Doug Fir Fiction Award

Your story starts here.


The Doug Fir Award will not take place in 2016.



The Doug Fir Fiction Award honors burgeoning and seasoned writers working in theme of place-based fiction. In its sixth year, the contest has been judged by renown writers including Katherine Dunn, Brian Doyle, Rivka Galchen, Jim Lynch, Jon Raymond and Gina Ochsner. Winners and finalists are published in The Bear Deluxe Magazine and winners are provided with with a $1,000 and residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Finalists are strongly considered  for publication.

The 2011 Doug Fir Award winning story by Kjerstin Johnson was recently published by the Utne Reader.

The 2013-14 contest was judged by  Lidia Yuknavitch, the author of the award-winning memoir, The Chronology of Water, the novel, Dora: A Headcase, and three works of short fiction: Her Other Mouths, Liberty’s Excess, and Real to Reel, as well as a book of literary criticism, Allegories of Violence. Submissions for this year’s Doug Fir Fiction Award opens June 1, 2014. Please see submission guidelines below for more details.

The 2014-15 award judge will be announced soon.

2012 Award

The 2012 winner is David M. Armstrong.

His story “A Different-Sized Us” was published in the Summer 2013 issue of The Bear Deluxe Magazine (#35). Brian Doyle, the 2012 Doug Fir Fiction Award judge, called it “a swirling riveting dreamy piercing piece of work…Not only a memorable story but probably an unforgettable one. ”

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David will receive the $1,000 prize as well as a residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Honorable mention goes to Bridget Brewer of Portland, Oregon for “The Hungry Tide.” Contest finalists are Andres Augustine Carlstein for “The Lindbergh Baby” and Jorge Cino for “In Passing.” 

Submission Guidelines

The Doug Fir Award is closed.

We welcome submissions of previously unpublished short stories up to 5,000 words, relating to a sense of place or the natural world, interpreted as broadly or narrowly as you wish.

Please read on for complete guidelines…

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Entry Requirements

An entry fee of $15. Make check or money order in U.S. dollars, drawn on a U.S. bank, payable to Orlo/The Bear Deluxe Magazine. All entrants receive a copy of the issue in which the winner appears. All entry fees are nonrefundable. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for notification of contest results.

Manuscript Format Guidelines

Manuscripts must be typed and double-spaced on 8 ½ x 11 paper. The author’s name must not appear anywhere on the manuscript. Please submit two title pages: one with the story title, author’s name, address, telephone number and email address; and one with just the story title.

If you are not familiar The Bear Deluxe, you can order a sample issue (#32, #29, #26) including  the work of previously published winners and are available for $5. Just email us at beardeluxe@orlo.org with “Doug Fir Sample Issue” in the subject line.

Entries must be postmarked by September 2, 2014. Mail your entry to Doug Fir Fiction Award/Bear Deluxe Magazine, 240 N. Broadway, Suite 112, Portland, Oregon 97227 USA. Online submissions and payments can be made at www.orlo.org/donate (please indicate “Doug Fir submission 2015” in the notes with your payment).

Simultaneous submissions are not permitted. Multiple submissions are allowed but must be mailed separately with separate entry fees. Upon acceptance, Orlo and The Bear Deluxe Magazine assume first-time publishing rights and Web-publishing rights for the period of one year following print publication.


Winner: $1,000 and national publication in The Bear Deluxe Magazine, writer’s residency at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology in Otis, Oregon.

Finalists (1-3): Honorable mention in The Bear Deluxe Magazine

Contest terms and details

– Your submitted story must be an original work of which you are the sole author.

– Submitted stories must be unpublished in both print and Web formats.

– Your story must be submitted in accordance with the eligibility requirements, format guidelines, entry requirements, deadline, and terms, or it will be disqualified.

Please read on for important details…

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– This competition is open to all writers in English, regardless of nationality.

– The Bear Deluxe Magazine reserves the right to edit the winning story for length and clarity upon consultation with the author.

– Entry fees or manuscripts will be returned.

– Participating writers will receive an email notification upon receipt of their submission. If access to email is not possible, include an additional SASE for notification.

– Participating writers will be notified no later than January 30, 2014, of the award results.

– Writers currently involved with Orlo or The Bear Deluxe Magazine are not eligible for the award. To avoid a conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, friends and current or former students of the award judge are not eligible for the award.

– The competition is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

– No phone calls or emails please.

– The decision of the judge is final.