Writing Awards 52

Melanie Hoffert of Battle Lake, Minnesota for “Bird Rearing During a Pandemic

Melanie Hoffert is the author of Prairie Silence, which won the Minnesota Book Award in Memoir and Creative Non-Fiction. Melanie splits her time between her home in Minneapolis and her cabin near Battle Lake, Minnesota where she is finishing a memoir called Water Land. She can be found at: melaniehoffert.com.

John Cullen of Big Rapids, Michigan for “Almost There”

John Cullen attended school at SUNY Geneseo and BGSU. His work has appeared recently in American Journal of Poetry, Raven’s Perch, Grist, Harpur Palate, North Dakota Review, and Stone Hamilton Review. His chapbook, Town Crazy, is available from Slipstream Press.

Teresa Burns Gunther of Oakland, California for “War Paint”

Teresa’s writing has been recognized in numerous contests and published widely in literary journals and anthologies, including Mid-American Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Next Tribe, Madison Review, Everyday Fiction, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, 2014—A Year in Stories, Best New Writing 2012, and many others. “War Paint” is included in her story collection, “Hold Off The Night”, a Finalist for the Orison Book Prize 2019 and forthcoming from Truth Serum Press, an imprint of Bequem Publishing. Teresa is the founder of Lakeshore Writers’ Workshop, where she offers workshops, classes, and developmental editing services.

Myna Chang’s work has been selected for Best Small Fictions, Fractured Lit, X-R-A-Y Lit Mag, and The Citron Review, among others. She is the winner of the 2020 Lascaux Prize in Creative Nonfiction. She lives in Maryland with her family. Read more at MynaChang.com or @MynaChang.



Jacie Andrews
Bloomington, Indiana
“Yous Hush”

Elizabeth Cain
Lincoln, Montana
“For All the Saints”

Susan Michele Coronel
New York, New York
“How Should I Salute the Flag in this Ghost Town Called America?”

Rafaella Del Bourgo
Berkeley, California
“Grief’s Weird Sister”

Stacey R. Forbes
Tucson, Arizona

Peggy Hammond
Arden, North Carolina
“It’s Possible My Number Once Belonged to Your Deceased Loved One”

Matt Hohner
Baltimore, Maryland
“The Devil is Beating His Wife”

Anya Kirshbaum
Seattle, Washington
“When a Father Becomes a Bird”

George Kramer
Alexandria, Virginia
“Honeysuckle and Flaming Creeper”

Molly Lanzarotta
Hyde Park, Massachusetts
“The Cathedral Is Burning”

Craig McLaughlin
Santa Cruz, California
“The Gates at Tuscany”

Sandeep Kumar Mishra
Blacktown, Australia
“Immigration: A Tree without Roots”

Damen O’Brien
Queensland, Australia
“The Commons”

David Ray
Tucson, Arizona
“Half a Life”

Ed Ruzicka
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
My Orbit”

Tessa Swackhammer
Ontario, Canada
“Farmer’s Market”

Stephen Toskar
Hokkaido, Japan
“The Onion Harvest”

Pamela Wax
North Adams, Massachusetts
“Crossing the Breakwater”

John Sibley Williams
Milwaukie, Oregon

David R. Yale
Bayside, New York
“The Time of My Life


Jade Baird
Victoria British Columbia

Lee Berg
Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania
“Place Settings for the Dead”

Alexandra Blogier
West Newton, Massachusetts

Shannon Bowring
Bath, Maine
“New Mercies”

Katie Cruickshank
Salt Lake City, Utah
“The Bluest Blue”

Broderick Eaton
Bend, Oregon
“An Unkindness”

Shanteé Felix
Catonsville, Maryland
“Mothers of the Night”

Lisa Gornick
New York, New York

Clemintine Guirado
Portland, Oregon
“Walking to Comano”

B.P. Harrington
Conroe, Texas
“Gladly Bear It”

Roger Hart
Havre, Montana
“Area 52”

