2014 Short-Fiction Award Winners, Judged by Matt Bell

We’re excited to announce the winners of the 2014 Short-Fiction Contest, judged by Matt Bell. Stay tuned for information about our upcoming poetry contest. Congratulations to Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara, Niloo E. Sarabi, and Chelsea Werner-Jatzke for their inventive and heartwarming stories. We had an amazing and highly competitive batch of submissions this year; congratulations to all who submitted!

You can find the full stories in Issue 66, now available for just $12, including shipping.

1st Place: “Animal Encounters” by Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara

 

Buzzard

You hang your laundry out to dry. You wait for his call. You go back to take the clothes off the line. You see a buzzard circling above you in the sky, as if waiting to pick at what will be left of you. You keep your eye on him as he keeps an eye on you. By the time you take down the last of your undergarments, the buzzard tires of not seeing you die. He flies away.  

Rebeca Ladrón de Guevara lives in a tiny, scary house with her pit bull, Auster, in Fullerton, California. She received an MFA in creative writing from Chapman University. Her fiction has previously appeared in Chicago Literati and Genre. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Elizabeth George Foundation grant for emerging fiction writers.

Image by Tom Simpson/Flickr

 

2nd Place: “Bees” by Niloo E. Sarabi

 

            It’s a balmy July-day.
            Sunshine bathes every corner of the vast, brick-covered garden. The air is heavy with the scent of Maman-Bozorg’s1 roses and the sweet smell of freshly cut grass. The silky rose petals still carry the morning dew.
            I reach over and gently hold a tiny bumblebee’s translucent wings between my fingers. They feel like Maman-Bozorg’s sheer drapes, soft & prickly at the same time. I hesitate before putting it in the box then slide the small, squeaky drawer close.

1 Farsi: Grandmother

Niloo Sarabi completed her primary education in Iran and France, and received her MA (English and comparative literature) and MFA (creative writing) from Chapman University. She was the recipient of the Terri Brint Joseph Award for outstanding MFA in 2010, and served as editor for elephant tree. Her literary works have appeared in the Second Voice Anthology, The Southeast Review, w i g l e a f, and Iranian, and her articles and editorials have been published in ABILITY, OH, and Bariatrics Today magazines. A Roshan Institute fellow, she teaches at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Image by Ali T./Flickr

 

3rd Place:  “Every Arrangement” by Chelsea Werner-Jatzke

 

Upstairs and downstairs, women go to bed. As Downstairs Woman feels something unusual like relief, she thinks of the deadbolt. And she sits upright and places her feet on the floor at the side of the bed and she hears Upstairs Woman’s feet touch down on the floorboards above her. And Downstairs Woman hears the creak of floorboards across the ceiling move in the same line she is walking from bedroom to living room and back again.

Chelsea Werner-Jatzke is a writer from New York City living in Seattle. She received her MFA from Goddard College, is a fiction editor at Pacifica Literary Review, and serves as editorial director at Conium Review. She is co-founder of Till, an annual writing retreat, and Lit.mustest, a reading series. She teaches continuing education at Seattle Central Community College and is, or will be, published by Monkeybicycle, Everyday Genius, SpringGun Press, Pif, Beecher’s Magazine, and Tupelo Quarterly, among others. More information can be found at chelseawernerjatzke.com.

Image by Tom Simpson/Flickr

 

Congratulations to the winners and to all who submitted!
We were honored to have such incredibly brilliant short stories to choose from this year.