Tillie Olsen Short Story Award

Tillie Olsen was the author of the short story collection “Tell Me a Riddle,” the story “Requa I” as seen in Best American Short Stories 1971 and several journalistic pieces from the 1930s about the struggle for economic justice. 


Olsen was born in 1912 on a tenant farm in Nebraska, the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. Early in her life, she began crusading for worker rights, and was jailed for organizing packinghouse workers and participating in strikes. She continued working as an activist her entire life, especially in her San Francisco community. She and her partner Jack Olsen suffered under McCarthy’s witch hunt. Olsen died at the age of 95—a mother, grandmother, award-winning writer, feminist, and human rights and anti-war activist.

Olsen’s family has graciously given The Tishman Review permission to name our short story contest in honor of one of our heroes, Tillie Olsen.

Final Judge Tori Malcangio TORI

Tori Malcangio received her journalism degree from Arizona State University and her MFA from Bennington College. She lives with her family in San Diego where, besides writing fiction, she is also a freelance advertising copywriter. Stories are forthcoming or have appeared in: Glimmer Train, ZYZZYVA, The American Literary Review, The Chattahoochee Review, Mississippi Review, AGNI Online, Tampa Review, cream city review, River Styx, Ruminate, Passages North, and more. She is a winner of the William Van Dyke Short Story Prize, The American Literary Review Fiction Prize, and the Waasmode Short Fiction Prize. She was awarded a 2016 Writing by Writers Residency and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She hopes to one day find the last line to her novel.

Entries should consist of unpublished (including online and personal blogs) short stories not longer than 5,000 words in length. Manuscripts and file names must not contain any identifying information. Please double-space and paginate your entry. Please use only one space after a period. All entries must be received through Submittable with the $15.00 entry fee per story. Writers may enter as many stories as they wish, but each one must be entered separately and with the $15.00 fee. Entries will be accepted between February 1st  and March 30th of 2018. Simultaneous submissions are allowed. Please withdraw your story immediately if it is accepted elsewhere for publication.

This contest is judged blind. Please ensure that no identifying information is on the manuscript or in the filename.

Please only include a cover letter in the Comments Section area on Submittable. In the cover letter, please identify your work with title, word count, and include a short third-person bio of no more than 50 words. Please make sure you submit your entry under the proper contest entry tab on our Submittable page.  All entries received in the general submission boxes will be treated as such and NOT as a contest submission.

Contest winners will be announced on July 30th, 2018. The winner will receive $500.00 and publication in the July issue. All entries will be considered for publication. In 2017, we published 13 stories sent to us through TOSSA.

All entrants will receive a one-year e-book subscription to The Tishman Review.

The Tishman Review buys First Electronic Publication Rights, Non-Exclusive Print on Demand rights and Archival Rights.

Next Year’s Information:

In 2019 the Tillie Olsen Short Story Award will be open for submissions from April 1, 2019 to May 30th, 2019.

The winner will be published in the October 30th 2019 issue of The Tishman Review.

Final judge for the 2019 contest will be announced in March, 2019. Stay Tuned!