William Faulkner – William Wisdom
Creative Writing Competition

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. is pleased to announce the winners, runners-up,  short lists, other finalists, and semi-finalists in all categories: Novel, Narrative Non-Fiction, Novella, Short Story, Novel-in-progress, Essay, Poetry, and Short Story by a High School Student.  The complete results of the competition are as follows:



Millard Salter Will Kill Hemself This Evening, Jacob Appel, New York, NY


The Last Bird(The Life of Adrian Mandrick), Chris White, Bainbridge, IN

Judge John Gregory Brown, winner of numerous prizes for his critically acclaimed literary fiction, had this to say about his selections:

The clear winner is Millard Salter Will Kill Himself This Evening. It is a remarkably astute and funny novel about death, utterly convincing in every way. If this author isn’t an elderly psychiatrist from New York, then the novel is a feat of astounding research and ventriloquism. Even if he is, though, it’s nevertheless a wonderful artistic accomplishment, rich with character and complication and detail, with both heartbreak and joy. I just loved it.
The runner-up is The Last Bird (The Life of Adrian Mandrick), a very fine novel, both disturbing and deeply moving, about a man’s quest to overcome his childhood trauma and confront the awful damage he has inflicted upon his own family and upon himself. The novel is stark and disturbing and ultimately redemptive.

I have no doubts that both of these novels are publishable.


Chasing Perfection, Jeremy Banks, Lake Providence, LA
For Every Man A Country, Dan Turtel, New York, NY
Lifeswork, Claudia Hoffman, Madison Heights, WI
The Mapmaker’s Daughter, Joel Freiburger, Glen Ellen, IL
Where Ground Gives Way to Water, Emily Capdeville, New Orleans, LA

Adventures of An Artificial Girl, Jessica Wilder
A House on the Spit, Frances Burke, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
A Ladder in the Dark, Greg Jones, Orinda, CA
Another Day in Paradise, Charles Crowder, Santa Ana, CA
Ashram, Jonah Steinberg, Burlington, VT
Beautiful, Terrible Things, Stephanie Vanderslice, Conway, AR
Cane Press, Nancy Brock, Columbia, SC
Castaway in Kingdom Come, Robert Hambling Davis, Newark, DE
Chasing Perfection, Jeremy Banks, Lake Providence, LA
Don’t Look Now, Charles Holdefer, Brussels, Belgium
Eldedeena Empatha Mae, Debra Sharon Davis, Westlake Village, CA
Fire on the Island, Timothy Jay Smith, Nice, France
First You Swallow the Moon, Kip Wessel, White Bear Lake, MN
For One Thing She Did
, Lise Brody, Pepperell, MA
Free Love, Mary Hutchins Reed, Chicago, IL
Green Sea of Darkess, Kenneth Roux, San Francisco, CA
Happy Indiana, Marcy Campbell, Wooster, OH
Innocence, Mike Ditchfield, Edgartown, MA
John Lee, Mary Fancher, Baldwinsville, NY
Marking the Division, Jacqueline Guidry, Kansas City, MO
Max and Heinrich, Peter Saenger, New York, NY
Patron Saint of Superheroes, Chris Gavaler, Lexington, VA
Plexus, Krista Mastrangelo, Kennesaw, GA
Prodigal Son, Lawrence Wells, Oxford, MS
Relative Truths, Tena Russ, Riverwoods, IL
Rennie, Lou Dischler, Spartanburg, SC
Ridgeland, Paul Byall, Savannah, GA
River Keepers, M. A. Kinghorn, Beaufort, SC
Saving the Music, Vincent B. “Chip” LoCoco, New Orleans, LA
Saving Toby, David Bennett Carren, Edinburg, TX
Someday Everything Will All Make Sense, Carol LaHines, New York, NY
Something in the Water, Kaye Park Hinkley, Dothan, AL
Spirit Lamp, Gerry Wilson, Jackson, MS
Staccato Man, Simon Russell, Elwood, Victoria, Australia
Taking the Expat Exit, Robert Raymer, Sarawk, Malaysia
Theatre of the Invisible, Alan Davis, Moorhead, MN
The Alchemy of Secrets, Priya Balasubramanian, Gold River, CA
The Animal Lovers, Steve McNutt, Iowa City, IA
The Best Offense, Julie Ann Candoli, Austin, TX
The Changeling Professor, Leslie Wheeler, Lexington, VA
The Goddess of Love, Michael Power, Bronx, NY
The Husbands Anonymous, James Evangelidis, Sydney, Australia
The Last Roman, J. A. Grierson, Devonport, Auckland, Australia
The Miser, Shane Finklestein, New Orleans, LA
The Monarch of Heedless Wings, Peter McDougal, Atlanta, GA
The Poppy Field
, Caroline Kellems Godoy, Guatemala City, Guatemala
The School for the Intolerably Strange, Leah Levy, Austin, TX
The Untold Tragedies of Ethan, Morton, Jonathan Hale Rosen, Burlington, CT
The Watching Trees, Marco Rafalá, Brooklyn, NY
This World or Another, Dwaine Rieves, Washington, DC
Timir, Nishith Singh, Lafayette, IN
Twisted Roots, Linda Lee Meehan, St. Helena, CA
What Now, Lieutenant, Frank Porter, Cambridge, MA

