The Council of Maggies (Maggie Nelson, Shipstead and Smith) have judged and Sonora Review‘s 2023 MERCY Contest Results are here!
Jordan Hamel, “How to give a lecture on how to eat an elephant”
On Hamel’s poem, judge, Maggie Smith writes, “I admire so many things about this poem, which speaks to self-mercy and self-compassion in ways both playful and devastating. I admire how this writer has transformed well-worn ideas and made them new here; the metaphor of the elephant in the room is interwoven with the familiar saying about how to eat an elephant, bringing us to the unforgettable last line: “There are so many rooms I’ve made a meal of.” I gasped.”
Kathryn Campo Bowen, “Pamplona”
On Bowen’s story, judge, Maggie Shipstead writes, ““I admired how structural and technical choices added depth and resonance to the storytelling within this brief, affecting piece. The reader peers out from the maze-like confinement of a mind in decline and then, through an adroit shift in point of view, is resituated in a larger world, on the outside looking in, which feels both like a liberation and a loss.”
Kristi D. Osorio, “Split Ends”
On Osorio’s essay, Maggie Nelson writes, “From its fraught lede on, ‘Split Ends’ kept me riveted. I admire its dark and wry tone, its attention to detail, its nimble leaps in time, its sure-footed narrative voice, and its potent portrait of a relation impossible to live with or leave behind.”
Divya Maniar, “Age of Indifference”
Morgan Louvar, “To See Her Go”
Ali Bryan, “Doe”
Marilyn Abildskov, “The Body Asks Its Questions”
Tamara Panici, “Four Auto-Vignettes”
Jo O’Lone-Hahn, “Cicada (for S., H., S. & C.)”
Winners received $1,000 and future publication in Sonora. All finalists were offered publication as well.
Sonora Review is currently OPEN for general submissions.
We accept previously unpublished submissions in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Typical response time is six months. Please submit only once every six months.
Let us know if you are simultaneously submitting. If your work is accepted elsewhere, we ask that you withdraw promptly on Submittable. Poets may withdraw individual poems by leaving a message on the submission manager stating the title of the poem(s) to be withdrawn.
Sonora Review’s editorial board and designers get swapped out every two issues. The effect of this ever-evolving nucleus of staffers is a shelfful of motley journal spines, each boasting its own aesthetic. Our hope is that our contributors are as disparate as our taste-testers. If you didn’t get published in 1996, try again; the grumpy alum are long gone.
At this time we do not accept unsolicited book reviews or interviews.
PROSE (Fiction / Non-Fiction) should be typed, double-spaced, and include page numbers. We are unable to read prose submissions that exceed 5,000 words. Include a cover letter with your name, address, phone number, and email in the header, and a brief biography.
POETRY (Up to 5 poems per submission) should be typed and submitted in one document, with the titles separated by commas in the “Submission Title” field. You may abbreviate the titles if they do not fit. Include a cover letter with your name, address, phone number, and email in the header, and a brief biography.
Flash Prose should be typed, double-spaced, and include page numbers. We are unable to read submissions that exceed 1000 words. (Due to their length and higher frequency of publication, these pieces will most often be published online, but may also be considered for publication in our print issues.) Include a cover letter with your name, address, phone number, and email in the header, and a brief biography.
Sonora Review accepts online submissions through Submittable.
We are no longer able to accept submissions by mail.