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Published December 02, 2015
carve magazineNow in its 15th year, the Carve Magazine Raymond Carver Contest is one of the most well-known short story contests of our time. From over 1200 entries this year, 2015 Guest Judge: Andre Dubus III made the following selections:

First
"Arrangements" by Charlie Watts in Providence, RI

Second
"Kudzu" by Andrea Bobotis in Denver, CO

Third
"Jack Nicely" by Amanda Pauley in Elliston, VA

Editor’s Choice selected by Editor in Chief Matthew Limpede
"The Giant" by Joe Shlichta in Olympia, WA

Editor’s Choice selected by Associte Editor Suzanne Barnecut
"All That We Burned, All That We Loved" by Laura Haugen in U.S.A.

The winning works are available to read in the Fall 2015 issue of Carve Magazine as well as in full on the Carve website.
Published November 30, 2015
LukeDaniBlueFrom Editor Stephanie G'Schwind's Editors' Page for the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Colorado Review:

Twelve years ago, with the support of Emily Hammond and Steven Schwartz, now Colorado Review’s fiction editor, we founded the Nelligan Prize for Short Fiction as a way to honor the memory of Liza Nelligan, a dear friend and Colorado State University English Department alumna. Nelligan passed away in 2003, and the Prize seeks to celebrate her life, work, and love of creative writing by awarding an honorarium and publication each year to the author of an outstanding short story. This year’s winner, featured in this issue, is Luke Dani Blue’s “Bad Things That Happen to Girls,” selected by Lauren Groff, who says of this story,
The magic in this story is subtle and slow-building and so unprepossessing that, while reading it, I understood I was holding my breath only when the story started to swim before me. Poor Birdie, poor Tricia! This story’s wisdom resides in the complicated web of emotion between mother and daughter, the gnarl of tenderness and fury and frustration and embarrassment, of primal loss and of overwhelming love. It’s a story that aches with truth and desperation, and I marvel at the way Blue ratchets up the motion, breath by breath, to the story’s logical but stunning end.
[Blue's winning story can be found in the Fall/Winter 2015 issue as well as on the Colorado Review website.]
Published November 27, 2015
Glimmer Train has just chosen the winning stories for their September Family Matters competition. This competition is held once a year and is open to all writers for stories about family of all configurations. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

macintyreFirst place: S. P. MacIntyre [pictured], of South Florida, wins $1500 for “Pinch.” His story will be published in Issue 98 of Glimmer Train Stories.

Second place: Christopher Bundy, of Atlanta, GA, wins $500 for “80,000,000.” His story will also be published in an upcoming issue of Glimmer Train, increasing his prize to $700.

Third place: D. C. Lambert, of Haddenfield, NJ, wins $300 for “That Your Reality Is the Only Reality.”

A PDF of the Top 25 winners can be found here.

Deadline soon approaching! Short Story Award for New Writers: November 30
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 is $1500. Second/third: $500/$300. Click here for complete guidelines.
Published November 25, 2015
academy gothic james tate hillSoutheast Missouri State University Press’s annual Nilsen Literary Prize for a First Novel awards a $2,000 prize to winners, publication, and an invitation to read at the University.

James Tate Hill’s winning Academy Gothic was published this past October. The novel follows Tate Cowlishaw after finding the dead body of Scoot Simkins, dean of Parshall College.

From the publisher’s website:
Suspects aren’t hard to come by at the college annually ranked ‘Worst Value’ by U.S. News & World Report. While the faculty brace for a visit from the accreditation board, Cowlishaw’s investigation leads him to another colleague on eternal sabbatical. Before long, his efforts to save his job become efforts to stay alive. A farcical tale of incompetence and corruption, Academy Gothic scathingly redefines higher education as it chronicles the last days of a dying college.
Head over to the Southeast Missouri State University Press website to watch the Academy Gothic book trailer, read more about Hill's first novel, and order a copy.
Published November 18, 2015
mark rogersIssue #192 of The Malahat Review features the winner of the 2015 Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction, Mark Rogers, "Heaven and Back Again, or The Goddit." Of Rogers' winning story, contest judge Elyse Friedman called it "a strange, modern-day fairy tale about children who escape the control of their parents—and the earthly realm—only to return as shells, their essence gone." In addition to publication, Rogers receives $1,000 and is featured in an interview with Jack Crouch on The Malahat Review website.
Published November 11, 2015
snoopy typingThe First Line literary magazine is built on the premise of jump-starting writers' imaginations. The publication provides the first line for writers and accepts fiction and non-fiction submissions for each issue based on that unique first line. Since 1999, readers have been able to enjoy a wealth of creativity that stems from these common start points. Recently, the first line held a contest for - First Lines! They received over 1,000 entries and selected four to use as the first lines for 2016:

Spring: “Unfortunately, there is no mistake,” she said, closing the file. (Submitted by Julia Offen)
Summer: By the fifteenth month of the drought, the lake no longer held her secrets. (Submitted by Julie Thi Underhill)
Fall: Mrs. Morrison was too busy to die. (Submitted by Victoria Phelps)
Winter: In the six years I spent tracking David Addley, it never occurred to me that he didn’t exist. (Submitted by Aysha Akhtar)

"But wait," says Editor David LaBounty, "there’s more. We felt several sentences that were submitted as first lines would have made great last lines, and since we needed a last line for the third issue of The Last Line, we decided to pick one more sentence. We chose the following to be the last line for the 2016 issue."

Issue 3 of The Last Line: It was hard to accept that from now on everyone would look at her differently. (Submitted by Adele Gammon)

In case you weren't sure, The Last Line annual lit mag is the same concept, only flipped: writers are provided with the last line as their prompt.

No excuses writers: you've been prompted!
Published November 11, 2015
get a grip kathy flannKathy Flann’s second collection of stories Get a Grip was released last month from Texas Review Press. Winner of the 20145 George Garrett Fiction Prize, Get a Grip, according to the publisher’s website: “depict[s] a range of imagined lives . . . . All of the characters work out their struggles in the Baltimore region, channeling, in turns, the area’s charm, its despair, its humor, its self-doubt, its compassion. Get a Grip is a book about who we are when the cameras are off and the phone has died.”

Digital and print copies are available on the Texas Review Press website.
Published November 10, 2015
nimrod 37The Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Nimrod International includes the following winners, honorable mentions, finalists and semi-finalists of the 37th Nimrod Literary Awards.

Nimrod Literary Awards: The Pablo Neruda Prize in Poetry

FIRST PRIZE:
Heather Altfeld, CA, “Two Pockets” and other poems

SECOND PRIZE:
Leila Chatti, NC, “Momon Eats an Apple in Summer” and other poems

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Grant Gerald Miller, OR, “Skin” and other poems
Berwyn Moore, PA, “Interferon” and other poems
Emily Van Kley, WA, “Varsity Athletics” and other poems

Nimrod Literary Awards: The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction

FIRST PRIZE:
J. Duncan Wiley, NE, “Inclusions”

SECOND PRIZE:
Emily Wortman-Wunder, CO, “Burning”

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Stephanie Carpenter, MI, “The Sweeper”
Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry, VA, “The Heart of Things”

Published November 09, 2015
dear girl drea brownDrea Brown’s dear girl: a reckoning was released last month. The 2014 poetry winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Competition revisits the biography of poet Phillis Wheatley, reimagining her journey through the Middle Passage to Boston.

2014 Judge Douglas Kearney says of his selection, "Feverishly urgent, vivid, and unironic, dear girl: a reckoning refuses passivity, amnesia, and despair, bringing the bones to our present to begin the work of healing."

Brown’s recent work can also be found in Southern Indiana Review and Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander.

dear girl: a reckoning, a perfect-bound chapbook, is available for sale on the Gold Line Press website, along with the 2014 fiction winner, The White Swallow by Anna Kovatcheva.
Published November 04, 2015
white swallow anna kovatchevaGold Line Press’s annual chapbook contest ended in September, and they released their 2014 fiction winner this past October. Along with publication of her perfect-bound chapbook The White Swallow, winner Anna Kovatcheva has received a $500 prize and contributor copies.

Selected by Aimee Bender, she says of her selection:
The White Swallow has so many things going for it—starkly memorable imagery, strangeness that feels natural to the story, the feeling that the story itself grew up from the earth like a tree, and an ending that defies moralization. It seems instead to reflect the same unpredictable and mysterious quality of the world that also lets birds go into girls and healing to occur and, for inside all that, love to blossom.
Diana Arterian has designed the book, creating a beautiful little package for Kovatcheva’s work. For more information about The White Swallow, check out the Gold Line Press website.
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