4-F, Justin Kramon, Philadelphia, PA
21st Century Slave, Alexander Blum, Buffalo, NY
A Body At Rest, Jonathan Liebson, Brooklyn, NY
Bristlecone Falls, Joseph S. Rice, Columbia, SC
Abundance, Michael Fine, Scituate, RI
Afterlife Recordings, Alicia Tubbs, Tucker, GA
A Gathering Place, Vicki Salloum, New Orleans, LA
Allison’s Fostoria Versailles, Susie Slosberg, Bronxville, NY
An Unexpected Gift from a Growling Fool, Robert Raymer, Sarawak, Malaysia
Ariachne’s Thread, Washington Irving, Newport, RI
Backwater, Valerie Nieman, Greensboro, NC
Bee’s Mountain, Scott Archer Jones, Angel Fire, NM
Bloodstock, Irene Mosvold, Louisville, KY
Burning Under, Thomas Bennitt, Lincoln, NE
Caught in a Mousetrap, Robert Raymer, Sarawak, Malaysia
Chilton County Peaches, Jane Barron, Tuscaloosa, AL
Chocolate Kid, Mark Mitchell, Greenville, SC
Cinder Allia, Karen Ullo, Baton Rouge, LA
Cleaning House, Jennifer Boddicker, Lake Worth, FL
Cold River City, Leslee Becker, Fort Collins, CO
Comatose, Antonio Estrella, Singapore
Continuation, Noreh Millar, St. Louis, MO
Copper Sky, Milana Marsenich, Polson, MT
Cottonwood, Michael Welsh, Sioux City, NE
Cumberland Island: A Love Story, Rita Welty Bourke, Nashville, TN
Deep Fried, Mark Doyon, Winchester, VA
Dido’s Crown, Julie K. Rose, San Jose, CA
D’Leaux, Louise George, Ocean Springs, MS
Earth to Heaven, Patricia Ruth, Round Rock, TX
Ellen and the Three Predictions, Allayne Smith, Lawrenceville, GA
Every Ripple in God’s Water, Maria Paz Magliano, Berkeley, CA
Geography, D. M. Gordon, Leeds, MA
Go Home, Sohrab Homi Fracis, Jacksonville, FL
Holding Cassandra, Susie Slosberg, Bronxville, NY
It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way, Mary Rowen, Arlington, MA
Juggling Chainsaws, Steve Bensinger, Sierre Madre, CA
Lair, David Garvin, Staten Island, NY
Land of Lost Souls, Jody Hadlock, Colleyville, TX
Let the Glory Pass Away, James McCallister, Columbia, SC
Little Fish, John K. Scariano, Alberqurque, NM
Lucky in America, William Littlejohn, Holland, MI
Martha & Grace, Katherine Vaz Cerf, New York, NY
Miss Kitty’s Ghost, Katherine Delaney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
Mother City, Starner Jones, Houston, TX
Murdered by the State, Joyce Largen, Charlottesville, VA
On Death and Flying, Tim Martin, Sandpoint, ID
Parting, Ward Brian Zimmerman, Boone, NC
