AWARD: "An Act of Kindness" by Murzban F. Shroff
Murzban F. Shroff is a Mumbai-based writer. His fiction has appeared in 75 literary journals. He is the winner of the John Gilgun Fiction Award and has seven Pushcart Prize nominations. His short story collection, Breathless in Bombay, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books. His collection, Third Eye Rising, was featured on the Esquire list of Best Books of 2021. His novel, Waiting for Jonathan Koshy, was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize and will be published in the U.S. in Fall 2022.
HONORABLE MENTION: "Benny & Bjorn" by Lilia Snowfield Anderson
Lilia Snowfield Anderson was named after a great-great-uncle she never met. Bartending shifts consume her nights and her debut novel draft consumes her days. She lives in a small, Minnesota lake town. Her fiction can be found in The Marrs Field Journal, The Agapanthus Collective, Blood & Bourbon, and more.
AWARD: "Girl Sunplit" by Neethu Krishnan
Neethu Krishnan is a writer from Mumbai, India. She holds postgraduate degrees in English and Microbiology and writes between genres at the moment. Her work has appeared in The Spectacle and is forthcoming in Seaside Gothic and the anthology "Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging" (Volume Silver) from Improbable Press.
HONORABLE MENTION: "Waiting" by Miki Lentin
Miki Lentin completed an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, was a finalist in the 2020 Irish Novel Fair for Winter Sun, placed highly in competitions including Fish Publishing and Leicester Writers, and published in Litro, Storgy, Story Radio, and MIR, among others. Miki volunteers with the refugee charity Breaking Barriers and with foodkind in Greece, and dreams of one day running a café again.
AWARD: "How Busy I Was" by Marjorie Drake
Marjorie Drake, after more than thirty years practicing law in Hartford, Connecticut, recently closed her practice to concentrate on her writing. Her work has appeared in Parhelion Literary Magazine, Grey Sparrow Journal, Five on the Fifth, and elsewhere.
HONORABLE MENTION: "Show and Tell to Remember" by Victoria Lynn Smith
Victoria Lynn Smith writes short stories, essays, and articles. She has been published on Brevity Blog, Wisconsin Public Radio, Moving Lives Minnesota, Better Than Starbucks, 8142 Review, Red Cedar Review, Spring Thaw, Hive Literary Journal, Persimmon Tree, and Jenny. Read more at writingnearthelake.org.
AWARD: "Amelia's Freckle Cream" by Shauna Osborn
Shauna Osborn is Executive Director of Puha Hubiya (an Indigenous arts nonprofit). Their poetry collection Arachnid Verve was a finalist for an Oklahoma Book Award. Other honors include a New Poets of Native Nations Scholarship, a Crescendo Poetry Fellowship, and a National Poetry Award from the New York Public Library
HONORABLE MENTION: "All love poems are horror poems when you are the creature" by R. Thursday
R. Thursday (they/them) is a writer, historian, educator, and all-around nerd. When not subverting middle school social studies curriculum, they can be found reading, playing video games, or writing about space, vampires, comic books, queerness, and on good days, all of the above.
FREE VERSE POETRY
AWARD: "Listen to Gala's mutterings" by Sylvia Anne Telfer
Sylvia Anne Telfer is an international award-winning Scottish poet/short story writer frequently published in anthologies and magazines, a qualified English teacher, and one of her jobs was In-House Publications Manager at the University of Hong Kong. She is a campaigner to halt climate change, a feminist, and an equal rights activist.
HONORABLE MENTION: "In the Name of the Name" by Sunyoung Kay
Sunyoung Kay is a poet located near St. Louis, Missouri who is just beginning the journey of revealing the stories held within.
AWARD: "A Change in Mood II" by Karla Van Vliet
Karla Van Vliet’s newest books are She Speaks in Tongues (Anhinga Press,) poems and asemic writings, and Fluency: A Collection of Asemic Writings (Shanti Arts.) She is a Forward Prize, three-time Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net nominee. Van Vliet is a co-founder and editor of deLuge Journal.
HONORABLE MENTION:"NEWS" by J. Nishida
J. Nishida is a Gainesville poet, writer, editor, tutor, sometimes teacher, and mom. She is one of the hosts of the Thursday Night Poetry Jam at the CMC. She enjoys travel and theatre; studying literature, linguistics, languages, mythology, and fairy tales; and annoying other poets with her experimental poetry.