Matthew Nye was the 2014 winner and his novel Pike and Bloom was published in February. An American odyssey in miniature, Pike and Bloom maps the trajectories of three characters—Pike, Bloom, and Bloom’s wife Clytie—as they spiral through “the serious blues of Indianapolis,” attempting to construct meaning from the absurd.
Readers can learn more about Pike and Bloom at Northwestern University Press’s website.
In 2014, Shannon Tate Jonas took home the prize with his collection Battle Sleep, which was published January 21, 2016. This is Jonas’s first book-length collection of poetry with copies available from the Brick Road Poetry Press website.
Alyson Hagy [photo: Ted Brummond] has won the thirty-eighth Lawrence Foundation Prize, joining, among other authors, Charles Baxter, Paul Bowles, Susan Dodd, Clark Blaise, Sena Jeter Naslund, Rebecca Makkai, Alice Mattison, and Lynne Sharon Schwartz. The prize is awarded annually by the Editorial Board of MQR to the author of the best short story published that year in the journal. A mature, finely crafted story set in Yellowstone country, Hagy's "Switchback" appeared in the Spring 2015 issue.
$500 Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize
Raymond McDaniel has won the 2015 Laurence Goldstein Poetry Prize, which is awarded annually to the author of the best poem or group of poems appearing that year in the MQR. His poem “Claire Lenoir,” appeared in the Fall 2015 issue. This year’s judge, Paisley Rekdal, writes: “The poem marvelously captures, in tone and form, the very essence of the uncanny: one of the poem’s central subjects. The poem renders the process through which we gain knowledge of ourselves and others both mysterious and terrifying at once, recalling for me Howard Baker's plaintive question during the Watergate trials: What did you know, and when did you know it?”
$500 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets
Katie Hartsock has won the 2015 Page Davidson Clayton Prize for Emerging Poets, which is awarded annually by the editors to the best poet appearing in MQR who has not yet published a book. Poetry Editor Keith Taylor writes about her poem “The Sister Karamazov,” which appeared in our Spring 2015 issue, “We were very impressed by this poet's ability to enter one of the classics and to reimagine it, adding another emotional and metaphoric level to something that a lesser imagination might see as fixed and impenetrable."
First place: David Mizner [pictured], of New York, NY, wins $3000 for “Your Swim." His story will be published in Issue 99 or 100 of Glimmer Train Stories.
Second place: Ezekiel N. Finkelstein, of New York, NY, wins $1000 for “Clayton and the Apocalypse – scenes from an earlier life” and publication in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories.
Third place: Karen Malley, of Holyoke, MA, wins $600 for “Fragile.” Her story will also be published in a future issue of Glimmer Train Stories, increasing her prize to $700.
A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.
Deadline soon approaching for the Short Story Award for New Writers: February 29
This competition is held quarterly and is open to all writers whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5000. No theme restrictions. Most submissions to this category run 1500-5000 words, but can go up to 12,000. First place prize wins $2500 (just increased from $1500!) and publication in Glimmer Train Stories. Second/third: $500/$300 and consideration for publication. Click here for complete guidelines.
Neil Shepard Prize in Fiction
Judged by Molly Antopol
"The Forest" by Sharon White
Neil Shepard Prize in Nonfiction
Judged by Amy Fusselman
"They're Not Pretending Anymore" by Harry Leeds
Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry
Judged by Mike Young
"I Took to Walking Down the Middle of Highways to Avoid Getting Shot" and
"Pageantry Reigned Supreme at the 128th Veiled Prophet Ball" by Annie Christain
Read a the full list of finalists and winners here.
"Farewell the Beagle!" by Susan Richardson
"Time Awaits Her Arrival" by Susan Cowger
"The Secret Historian" by Elisabeth Murawski
Judge Laura Kasischke writes, "This was no easy task. The poetry submitted to the 20th National Poem Hunt Contest was remarkable. The range of styles and subject matters was vast, of course, but the mystery and loveliness of these many pieces remained consistent. Reading such a wealth of powerful poetry, I felt renewed in my hope for the craft. Any art form that calls so many sharp-eyed, witty, passionate minds to it can never die. In the end, I chose the poems that wouldn't leave me alone, the ones I found myself thinking about for days after reading them."
Fiction: "Messiah Complex," Michael Olin-Hitt [pictured]. Judge Bryan Hurt writes, "I was drawn into the story by Josh's kinetic voice and hooked by his spirited and smart digressions. The author carefully and subtly adds so many layers: there's sadness and loss but it's met with optimism and empathy.
Poetry: "Slow Motion Landscape," Sam Gilpin. Judge Victoria Chang writes, "here, grass is 'guillotines,' speech 'wrens us in its folding,' and sunsets 'thrum.' The language is fresh and new in this sequence poem, but even more interesting is the mind behind the poem--one that both thinks and sees abstractions and paradoxes that make the reader read and re-read, think and re-think, see and see again."
The winners' works will be included in the 2016 issue, available in June at the Prism Review website.
Open Minds Quarterly is a publication of "poetry and literature of mental health recovery." The winners of their annual BrainStorm Poetry Contest for mental health consumers is divided over two publications. The first, second, and third-place poems are published in the spring issue, with honorable mentions following in the fall issue. The Honorable Mentions are "The Rain King" by Thomas Leduc, "Ophelia" by Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, "Observational" by Katy Richey, and "The 4th Floor" by Katy Richey.
FIRST PLACE: Doug Cornett, “Maybelline in the Tower"
SECOND PLACE: Will Jones, “The Shed”
HONORABLE MENTION: Elizabeth Kaye Cook, “The Body in Silence”
See a full list of finalists here.