Petrichor, Matthew Clark Mulligan, New Orleans, LA
Riding the Wheel, Mary Lou Northern, Louisville, KY
Raj-Tan, Tom Zuzich, Chicago, IL
Rosa, Barbara de la Cuesta,
Running Out, Dave Essinger, Bluffton, OH
Ruxandra: Granddaughter of Vlad the Impaler, Susan Kagan,
Metairie, LA
Ruya, Neslihan Stamboli, Nisantasi, Turkey
Salty to the Sea, Riccardo Savini, Chevy Chase, MD
Screaming in Silence, Steven D. Hiller, Kenton, OH
September, Catherine E. Philhower, Tiskilwa, IL
Seventh Day, Seventh Month, William West, Austin, TX
Sicilian Flames, Anita Crocus, Bellevue, WA
Slanted Light, Teddy Jones, Friona, TX
Somebody Has To Worry, Jody Hobbs Hessler, Charlottesville, VA
Sophie’s Shadow, Cat Lynn Boyle, Spicewood, TX
Standing on the Dead, Abigail DelBianco, Newtown, PA
Stay, Madonna Ball, Omaha, NE
Still Tides, Katarina Boudreaux, New Orleans, LA
Strange Grace, Stephanie Smith, Gainesville, FL
Sun, Miriam Herrin, Greensboro, NC
Sweet Bye and Bye, Anne Randolph, Denver, CO
Sybelia Drive, Karin Cecile Davidson, Columbus, OH
The Comedy Sensation of Tipper and Chase, Lou Dischler, Spartanburg, SC
The Deeper the Water, the Uglier the Fish, Katya Apekina, Los Angeles, CA
The Flight of the Pickerings, John Grayson Heide, Glen Ellen, CA
The Ginger Rogers Theory, Elaine Crauder, Havertown, PA
The Girl with Green Hair, Nancy DeMarco, Mason, NH
The Graduation of Tom Ryan, Daniel Scavone, Belle Mead, NJ
The Heights of Life, Helen Archeris, Newark, NJ
The Last Outrageous Woman on Earth, Jessica H. Stone, Bellingham, WA
The Look Thief, Elizabeth Harris, Austin, TX
The Many Wars of Beanie Taylor, Michele Ivy Davis, Escondido, CA
The Mourning Parade, Dawn Reno Langley, Durham, NC
The Two Mothers of Jimmy O’Reilly, Laura S. Edwards, Crystal Lake, IL
The Perfect Place, Robert Brown Butler, Mahopac, NY
The Prince of Foul Weather, John Henry Fleming, Tampa, FL
The Shores of Our Souls, Kathryn Brown Ramsperger, Rockville, MD
The Summer of Sizzle, Robert Raymer, Sarawak, Malaysia
The Star I Flee, Irene Tervo, Simpsonville, SC
The Tools of Ignorance, Mark J. Havlik, Huntersville, NC
Trencadis, Paul Byall, Savannah, GA
Unfit, Duncan Freeman, New York, NY
Waking the Dead, Dana Brantley-Sieders, Nashville, TN
When the Levee Breaks, Melissa Scholes Young, Rockville, MD
Where Paths Meet, Cleda Hedrich, Bonita Springs, FL
Where There’s Smoke, Heather E. Goodman, Douglassville, PA