Michael K, Vancouver
British Columbia
“Chester; or The Snail”

Knox Kipling
Mahomet, Illinois
“Sealing Up the Barn”

Susan Lowell
Tucson, Arizona

Susan Maeder
Mendocino, California
Bright Requiem”

Marc Phillips
Spicewood, Texas
“Pyjama Squid”

Ian M. Plenderleith
Hessen, Germany
“The Cut-Off”

Kathleen Tyler
Wilmington, North Carolina
“The Fish Pond”

Max Wheeler
Carbondale, Colorado

Will Woldenberg
Charlottesville, Virginia
In the Meantime, the Morning”


Karachi, Pakistan
“The Giant and the Sea”

Sheri Anderson 
San Antonio, Texas
“Little Girl”

Iván Brave
Houston, Texas

Mark Cohen 
Oakland, California
“Then Who Am I?”

Eoin Connolly
Lisbon, Portugal
“Breathing Without Thinking”

Christine Duane 
Braintree, Massachusetts

George Eager
Penang, Malaysia
“Alien Love”

Charles Grosel
Scottsdale, Arizona
“A Kind of Revelation”

Gregory Harris
Washington, D.C.
“Amazing Grace”

William Hemmig
Newtown, Pennsylvania
“The Arrernte”

Joseph Jackson
East Sussex, United Kingdom
“Planets Orbiting a Sun”

Maxime Kawawa-Beaudan
Berkeley, California
“English Breakfast”

James Montague
Fresno, California
“Chemistry of Stardust”

Anna Nazarova-Evans
Bristol, United Kingdom
“Treasure Hunt”

Anne-Marie Oomen
Empire, Michigan

Austin Panush
Sacramento, California

Patricia Schultheis
Baltimore, Maryland
“This Thing with Sticks”

Peter Schwartz
Watertown, Massachusetts
“Fortune Cookies Crumble Too”

Morgan Smith 
Santa Fe, New Mexico
“A Blizzard in August”

Eric Stromquist
Astoria, Oregon
“On Top of the World”


Jami Bonyun
Rollingwood, Texas
“My Surrogacy Womance”

Jessica Danger
Mission Viejo, California
“Things That Crawl Like Fear”

Martha-Grace Duncan
Atlanta, Georgia
“Cattle Upon a Thousand Hills”

William Fleeson
Washington, D.C.
“The Road From Dajabón”

Jen Grow
Baltimore, Maryland
“A Catalog of Lies”

Kent Jacobson
Northampton, Massachusetts

John Kaufmann
Dobbs Ferry, New York

Evelyn Krieger
Sharon, Massachusetts
“My Father’s Messiah”

Lynnette Li
Chicago, Illinois
“The Kind of Asian I Am”

Berkeley, California
Map to Mental Illness

Casey McGrath
Marseilles, Illinois
The Burden of Daughters

Vivian Montgomery
Maynard, Massachusetts
“The Clearing”

Jenny Patton
Dublin, Ohio

Allen Price
Cranston, Rhode Island
The Jailed Down Negro

William John Rostron
Long Island, New York
“Someday We’ll Laugh About This”

Lindsay Ryan
San Francisco, California
“The Vanishing Point”

Emily Seibert
Yonkers, New York
“A Place to Bed”

Leanne Stepp
Victoria, British Columbia
“Special Needs”

Melissa Swindell
Athens, Georgia
“Your Mother Kidnapped by Naked Warriors, Details to Follow”

Abe Winterscheidt
Brighton, Massachusetts

— Honorable Mentions —


Parker Bauman
West Hartford, Connecticut
“The Hajj of Canada Geese”

Michelle Bitting
Pacific Palisades, California
“Cows Escape Slaughterhouse, Stampede Through California Neighborhood”

Margaret Blackstone
Brooklyn, New York

Terence Culleton
Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Alan Elyshevitz
East Norriton, Pennsylvania
“A Supermarket in Philadelphia”

