Writing Awards 54

Damen O’Brien of Brisbane, Australia for “Begats”

Damen O’Brien is a multi-award-winning Australian poet. Damien’s prizes include The Moth Poetry Prize, The Peter Porter Poetry Prize and the Magma Judge’s Prize. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in many journals including New Ohio Review, Poetry Wales, Cordite, and Island.  His first book of poetry, Animals With Human Voices, is available through Recent Work Press.

Patrick Wilkins of Halifax, Vermont for “Without a Hitch”

Patrick Wilkins lives on a small farm in Halifax, Vermont, with his wife and young daughter. His essays have appeared in Northern Woodlands Magazine and the Pacific Crest Trail Communicator.

Carrie Grinstead of Los Angeles, California for “Ghost Story”

Carrie Grinstead lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Daniel, and their dogs. Her horse lives nearby. Her stories have appeared in Tin House, The Masters Review Anthology, Joyland, and elsewhere. Her first collection, I Have Her Memories Now, won the Howling Bird Press Fiction Prize and was published in October 2022. 

Amina Gautier of Chicago, Illinois for “Persephone”

Amina Gautier is the author of three short story collections: At-Risk, Now We Will Be Happy, and The Loss of All Lost Things. She has published more than one hundred stories. They appear in AGNI, American Short Fiction, Boston Review, Callaloo, Cincinnati Review, Glimmer Train, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, Latino Book Review, Los Angeles Review, Pleiades, Southern Review, and TriQuarterly among other places. She is the recipient of the Blackwell Prize, the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, the International Latino Book Award, the Letras Boricuas Fellowship, and the PEN/MALAMUD Award for Excellence in the Short Story.



Stephen Benz
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Denise Blinn
Ontario, Canada
“We did not know”

Aurora Bones
Edwardsville, Illinois
“Breaking into the Public Swimming Pool, 3:15 a.m.”

Kathleen Calby
Hendersonville, North Carolina
“Rose Jar for a Tiger”

Charlene Cason
Bradenton, Florida
“All That Remains”

Sally Derringer
Nanuet , New York
“ash II”

Joseph Kidney
Palo Alto, California
“The Order of Nature”

Kateri Kosek
Sheffield, Massachusetts
“American Eclipse”

Glenn Moss
New York, New York
“Palm Sunday”

Gunilla Norris
Westerly, Rhode Island
“Old and Singing”

Lisa Ochoa
Tucson, Arizona
“The Peacock”

Ellen Peckham
Riverdale, New York

Alexa Poteet
Washington, District of Columbia
“In Defense of Wildness”

Bridget Rohde
Brooklyn, New York

Joyce Schmid
Palo Alto, California
“Yosemite National Park in Winter”

Faith Shearin
Amherst, Massachusetts

Mark Smith-Soto
Greensboro, North Carolina

Diana Tokaji
Silver Spring, Maryland
“How a Girl Became a Squid”

George Uba
South Pasadena, CA
“Girl Receives Rose, a Narrative”

Courtney Huse Wika
Spearfish, South Dakota


Celine Aenlle-Rocha
New York,New York
“The Harlem House”

Linda Barnhart
Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania
“Lemon Pie”

Greg Bayer
Modena, Italy
“Watchers in the Dark”

Rachel Calnek-Sugin
Brooklyn, New York
“The Dark Place”

Alice Drum
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
“Lightening Up”

Marc Hequet
St. Paul, Minnesota
“Sandstone Sam and the Lobo Girl of Devil’s River”

Susan Hettinger
Olympia, Washington
“In Our House”

Brian Howlet
Ontario, Canada
“The Kill Registry”

Marisa Labozzetta
Northampton, Massachusetts
“The Woman Who Drew on Walls”

Joshua Levy
Quebec, Canada
”The Edge of Portugal”

John Loonam
Brooklyn, New York
“Make the Man”

William Luvaas
Los Angeles, California
“No Way Out”

Erin Malone
La Farge, Wisconsin
“Vulture Culture”

Jennifer McAuley
British Columbia, Canada
“A Thin Line”