Narrative Non-Fiction Book

How to Eat Ali’s Mother, Adriana Páramo, Kissimmee, FL

Judge Daniel DeVisé, Pultizer Prize journalist and non-fiction author, had this to say about the winning manuscript:

In the first paragraph of How to Eat Ali’s Mother, we learn that the narrator has left the tropical splendor of her native Colombia to join her fiancé in frostbitten Alaska, and already we fear that this love story is not going to end well. When she persuades him to accept a transfer to Kuwait, our fears are confirmed. Beautifully written, rich in emotion and pathos, How to Eat Ali’s Mother artfully chronicles the disintegration of a climatically challenged marriage. The narrator, a Latin-American anthropologist, escapes from the prison of a passionless union into the arms of a dashing British soldier, consumed by guilt and lust in roughly equal measure. But this is really two books. The first is a steamy Harlequin of desire, betrayal and regret; the second, a sober and unsettling meditation on Middle-Eastern gender rights. No sooner has the narrator touched down in the Persian Gulf than she finds herself captivated by the plight of the women around her: Indian maids, herded like cattle into roach-infested slums and paid pennies an hour; Kuwaiti students, pampered and privileged but powerless to choose a husband or cast a vote; and even the expatriate “oil wives” like herself, wiling away lonely hours in empty manor homes as their husbands toil for British Petroleum. Much of the book’s second half chronicles the narrator’s many secret visits to a grimy work camp for Indian maids as she assembles a dissertation for a doctoral program that invests her frivolous life with purpose. The two narratives complement each other; indeed, one feels like penance for the other. The narrator’s deep well of empathy for the human suffering that surrounds her ultimately redeems a story that might otherwise feel self-absorbed and trite. In one scene, the narrator sobs into her pillow about her mundane concerns as she prepares to decamp with her loving-but-remote husband to a nine-bedroom home with “a basement the size of a squash court.” In the next, she races around Kuwait City with her stricken maid, laboring valiantly to find someone to treat the poor woman after a botched (and very illegal) abortion. At that moment, we want to forgive her bourgeois sins.


Land’s End: Field Notes and Photos from “the End of the World,”
C. E. Richard, Lafayette, LA

Well-written, well-argued, and clearly well-researched, this manuscript contemplates a literal loss of place in a section of French Louisiana where rising seas have swallowed a swath of coastland the size of Delaware: more territory, the author notes, “than our country would ever tolerate losing otherwise without going to war.” And yet, this historic erosion has “passed all but unnoticed,” except among those who live there.

Losing Glynnis, Roz Kuehn, New York, NY

This is nonfiction that reads like a novel: a cleverly worded, carefully detailed account of how one woman’s seemingly terminal breast cancer affects the various characters in a loose circle of girlfriends who rally around her to deliver Chinese carryout, wash dishes, and clean the cat box. We soon learn there is more at stake here than the life of the narrator’s sick friend; the titular “Glynis” is not the one with cancer.

Homeless Tigers
, James Miller, New Orleans, LA
My Beautiful Tigers: A Maverick Mother’s Journey,
Rosemary Daniell, Savannah, GAz
Ridiculosity – a Deployment to Afghanistan, Todd Campau, Austin, TX
The Mother Factor, Gail Waldstein, M.D., Denver, CO

Against the Wind, Frances Burke, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
A Good Southern Widow, Kathleen McGuire, Tybee Island, GA
Couch Surfing: The Musical, Gary Pedler, San Francisco, CA
Irish Daughter: A Real Life Fairy Tale, Ann McCarthy Cash, Napa, CA
Me and Jane Eyre, Marina DelVeccio, Cary, NC
Rise Up!, Connie Harris, New Orleans, LA
Tenebre, Dan Flanigan, Fairway, KS
The Way Everyone Wants to Be Loved, Mal King, Santa Paula, CA

Daddy’s Leg
, Kathy Manley, Chapmanville, WV
Draft Card, Mike Russell, Kentfield, AA
Holding on to Right Side Up, Pat Gallant, New York, NY
Let’s Get Lost, Holly Maurer-Klein,
Shall I Be Mother, Lisa Solod, Savannah, GA
Through The Tibetan Mirror, Nitya Prema, Avery, CA
The Aviatrix, Rachael Peckham, Huntington, WV
Twenty-Six Point Freaking Two: The Memoirs of an Emotionally Unstable,
Middle Aged Marathoner
, Nita Sweeney, Columbus, OH
What Goes Around, Frank Light, Arlington, VA

, Andrew Plattner, Atlanta, GA
Judge Julia Glass, National Book Award winner, who also won the Faulkner
Society’s gold medal for best Novella, had this to say about her choice for
This is a bittersweet tale of two stubborn, independent souls searching for security and a respite from the solitude they seem unable to surrender. It is also an evocative snapshot of a particular kind of life in New Orleans, one lived far from the decadence and dazzle, the bons temps of Mardi Gras or touring the Quarter. 