Yael Hacohen
Tel Aviv, Israel
“Ghetto Warsaw”

Chris Hanson-Nelson
New York, New York
“Learning to Drive the Freshly Paved Roads of Historic Maps”

Georganne Harmon
Nashville, Tennessee

Preston Hood III
Colrain, Massachusetts
“The Rope”

Lydia K. Valentine
Tacoma, Washington
“sčədádxʷ: həlíʔ-du-but”

Joshua Lindenbaum
Hewlett, New York
“Job Postings for Professors”

Crystal Mayo
Stamford, Connecticut
“On the Brink of a Revolution”

Ruth Osman
San Juan-Laventille, Trinidad And Tobago
“Lost & Found”

Antoine Polgar
East Middlebury, Vermont
“Who I Write For”

Jesse Bryant Wilder
Cleveland, Ohio
“Pancakes or Waffles”


Leslee Becker
Fort Collins, Colorado
“The Visitor”

Anita Cabrera
San Francisco, California
“That Thing”

Mark Connelly
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
“The Long Goodbye”

Josh Flowers
Kent, United Kingdom
“The Last Shanks”

D.B. Gardner
Mason, Michigan
“A Climber in the Garden”

Summer Hammond
Wilmington, North Carolina

Kim Hooper
Capistrano Beach, California
“We Are Not in This Together”

Angela Kelly
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Libby Marshall
Chicago, Illinois
“Cooper’s Hawk”

Sean McFadden
Bokeelia, Florida
“Brewing at Home”

James Overholt
Dandridge, Tennessee

Jonathan Phillips
Sherman Oaks, California
“My Brother, the Pomegranate Tree”

Keith Skinner
Berkeley, California
“Paper Life”

Jonathan Sulinski
Colorado Springs, Colorado
“A Portrait of My Father in Eight Objects”

Caroline Tajasque
Surrey, United Kingdom
“Black and White”


John Baldwin
Encinitas, California
“Love Proof”

Daniella Bonora
Hackensack, New Jersey
“A Lifetime in a Day”

Charlie Brooks
St. Albans, Vermont
“Second Position”

Steven Deng
Orlando, Florida
“In Sense”

Susan Emerson
Westlake Village, California
“The Root of the Matter”

Christina Frei
Montreal, Canada

Grace Godlin
Venice, California
“Good Neighbor Policy”

Burr Henley
Bilgola Plateau, Washington
“Message from a BOT”

Beatrice Hussain
Tyne & Wear, United Kingdom

Molly Lanzarotta
Hyde Park, Massachusetts
“What I Thought about when You Fell off the Mountain”

Maureen McCoy
Ithaca, New York
“The Grizzly Fight”

Mark Perfect
Devon, United Kingdom
“The Invite”

K.T. Roth
Brooklyn, New York
“The Pit and the Teleporter”

Robert Russell
Mukwonago, Wisconsin
“Blink of Luminosity”

Ellen Sperling

Savannah, Georgia


Elissa Altman
Newtown, Connecticut
“Disappearing Act”

Graham Anderson-Dargatz
Sorrento, British Columbia
“The Letter Q”

Kathy Borrus
Washington, D.C.
“A Fond Farewell: An Ode to Cicadas”

Roger Holzberg
Studio City, California
“The Wall”

Annie Kemper
Atlanta, Georgia

Hannah Lund
Lakeville, Minnesota
“Borrowed Breaths”

Margarita Meyendorff
High Falls, New York

Claire O’Brien
Miami, Florida
“A Message to Tina”

Della Patterson
Jamaica, New York
“Where We Fail with Black Representation in Our Media”

William Penne
Tuscola, Illinois
“Technology Ethics Are Human Ethics”

Laura Peters
Graysville, Pennsylvania
“When Mommy Flew”

Mark Shaw
San Jose, California
“The Tiger”

Joyce Tomlinson
Newcastle, Washington

Brahna Yassky
Brooklyn, New York

Nicole Zimmerman

Penngrove, California
“Case Management”

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