Winner Announcements Coming Soon + Submission Deadline for Writing Awards 46!

Mary Makofske’s “Doldrums Near the End of Empire” (NMW 2017)

Mary Makofske’s “Doldrums Near the End of Empire” (NMW 2017)

Mary Makofske of Warwick, New York has won the 44th New Millennium Poetry Prize for “Doldrums Near the End of Empire.”

She will receive $1,000 and publication both online and in print.

Let’s say you have been paying attention, and you are outraged…might you still revel in an unseasonably warm autumn afternoon? For anyone informed enough to panic, but romantic enough to appreciate this beautiful world while we still can, this poem is for you. –NMW

Evan McMurry’s “Nothing Kinky” (NMW 2017)

Evan McMurry’s “Nothing Kinky” (NMW 2017)

Evan McMurry of Brooklyn, New York has won the 44th New Millennium Fiction Prize for “Nothing Kinky.”

He will receive $1,000 and publication both online and in print.

A soldier hellbent on getting himself honorably discharged, and the waitress who changed everything when he saw the way the sun itself tried to reach her with its gaze. Nothing kinky here… just true young love up against this endless war. —NMW

Adam Sifre’s “Papa’s Parrot” (NMW 2017)

Adam Sifre’s “Papa’s Parrot” (NMW 2017)

Adam Sifre of Wayne, NJ has won the 44th New Millennium Flash Fiction Prize for “Papa’s Parrot.”

He will receive $1,000 and publication both online and in print.

“The story of a bird who traded flight for knowledge, his freedom for the privilege of hearing a certain Old Man spin stories on a typewriter in Cuba, and how those stories began to transform the one who listened.” –NMW

“Apples” by Laura Maynard (2017)

“Apples” by Laura Maynard (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Laura Maynard’s short story, “Apples,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on In Memoriam. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Apples

by Laura Maynard

 

When babies die, people bring lasagne. They  bring bread. They bring pie.

They arrive, single file, wearing dark colours, with empty words and full hands, trying to lessen the void that hangs low in my belly.

“Thank you for coming,” Daniel says. “She’s not really eating much yet.” He unclenches his fists to receive the plate.

He stuffs the casserole dish into the freezer. Bits of snow chip off and fall to the floor. When the whispering voices cease and the front door closes, dishes smash against the walls.

There comes a time when Daniel stops throwing things and begins to cook. The scent of apple pie wafts upstairs and into

Cassady Black’s “Mapping Hana” (NMW 2017)

Cassady Black’s “Mapping Hana” (NMW 2017)

Cassady Black of Denver, Colorado has won the 43rd New Millennium Fiction Prize for “Mapping Hana.”

She will receive $1,000 and publication both online and in print.

“A haunting and enchanting mystery. From the startling first lines to each smoldering revelation, readers will be delightfully lured into this map of a marriage whose true north has vanished in the night.”

Alexander Weinstein’s “The Prophet” (NMW 2015)

Alexander Weinstein’s “The Prophet” (NMW 2015)

Alexander Weinstein of Ann Arbor, MI has won the 40th New Millennium Flash Fiction Prize for “The Prophet.”

He will receive $1,000 and publication both online and in print.

“In this age of miracles and marvels, when the next life-changing technology is just a yearly rollout away, what happens when a Messiah appears to show people the new path? Weinstein’s ‘The Prophet’ imagines this occurrence and humankind’s amusing, unsettling reactions to it. Don’t be surprised to catch a glimpse of yourself in this mirror!” –NMW

“Ember” by Alyson Hagy (NMW 2018)

“Ember” by Alyson Hagy (NMW 2018)

45th New Millennium Flash Fiction Prize

“Ember” by Alyson Hagy of Laramie, Wyoming


Hagy will receive $1,000, a certificate to mark the success, and publication both online and in print.


Ember

By Alyson Hagy

 

She found it when she opened the stove.  It resembled the desiccated carcass of a bird, some tragic dove that had made its way down her lonely, unused chimney.  But when she touched it, it moved.

Or perhaps it pulsed.  Anyhow, a thin throb of color appeared near its center.  So she leaned and touched it again, certain it was a scroll of forgotten ash.  She was an indifferent housekeeper.  It would be just like her to leave behind a modicum of filth.

The thing glowed once more, almost willfully.  It didn’t seem to produce heat.  Just light.  Or a prickling somewhat reminiscent of light.  The asymmetries it displayed were not familiar.  So, despite the faint odor of roasting beets, she closed the stove and went on to other things.

What other things?  Money.  Fresh garden asparagus.  Unpunctuated text messages from her nephews.  She had only been trying to straighten up the house.  A house she didn’t even like.

The stove was the kind that burned wood chopped by stealthy locals.  She used it only in winter.  Because she was between the yawing moments in a life that require true courage, it was late at night before she selected a dramatic bathrobe and returned to the stove.

The glow, what there was of it, had become shivery and sobbing.  Not dependent upon her at all.  The thing appeared to be recovering from some kind of exertion she had not been allowed to witness.  A faint, uncomfortable clawing instigated itself at the roots of her eyelashes.  Had she seen a single tongue of flame or only imagined the licking?  It suddenly became impossible to leave the stove.  She kept vigil for hours.  She offered a saucer of water.  She planned the shopping for agreed-upon meals.  When the cream of morning clotted itself against the window shades, she closed the stove.  But not before she touched the thing again.  Palm to heart, she recited in nervous preparation.  It was important:  Palm to heart.

She tried to go on, with limited success.  There was an entire day spent with her head inside the dark stove, singing.  There was the trembling offer of a folded, handwritten note.

In the end, she filled the stove with splintered logs and unread newspaper and struck the guardian match.  She left the room without a glance.  No burn, she said to herself, sullied and falsely proud.  It never hurt me.  I haven’t changed.  Where, finally, was the viper’s sting?

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alyson Hagy is the author of eight works of fiction, including the forthcoming novel Scribe (Graywolf Press).  Her flash fiction has most recently been published in INCH and Kenyon Review (Online).  She lives in Laramie, Wyoming.

“Ember” © 2018 Alyson Hagy


We’d love to read what you’ve been writing.
NMW’s next literary contest is now open.
Four $1,000 Literary Prizes will be awarded, plus publication.
All writing levels are welcome and encouraged.