Drunk with Fire, Daniel Turtel, New York, NY
Opulently humorous and sinister at once, this novella is a narrative maze in which one man’s intertwined obsessions with Beethoven and an elusive woman build to a violent twist that sent me, irresistibly, right back to the beginning. 

The Sealed Room, J. L. Montavon, San Francisco, CA
What starts as a mystery surrounding a magnanimous but unsettling gift becomes a morally complex fable about the relationship between a master artist and his pupil, one that extends—with dark repercussions—well beyond the grave.

Abraham’s Wound, Tadzio Koelb, Brooklyn, NY
Dora, Lesley Hardy, Oxford, OH
Further, Deb Jannerson, New Orleans, LA
Molly’s Hope, Timothy C. Hobbs, Temple, TX
Newborn, Agustin Maes, Oakland, CA
See No Evil, Leslie Anne Daniels, Thorold, Ontario, Canada
The Love Bank , Marilyn Moriarty, Roanoke, VA
The Trouble with Goats, Patricia Anne Jackson, Littleton, CO
Uncle Phineas and the Letters, Philip Erickson, Saint Paul, MN

After Image, Carol LaHines, New York, NY
Liberty Avenue, Brian Cousins, Pittsburgh, PA
Sayoshyant, Clyde Derrick, Claremont, CA
Silver Spoon, Bonnie K. Kidd, Ocean Springs, MS
Stronger Then Blood, Yoruba Baltrip-Coleman, New Orleans, LA
The Kennedy Diary, Steve Bensinger, Sierra Madre, CA
The Living Dead Girl, Kathryn Brackett, Spartanburg, SC
Tower of Ivory, Alison Withey, Newberg, OR
Triptik, Marilyn Moriarty, Roanoke, VA
Wishing Glass, Nancy Brock, Columbia, SC
Without the Wind, Eric Wieman, Louisville, KY

Abilene, Dare Delano, Valley Center, CA
A Visit to My Father with My Son, Edward M. Cohen, New York, NY
Day of the Dead, Patricia Grace King, Durham, UK
Jade Disease
, Alison Withey, Newberg, OH
Pieces of Moonlight, Mary Embree, Port Hueneme, CA
The Poor Player, Calvin Jones, Winston-Salem, NC

Short Story

Gracie Under Fire, Paul Negri, Clifton, NJ

Judge Adam Johnson, winner of both the Pultizer Prize and the National
Book Award, had this to say about his choice for winner:

Closely observed and darkly comic, Gracie under Fire disarms the reader early. Though the story opens with a young narrator revealing her sexuality at a funeral, this deft story is neither a meditation on loss nor a coming-out narrative; instead, themes of frailty, exclusion, vulnerability and inevitability intersect when Judith insinuates herself into the life of an ailing Gracie. A rare and delicious character, Judith can’t help but usher herself into front-row seating for the final screening of other people’s lives.

Davie’s Wrist, Dan Turtel, New York, NY
A casual hook up could become more, much more, in this rich tale of a bad night that surprisingly swings toward the good. Yet this young narrator, overly acquainted with life’s bad outcomes, has unfortunately learned to leave good enough alone. The result is a thoughtful study on the ways in which loneliness can be preferable to high risks of fulfillment. 


Band of Gold, Floyd McLamb, Poplarville, MS
Close Encounter, Petra Perkins, Highlands Ranch, CO
Fortress of Solitude
, Andrew Cominelli, New Orleans, LA
Revenge, Mary Bradshaw, Flowood, MS
The Hunt, Elizabeth Ginn McKinley, Jackson, MS


