2021 Honeybee Prize

Thank you to all who submitted to our 2021 contest and to our wonderful guest judges, Douglas Manuel, Marco Wilkinson, Michael Oatman, and Kate Gale.

Winners in the four categories of scriptwriting, poetry, nonfiction, and fiction are as follows:


Submissions for the 2021 Honeybee Prizes will be open until April 30. Three – five finalists in Poetry, Nonfiction, Script Writing, and Fiction, will be sent to our guest judges, who will select a winner and runner-up. This year’s judges are as follows (more detail below):

Poetry: Douglas Manuel
Nonfiction: Marco Wilkinson
Fiction: Kate Gale
Scriptwriting: Michael Oatman

The winning entry will receive $200 via Paypal, publication in The Good Life Review with an endorsement from the respective judge for that category, and a jar of honey from a Midwest apiary.

The runner-up in each category will also receive an honorable mention on our site and possible inclusion in the Summer 2021 issue.

The contest fee is $15 which will be used to support the prize payout. As a reminder, all of the folks on staff at The Good Life Review are volunteers, donating their time and talents in support of the arts and our common mission.

Submission guidelines are the same as our regular publication guidelines. We will not consider previously published work and request that all personal identifiable information is removed from the attached manuscript. For a comprehensive set of guidelines and genre specific formatting, please visit our general submission page.

Our 2021 Guest Judges

Doug Manuel

Douglas Manuel was born in Anderson, Indiana. He received a BA in Creative Writing from Arizona State University and an MFA from Butler University. He is currently a Middleton and Dornsife Fellow at the University of Southern California where he is pursuing a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing.

His poems are featured on Poetry Foundation’s website and have appeared or are forthcoming in Zyzzyva, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, The Los Angeles Review, Superstition Review, Rhino, North American Review, The Chattahoochee Review, New Orleans Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere. His first full length collection of poems, Testify (Red Hen Press, 2017), won an IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for poetry.

In 2018, he traveled to Egypt and Eritrea with The University of Iowa’s International Writing Program to teach poetry. In 2020, he received the Dana Gioia Poetry Award and a fellowship from the Borchard Foundation Center on Literary Arts to travel to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico to write.

Marco Wilkinson

Marco Wilkinson is a visiting assistant professor at James Madison university and a faculty member in Antioch University’s MFA program. He is also the nonfiction editor for The Los Angeles Review. His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Seneca Review, Terrain, Bennington Review, and elsewhere. His memoir, Madder, will be published in October 2021 by Coffee House Press.

Kate Gale

Dr. KATE GALE is co-founder and Managing Editor of Red Hen Press, Editor of the Los Angeles Review, and she teaches in the Low Residency MFA program at the University of Nebraska in Poetry, Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction and in the Ashland, Ohio MFA Program.

She is the author of the forthcoming The Stoning Circle from the University of New Mexico Press and of seven books of poetry including The Goldilocks Zone from the University of New Mexico Press in 2014, and Echo Light from Red Mountain in 2014 and six librettos including Rio de Sangre, a libretto for an opera with composer Don Davis, which had its world premiere October 2010 at the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee.  

She speaks on independent publishing around the US at schools like USC and Columbia and she speaks at Oxford University.  Her opera in process is https://www.thewebopera.com/.

Script Writing

Image credit: Photo by Frank J. Lanza

Michael Oatman is the former Playwright-In-Residence at Karamu Theater, the oldest African American theater in the country. He is only the second person to hold this honor in the storied history of Karamu, the first being Langston Hughes. In 2011, he won the CPAC Workforce Fellowship and the Cleveland Art Prize in 2010 for Best Emerging Artist and the 2010 Lantern Award for Best Play. He earned an English degree from Cleveland State University in 2004 and completed his MFA in theater from the Northeastern Ohio Master of Fine Arts Consortium in 2008. He is currently an adjunct instructor in theater at Kent State University and The University of Nebraska at Omaha.