Lauren Preston
Monkstown, Ireland
“A Red Dawn”

Sharon Solwitz
Chicago, Illinois
“Sex and History”

Rocky Swingle
San Diego, California
“Big Woman in the Water”

Fiona Thackeray
Perth, United Kingdom
“Cloud Catching in the Realm of the Drought King”

Tom Vacha Williamson
Torrance, California
“… and so I am Everything”

Pete Van Vleet
Ashland, Virginia
“Home Wreckers”


Stephen Benz
Albuquerque, New Mexico
“My Father’s Minotaur”

James Chandler
Marina del Rey, California
“El Aguacero (The Deluge)”

Anne Cooperstone
Brooklyn, New York
“The Gibeau Orange Julep”

Elaine Crauder
Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania
“Item Five”

Tara Dalbow
Brooklyn, New York
“If It’s True, Then”

Deron Eckert
Lexington, Kentucky
“Light of the Night”

Kate Gale
Granada Hills, California
“Fiercely Beloved”

Neal Giannone
New Westminster, British Columbia
“Late Checkout”

Hannah Gildea
Oregon City, Oregon
“Bring Your Dreams”

Joseph Kierland
Glendale, California
“Night Flights”

J. Scott Lane
Raleigh, North Carolina
“Giving Back to the Community”

Jennifer McAuley
Beasley, British Columbia

Mexico Michaels
Anna, Illinois
“Wishing Well”

Keri Miller
Petal, Mississippi

Ogochukwu Ossai
Lubbock, Texas
“Lost at Sea”

Sabien Reck
Clifton, Virginia
“The Mercy of Monsters”

Heather Rolland
Bovina Center, New York
“The Thread”

Anne Salafia
Saint Augustine, Florida

Georgia San Li
Winchester, Massachusetts
“Life, a Fragment”

Lee Sedin
Austin, Texas


Corinne Alsop
Brooklyn, New York
“Intertidal Zone”

Natalie Bograd
Brooklyn, New York
“Breaking is Easy, Healing is Harder”

EJ Bowman
Laguna Niguel, California
“On Teaching Homer for the 6th Time”

Michael Cannistraci
New York, New York
“Assembly Line”

James Carbaugh
Liberty, South Carolina
“A Menagerie of Moments”

Myna Chang
Potomac, Maryland
“We were the wild hunt”

Kevin Daley
Methuen, Massachusetts
“Contemplation of Gravity”

Mark Doo
San Antonio, Texas
“The Gift of Aloha: Reclaiming My Body From Trauma”

Bud Jennings
Salem, Massachusetts
“Right Now, I’m a Chauffeur”

Marianne Johnson
San Diego, California
“Rappelling The Falls”

Leslee Johnson
Asheville, North Carolina
“Kissing the Hurt”

Jen Knox
Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Bridget Lyons
Santa Cruz, California
“Rippling Lines”

Ingeborg Majer
Taos, New Mexico
“Molly and Elvis Forever”

Brooke Mazurek
Reisterstown, Maryland
“Irrational Numbers and Infinite Paths”

Ryan Murphy
Staten Island, New York
“Pam is Freezing”

N. R. Robinson
Charleston, South Carolina
“Remembering It Right”

Morgan Smith
Santa Fe, New Mexico
“One Eyed in Juárez”

Kathryn Wilder
Dolores, Colorado
“Another West”

LaDarrion Williams
North Hollywood, California
“When Black Boys Find Magic”

— Honorable Mentions —


Peter Barton
New York, New York
“Rug Ride”

Gary Beaumier
Grafton, Wisconsin
“The Ukrainian Seamstress”

Ian Catlin
Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania

Martha Davis
Ft. Worth, Texas

Lucille Lang Day
Oakland, California
“Thinking of Juliane Diller, Who Fell from the Sky”

Peter Englot
Newark, New Jersey
“Baking at Night”

Dion Farquhar
Santa Cruz, California

Caroline Freeman
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
“Blackberry Hunting”

Nadiya Greaser
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
“In the apartment with small closets”

