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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

Anne Gudger’s “Dendrites” (NMW 2017)

Anne Gudger’s “Dendrites” (NMW 2017)

Anne Gudger of Portland, Oregon has won the 44th New Millennium Nonfiction Prize for “Dendrites.”

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

From the expansive first lines to the evocative ending, “Dendrites” invites readers to speed along the author’s gray matter through her most transformative life events. It’s a ride you won’t soon forget. —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

“Perfection” by Molly Seale (2017)

“Perfection” by Molly Seale (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Molly Seale’s essay, “Perfection,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on Childhood/Parenthood. Find the complete list of winners and finalists here and check out this month’s prompts here and share your own musings.


Perfection

by Molly Seale

 

My aunt sits across from me. I have settled in the one rocking chair in her home and my eighteen-month old toddler is climbing onto my lap. “Nurse, Mommy! Nurse!” he demands. He’s weary, always so after a car trip. His eyes are heavy, he longs for the comfort of my breast. “Do you mind?” I ask. “Oh not at all,” she smiles as I lift my shirt and he, my baby, latches on greedily, sleepily, gratefully.

My aunt – Golda is her name – smiles gently, watching me, watching him. She is silky and soft, fragrant and old, so old. Yet she curiously observes the two of us and I venture, “What was your son like at this age?

“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

“Taking Our Time” by Jonathan Segol (2017)

“Taking Our Time” by Jonathan Segol (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Jonathan Segol’s essay, “Taking Our Time,” 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.


Taking Our Time

by Jonathan Segol

 

“Attention: it is now 11:30.  The park will close at midnight.  You have thirty minutes to leave the park.”

The three of us–Roger, Billy and me—could leave this park in two minutes, in any direction.  It’s a small neighborhood park.  But after those instructions blare from the loudspeaker on the golfcart-sized vehicle with its headlight pointed at us, we agree it might take us longer leave to the park.  Thirty-one minutes at least.

“Ice Lessons” by M.K. Sturdevant (2017)

“Ice Lessons” by M.K. Sturdevant (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! M.K. Sturdevant’s essay, “Ice Lessons,” 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.


“Ice Lessons”

by M.K. Sturdevant

 

I’m running next to the lake, leaping and punching through the fog. It’s spring, freezing cold. Heart pounding, I gasp it, I spit it out once more, to let him know that now is a good time. There’s nobody around. Now, Dad. Come now! There are merely millions of shadows, flickers in high-rise windows to the west. I pause on my path, and not even a gull flaps. I can only hear the lake breaking, shifting ice all around, and I hear the plates rolling slicing and shattering little by little: his steady crackle. He is the line being drawn, from here to Benton Harbor, a noise drawn deep under Sister Bay, a shift in the light over Milwaukee.

I’m walking home later, trying to figure out what he was up to, what he wanted to say. I worry I didn’t get the message.

Dad and I go grocery shopping sometimes. He’s so funny about cereal. He mixes up about four different kinds in his bowl. So I ask him,

“From the Garden” by Michele Flynn (2017)

“From the Garden” by Michele Flynn (2017)

The MUSE has spoken! Michele Flynn’s essay, “From the Garden,” is a winner in our first-ever Monthly Muse writing prompt on Parenthood/Childhood.


From the Garden

by Michele Flynn

 

We live in a small city, and tend a shady backyard the size of two Ford Explorers. Half of the yard is covered in paving stones, and the other half is grass.  We buy sod each year, roll it out and water it. It lasts through mid-September and inexplicably dies. My five year old thinks that grass is an annual that comes in rolls like toilet paper. But he also knows that peas come in pods and potatoes must be dug out of the ground.  At least once a week, I pull our tools and Jake in a red radio flyer wagon to a sunny community garden plot one block from home. We don’t grow prize winning tea roses. We play in the dirt, and bury seeds, wait for them to sprout and ask questions: “Will it grow to the sky like in Jack and the Beanstalk?” “Will it be red?” and most importantly, “How does it taste?”

Jake and I live a parallel life in the garden, one with

Miah Jeffra

Miah Jeffra

Winner of the 43rd Writing Contest for Flash Fiction (2017)

Miah Jeffra of San Francisco, CA has won the New Millennium Flash Fiction Prize for “Growl.”

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

Miah’s story, ‘Growl,’ pays homage to that most primal noise. It is a reminder that inside all of us lives an animal, and in the moments our passions are most inflamed — by anger, by hunger, by lust — the animal must be heard.

READ “GROWL” (coming soon)

Miah JeffraMiah Jeffra is the author of The First Church of What’s Happening (forthcoming, Nomadic Press, Fall 2017), and has been awarded the Sidney Lanier Prize and Clark-Gross Award for fiction, and a 2014 Lambda Literary Fellowship for nonfiction. Jeffra is Editor of queer literary collaborative, Foglifter Press.

Read Miah’s advice on writing here.

Michele Leavitt

Michele Leavitt

Winner of the 43rd Writing Contest for Nonfiction

Michele Leavitt of Gainesville, FL has won the New Millennium Nonfiction Prize for “Hidden in a Suitcase.”

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

“On reunion and loss, on being back in the fold and being caught in the web, on free will and the things we cannot change. One woman’s story about finding the family she never had and the heartbreak that can come from having so many people to love.”

READ “HIDDEN IN A SUITCASE”

Michele LeavittMichele Leavitt, a high school dropout, hepatitis C survivor, and former trial attorney, writes poetry and nonfiction. Her essays appear most recently in Guernica, Sycamore Review, Grist, Hippocampus and Catapult. She’s the author of the Kindle Singles memoir, Walk Away.

Michele shares her advice on writing here.

Learn more on her website and connect with her on Twitter.