After Shock, T. D. Arkenberg, Arlington Heights, IL
Butterflies of Damascus, Agnieszka Miter, New York, NY
Collateral Damage, Mike Ditchfield, Edgartown, MA
Conversation at the Meuse, Mary Bradshaw, Flowood, MS
Doc, Paul Bartkiewicz, Sacramento, CA
Empty Eyes, Deb Jannerson, New Orleans, LA
Horsewomen, Hayley Lynch, New Orleans, LA
Isle Royale, Mark Munger, Duluth, MN
In the Name of the Father and the Son, Frank Cox, Atlanta, GA
Lifus Moon, Becky Browder, Jacksonville, AL
Long Time No See, Bruce Wexler, Elmhurst, IL,
Kitchen Door, Anita White, Baton Rouge, LA
Racing the Storm, Sudy Vance Leavy, Athens, GA
Ready, Jamie Spirito, Carlsbad, CA
Snip, Nancy Antle, New Haven, CT
Saving the Jews, Paul Negri, Clifton, NJ
Sold, Lily Huage, Garyville, LA
Some Cold War Blues, Dan Flanigan, Fairway, KS
Swan Lake, Susan Levi Wallach, Columbia, SC
The Chosen, Lottie Boggan, Jackson, MS
The End of Infinity, David Bennett Carren, Edinburg, TX?
The First Time I Beat a Chicken, Chandra Garcia, Phoenix, AZ
The Man Who Saved Baseball, Mike Tuohy, Jefferson, GA
The New World, Liz Gruder, New Orleans, LA
The Royal Road to Big Fish, Jack Stillwagon, Hamilton, NY
Unclean, Alysia Anderson, Folsom, LA
Way Station, Susan Kagan, Metairie, LA
When the Levee Breaks, Leslee Becker, Fort Collins, CO

American Forest Creatures, Max Diksztejn, San Francisco, CA
A Girl Called Penny, Jacqueline Guidry, Kansas City, MO
An Eventful Visit, Carlene Singleton, Brandon, MS
Anonymous, Max Diksztejn, San Francisco, CA
Another Strange Land, Ashley Anne Howard, Boston, MA
An Unseen Success, David Hernquist, Smyrna, GA
Apple Cake Rising, Elaine Crauder, Havertown, PA
Kim Bradley, St. Augustine, FL
At the End of the Sidewalk, Erica Arnold
Bullshit, Peter McDougal, Atlanta, GA
Cotton, Nancy Brock, Columbia, SC
Crimea, Mon Amour, Ania Savage, Denver, CO
Dialogue, Elias Carrier, New Orleans, LA
Grandfather, Paul Steele, Beaufort, SC
Emily and Jackie, Mary Summers Whittle, Charlottesville, VA
Expecting, Maureen D. Hall, West Tilsbury, MA
Flowers in Winter Light, Maureen Welch, St. Augustine, FL
Harold’s Riddle, Joyce K. Gordon, Glencoe, IL
Horror on Duke Street, Leslie Anne Daniels, Thorold, Ontario, Canada
How to Overcome a Painful Obsession, Obert Fittje, Tallahassee, FL
Hunting el Chupacabraj, Christopher Weber, Reno, NV
I Was Different Before They Hit The Ground, Kalista Puhnaty, Idylwild, CA
It Could Have Happened Like This, Nancy Avery Dafoe, Homer, NY
L.A. Siren, Scott Archer Jones, Angel Fire, NM
Laughter, Joy Shane,
Losing My Religion, Brian Ward Zimmerman, Boone, NC
Love Letters, Valencia Hawkins, New Orleans, LA
Lower Case Love, Geoff Schutt, Salem, MA
Mama Tends the Hearth, Maudie Walker, Dowagiac, MI
Melanie, Lesley Hardy, Oxford, OH
Officer Boyle and Mrs. Wheeler, Joyce J. Davis, Northbook, IL
On This Day I Die, Mark Summerville, Pulaski, PA
Perpetual Messiah, Mal King, Santa Paula, CA
Play the Hand You Are Dealt, Mary Hutchins Reed, Chicago, IL
Quarter Tone, Nelson A. Blish, Rochester, NY
Saladis Are Better, Parsa Sheikholeslami, Idykwild, CA
Sisters, Katharine Scales Thompson, Allston, MA
Stranger on the Road, Erica Arnold
The Artificial Heart, Elaine Crauder, Havertown, PA
The Black Hole of Shady Acres, Mike Tuohy, Jefferson, GA
The Bluebells of Bonny Forest, Cynthia Morrison, Palm Beach, FL
The Miracle of Fatima, R. L. “Pete”Peterson, Escondido, CA
The Plumber’s Daughter, Paul Negri, Clifton, NJ
The Porter, Pat Gallant, New York, NY
The Sainted Aunt, Scott Archer Jones, Angel Fire, NM
The Whales, Abigail Delbianco, Newtown, PA
Thirty-Nine Hours, Lottie Boggan, Jackson, MS
Undertow, Susan Folkes, Richmond, VA
West Nothing (And The Birds), Elissa C. Huang, West Hoboken, NJ


