Googie: Post-modern architecture influenced by jets, robots, The Space and The Atomic Age. These buildings capture the motions of atoms, orbitals, and parabolas in glass, neon, and steel and aimed to replicate future speculation in real time.

Guesthouse is pleased to announce The Googie Goer Prize for Speculative Prose, designed to honor the best speculative fiction today and harness the community-building power of competition in the arts. One piece of prose will be selected by our judge as the winner and published in Guesthouse issue five in 2020. We hope to model a new formula for our prose contest by borrowing what we see working among our peers and predecessors but also testing the waters of a transparency-based approach. We will divvy up the contest proceeds into four pots. Each submission costs the writer $13.69. After fees, we add $12.00 to the contest pool. From each $12 entry:

  • $3.00 will go directly to the winner as a cash prize;

  • $3.00 will provide an honorarium for our guest judge;

  • $3.00 will go back into Guesthouse’s coffer to pay administrative fees; and

  • $3.00 will be donated to Skull + Wind press, a new indie press initiative founded by Trevor Ketner, a non-binary poet, critic, and a Guesthouse Issue 3 contributor. Learn more about Skull + Wind press here.

We will keep a running ticker on our website, so our readers and submitters can track the growth of the sum pot; we hope that it will be exciting to watch the number grow as we accrue more submissions, and that the extent of the prize money will remain a surprise until our reading period closes. 


Current pot: $342.00


Andrea Lawlor to serve as judge


Andrea Lawlor will serve as the judge for the inaugural Googie Goer Prize. Andrea Lawlor teaches writing at Mount Holyoke College and edits fiction for Fence magazine. Their publications include Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl, a 2018 finalist for the Lambda Literary and CLMP Firecracker Awards. Paul, originally published by Rescue Press in 2017, is out now from Vintage/Knopf in the US and Picador UK in the UK & Ireland. Photo credit: Steve Dillon


Top: Normal Foster recreates Buckminster Fuller’s with Dymaxion Car  (source: , photographer unknown. | Bottom and banner: “The Jetsons,”  ©  Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.  Guesthouse does not own this media, and we perform due diligence to cite original creators.

Top: Normal Foster recreates Buckminster Fuller’s with Dymaxion Car (source:, photographer unknown. | Bottom and banner: “The Jetsons,” © Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc. Guesthouse does not own this media, and we perform due diligence to cite original creators.

  • Each entry may comprise one submission of fiction or hybrid prose no more than 5,000. Deadline is October 31, 2019 at 11:59 PM CST.

  • Send your submission to us via Submittable under the contest category. See link below.

  • Each submission must be accompanied by an entry fee. Multiple entries are fine and encouraged, just pay one entry fee per submission.

  • No identifying information can appear anywhere on your manuscript document or file name.

  • Prose must be previously unpublished, but we welcome simultaneous submissions so long as you inform us (via a note in Submittable) if your work is accepted elsewhere. Submission fees are not refundable.

  • Prose in translation is not allowed. Co-authored works of prose are allowed so long as both parties agree to these guidelines.

  • Prose submissions that contain research elements should cite material appropriately either in the piece or via an attached bibliography.

  • Please do not submit if you have a close, personal relationship to our final judge that would make it so that they could recognize your work. If you want to confirm with us whether or not your entry might present a conflict of interest, shoot us a note and ask.

We’re looking for:

  • prose with a dedication to an underrepresented genre (speculative prose, fantasy, magical realism, prose with fabulist tendencies, weird fiction, hybrid works, futurism, retro-futurism apocalypse fiction, horror stories, et al.)

  • prose that contains innovative characters and spaces that influence our current understanding of entities;

  • prose that showcases unseen scenarios and characters that overcome or succumb to them, told from a place of empathy;

  • and/ or prose that re-defines the speculative tradition within fictional or hybrid works we can’t yet anticipate.

  • People of color, a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities are strongly encouraged to submit.

FAQ: What do we mean by “prose?”

  • Can I submit a speculative prose poem or a series of prose poems? YES

  • Can I submit a speculative lyric essay? YES

  • Can my speculative prose be research-based and/or critical? YES

  • How about editorial prose? Can I submit an article or feature? YES, but interviews are not allowed.

  • Can I submit a personal nonfiction essay? YES

  • Can I submit a traditional short story with speculative themes? YES

  • Can I submit a piece of speculative micro-fiction? YES

  • Can my speculative prose piece have visual elements? YES, so long as text is the primary medium.

  • Can I submit a photo essay or a piece of graphic literature? NO

  • Can I submit work in verse (i.e., line breaks)? NO