut collection, High Ground Coward (Iowa, 2018), was selected by Brenda Shaughnessy to win the Iowa Poetry Prize. She is also the author of the Thin Fire, selected by Natalie Diaz and published by BOAAT Press. She is a lesbian poet, PhD candidate, and assistant editor of the Denver Quarterly. Mountain earned her MFA at the University of Montana in Missoula.

One winner in each genre, as chosen by our guest judges, will receive a $500 award and publication in the summer print issue of CutBank. All entries must be submitted electronically, and complete guidelines are available on our Submittable page. Remember: we're looking for work that showcases an authentic voice, an original perspective, and a willingness to push against the boundaries of form.

Deadlines close in eight days, on February 1st, so get those manuscripts polished and in to us.