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Published February 24, 2016
With the first-place prize recently raised to $3000 (how fortunate for David!), Glimmer Train has selected the 2015 December Fiction Open winners. This competition is held twice a year and is open to all writers. Stories generally range from 3000-6000 words, though up to 24,000 is fine. The next Fiction Open will take place in March. Glimmer Train’s monthly submission calendar may be viewed here.

David MiznerFirst 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.
Published February 17, 2016
The winners of the 2015 Neil Shepard Prizes appear in the newest issue of Green Mountains Review (v28n2):

green mountains reviewNeil 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.

Published February 16, 2016
macguffinWinner and honorable mentions of the 20th National Poet Hunt Contest are featured in the newest issue (Fall 2015) of The MacGuffin.

First place
"Farewell the Beagle!" by Susan Richardson

Honorable Mention
"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."
Published February 11, 2016
michaelolinhittPrism Review announced the winners of its 2016 poetry and short story awards, as chosen by Victoria Chang (poetry) and Bryan Hurt (fiction).

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.
Published February 09, 2016
maria liem2Maria Tess Liem's "Rice Cracker" was selected from among 179 submissions as the winning entry of the The Malahat Review's Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize. Contest judge Jane Silcott called the work "A beautifully considered piece: driven by quiet emotion, delivered through art and craft." Jack Crouch interviews Liem, discussing her attraction to nonfiction, the difficulties she experiences when writing about 'the personal' as well as the benefits, and what her future writing plans include. The Malahat Review awards $1000 for this prize as well as publication. Liem's piece can be read in the winter 2015 issue (#193).
Published February 04, 2016
open minds quarterly

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.

Published February 01, 2016
ruminate winter 2015The Winter 2015 issue of Ruminate features the first and second place winners and honorable mention of the 2015 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize as selected by Judge Amy Lowe:

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.
Published January 28, 2016
southern poetry reviewSouthern Poetry Review 53:2 features the winner of the 2015 Guy Own Poetry Award. Philip Dacey was the final judge, selecting Ron Watson's “View from Where the Grass Is Always Greener.” In addition to publication, the Guy Owen Award winner receives $1000. Other poets featured in the issue include Charles Atkinson, Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Jody Bolz, Beverly Burch, John Crutchfield, Caroline DuBois, Heather Hamilton, Gordon Johnston, Lynne Knight, Nick McRae, James Najarian, Daniel Joseph Polikoff, J. Stephen Rhodes, Maura Stanton, Ed Taylor, Will Walker, and Charles Harper Web.
Published January 27, 2016
black maria aracelis grimayIn April 2016, Aracelis Girmay’s The Black Maria will start hitting bookshelves. Winner of a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry, The Black Maria “investigates African diasporic histories, the consequences of racism within American culture, and the question of human identity.”

The Whiting Award Selection Committee says the collection is “always in service of a moral vision, a deep concern for who we are, who we have been.”

Copies of The Black Maria can be pre-ordered from BOA Editions LTD website.

[quotes from BOA Editions LTD website] 
Published January 27, 2016
beautiful zero jennifer willoughbyThe winner of Milkweed Editions’s 2015 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, Beautiful Zero by Jennifer Willoughby, is now available. Chosen by Dana Levin, this debut collection is filled with wit and humor and promises relief from the seriousness of real life. Levin likens the collection to “a buoy in the sea at bottom, a life preserver, a raft.”

Those needing a pick-me-up in the middle of these dark winter months can find copies of Beautiful Zero at the Milkweed Editions website.
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