Joanne Jagoda
Oakland, California

Mel Konner
Avondale Estates, Georgia
“Smoke That Thunders”

Ariel Machell
Los Angeles, California
“The Moon Waits to Speak”

William Nixon
Kingston, New York
“Why You Should Make Trouble”

Suellen Wedmore
Rockport, Massachusetts
“A Fisherman’s Wife Greets the Dawn Alone”

Ingrid Wendt
Eugene, Oregon
“On Retreat in Mexico, News Arrives from the North”


Erik Abbott
“Death Comes to Antonia”

Daniel Bay
Shelburne, Ontario
“Yellow, Orange, White”

Ross Berger
Los Angeles, California
“Kleiner in the Woods”

Durrell Dawson
Brooklyn, New York
“Floating in the Excess”

Brian Howlett
Toronto, Ontario
“Nail By Nail”

John Kaufmann
Dobbs Ferry, New York
“Some Antics”

Mary Lewis
Decorah, Iowa
“White Caps”

Sandra Marilyn
San Francisco, California
“The Gift from Africa”

John Park
Grove City, Pennsylvania
“Video 201”

Terri Scullen
Fenwick Island, Delaware
“Some (Dis) Assembly Required”

Christian Sears
Medford, Massachusetts
“A Story To Tell The Kids”

Lauren Thurman
Denver, Colorado
“Dead Weight”

Marissa Tian
Houston, Texas
“The Woman at the Lake”

Cynthia Walker
Santa Barbara, California
“The Something Del Mar”

Ying Zhao
Princeton, New Jersey
“The Lighthouse”


Kevin Arnold
Palo Alto, California
“Palo Alto Joyride”

Autumn Bettinger
Portland, Oregon
“Bruised Chrysanthemums”

Daniel Burgos

Winter Park, Florida
“The Man with the Rainbow Face”

Keith Burris

Millvale, Pennsylvania
“Woven for the Wind”

Brendan Craine

Shiraoka-shi, Japan
“Angels’ Glow”

Brad Gyori

Winchester, United Kingdom
“Mushroom Man”

Angela Heis

Camp Verde , Arizona
“The Pencil Test”

Richard Huff

Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
“Had To Take the Shot”

Joseph Kierland

Glendale, California
“Deep Water”

Nancy Lederman

New York, New York
“How Lulu Wound Up at the Meadowlands”

Nikolaos Lekkas

Grand Isle, Vermont
“The Fall of the Bronze Horseman”

Paul Mastrangel

Birmingham, Michigan
“The Vacation”

Donna Obeid

Palo Alto, California
“We Dug Beneath”

Ben Orlando

Arlington, Virginia
“Overcoming the Hump”

Melissa Tsuei

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
“12 to 14”


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

Jaclyn Fowler Wilkes
Barre, Pennsylvania
“10,000 Things”

Idalia Gonzalez
San Jose, California
“My Folklorico Skirt is Store-Bought”

Chris Guppy
Fort Collins, Colorado

Laura Hunter
Northport, Alabama
“All I Have Is Just a Memory”

Ann Kathryn Kelly
Dover, New Hampshire
“The Color of Heartache”

Daniel Lucke
Atlanta, Georgia

Cheryl Merrill
Port Townsend, Washington
“Before We Are Gone”

Amy Myers
Brunswick, Maryland
“Summer of Spiders”

James Reid
Santa Fe, New Mexico
“To Sell a Gun”

Beth Richards
Bloomfield, Connecticut
“How Harriet the Spy Saved My Life”

Mark de Rond
Cambridge, United Kingdom
“Half the Size of a Man’s Hand”

Rich Stim
Sausalito, California
“My Sleep Talker”

Mi West
Stockholm, Sweden
“Giants’ Homes”

Robin Williamson
Riverside, California
“The Switzerland Schedule”

2 thoughts on “”

  1. Great news! Many thanks for the great honor (being chosen as a finalist, for my novel chapter, “Watchers in the Dark”). And congratulation to the winners, the other finalists, and the honorable mentionees.
    –Greg Bayer

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