2009 Short Fiction Contest Results

This year, we had over 250 submissions to our Short Fiction Chapbook contest. Per our contest code of ethics, we turn submissions over to our editorial panelists to blind-read each manuscript and rank their top choices. After the panel narrows down the first cut with a second reading, the semifinalist stories are given to our judge to make the final decision. This year, Tayari Jones chose "Frost Heaves," by Teresa Stores as the Short Fiction chapbook winner, and Patricia Engel and Margaret Cardillo as the two finalists. Teresa Stores will receive $1000 and her chapbook will be published in Fall 2009.

Of this work, Ms. Jones says:

"Frost Heaves is powerful meditation on grief and reclamation. This is the story of Katherine Crossly, as she assesses her life after a half century of marriage.  What happens when a woman realizes that her dreams were not deferred, but stifled before they are even fully imagined?  Set against the beautifully drawn landscapes of a small town in Vermont, this is the story of a thaw, both literal and metaphorical.

Teresa Stores writes with compassion and insight, finding the inescapable  truths hiding in the plain sight--layered over an ordinary life. With vivid details and an original and convincing voice, "Frost Heaves" manages to be both uncompromising and triumphant.  Teresa Stores is a beautiful writer and I look forward to seeing her work for years to come."

and the finalists are:

Margaret Cardillo "Hysterical"

Margaret Cardillo is a Florida native. She graduated from Boston College and was an Associate Editor at Hyperion Books for Children before being a Michener Fellow at the University of Miami MFA program in Creative Writing. Her children’s book, a biography of Audrey Hepburn, will be published by HarperCollins in 2010. Her writing has also been published in the Sun Sentinel, therumpus.net, and Mangrove.

Patricia Engel "The Bridge"

Patricia Engel's story collection, Vida, will be published by Grove/Atlantic in 2010. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Quarterly West, Harpur Palate, Nimrod, Guernica, Slice, and Driftwood. She is the recipient of the Boston Review Fiction Prize, a Florida Artist Fellowship in Literature, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, Key West Literary Seminar, and a Hedgebrook Residency.




2009 Editorial Panel:

Tayari Jones: Judge

Tayari Jones is the author of two novels, The Untelling (2005), which won the Lillian C. Smith Award for New Voices, and Leaving Atlanta (2002), which received the Hurston/Wright Award for Debut Fiction. Essence magazine has called Jones "a writer to watch." Jones is a graduate of Spelman College, The University of Iowa, and Arizona State University. She is an Assistant Professor in the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark University. Visit her site at www.tayarijones.com

Robin Black

Robin Black's fiction and nonfiction have been widely published, most recently in One Story, Colorado Review, The Southern Review and The Best Creative Nonfiction, Vol I (Norton, 2007).  She has been a recipient of grants and fellowships from The Leeway Foundation, The Macdowell Colony and Sirenland Conference, and is a previous winner of the Pirate's Alley Faulkner/Wisdom Writing Competition, in the short story category.  Her first collection, Bare Roots, is forthcoming from Random House in 2010.

Alma García

Alma García is a 2007 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award recipient, co-winner of the 2007 Narrative Prize in fiction, and a past winner of the Dana Award in short fiction. Her fiction has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Passages North, and Boulevard. She holds an MFA from the University of Arizona. A native of Texas and New Mexico, she lives with her husband and child in Seattle, where she is currently at work on a novel.

Amina Gautier

Amina Gautier is Assistant Professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University. More than fifty-five of her short stories have been published, appearing in Callaloo, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, North American Review, Pleiades, Southern Review, and Storyquarterly among others, in addition to being anthologized in Notre Dame Review: The First Ten Years, Best African American Fiction, and New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, 2008. Her work has been awarded the William Richey Prize, the Jack Dyer Award, the Danahy Fiction Prize, the Schlafly Microfiction Award, and a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

Caitlin Horrocks

Caitlin Horrocks’ fiction has appeared in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009, The Paris Review, Tin House and elsewhere. Her debut short story collection, This Is Not Your City, is winner of the 2008 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction and is forthcoming from Eastern Washington University Press. Her work has been short-listed in Best American Short Stories and has won awards from the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences and the Atlantic Monthly. She teaches at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Sharon Wahl

Sharon Wahl lives in Tucson and helps to run Open Lens Productions, a video production company.  She is currently working on several books of fiction, including Passionate Reason, a novel about love, obsession, and the philosophy of Immanuel Kant.  Her short stories, poems, and essays have been published in The Iowa Review, the Chicago Tribune, StoryQuarterly, Pleiades, the Harvard Review, and other journals.