Took, Brenda McClain, Ashland City, TN
Judge Chris Baty, Founder of the National Writers Month and Creative Writing teacher at Stanford’s Writing Studio, had this to say about the winning manuscript:

When we meet Edward James McMahon, he’s an 18-year-old policeman speeding down a country road towards his destiny. It’s 1951, and he’s on his way to arrest Eula Bates, a shotgun-wielding farmer locked in a stand-off with government officials. The feds are taking her land to build a nuclear weapons plant. She’s not leaving without a fight. What unfolds between Edward and Eula when he arrives changes both of them, and sets this heartfelt, magical book in motion. Eula Bates and the nuclear plant are both real, and I loved how the author uses a forgotten piece of American history as a backdrop for this tale of family secrets, betrayal, and re-connection. The writing beautifully captures the eagerness of the young police deputy, the calm ferocity of Eula,  and the poignant truth that some things taken can never be returned.

Letters from the Front, Barnes Carr, Houston, TX
The tone may be light, but a storm is brewing in this story of a soldier returning home after a long overseas deployment. Richard Palmer’s Louisiana hometown is almost unrecognizable to him, and he soon discovers that few of the changes are for the better. The writing is crisp and spare, and the dialogue so good that I found myself reading it out loud to savor it.
River, Steal, Rachel Lyon, Brooklyn, NY

What (and who) would you sacrifice for success? It’s a question that aspiring photographer Lu Rile faces when her self-portrait accidentally documents a horrific moment in a neighbor’s life. The photo could launch her career, but sharing it would compound the misery of a family that’s already endured too much. That dilemma—and the vivid depictions of an artist’s life in Brooklyn—captivated me from the first pages.
The Lord’s Acre, David Armand, Ponchatoula, LA
This story of a charismatic preacher and his flock is so perfectly described that I felt like I was in the pews and on the compound, watching a man who initially seemed like a saint transform into something far less angelic.

Academy of Reality, Steve Putnam, Southwick, MA
Blindsided, Julie Chagi
, Scotts Valley, CA
Hunter’s Moon, Hayley Lynch, New Orleans, LA
Lido Beach, Rita Ciresi, Wesley Chapel, FL
Skylakes Fall, Alex Johnson, New Orleans, LA
Still Ice
, Stephanie Smith, Gainesville, FL
The Dyings of Eli Flint, Dan Turtel, New York, NY

After Honolulu, Gavin McCall, New Orleans, LA
A Mother – Daughter Conversation, Hardy Griffin, Fort Lee, NJ
Amelia’s Tenant, Kathleen Crowley, Belmont, MS
A Need to Know, Brenda Horrigan, Vineyard Haven, MA
Dispossession, J. Ed. Marston, Chatanooga, TN
Exodia, Dan Turtel, New York, NY
Goldberg Variations: The Art of the Fugue,
Jonathan Arnowitz Taylor, San Francisco, CA
Hard Cash, Marion Barnwell, Jackson, MS
Harmony’s Peace and Joy, Mary Hutchins Reed, Chicago, IL
Invisible Hand, Laura Catherine Brown, New York, NY
I Used To Think It Was a Cave, Geoffrey M. Stewart,
New Orleans, LA
Magdalena, Candi Sary, Costa Mesa, CA
Mary, Marie, and Maria, Steve Bensinger, Sierra Madre, CA
Meadowland, David Philip Mullins, Omaha, NE
Notes for Venus, Gregory Friedlander, Mobile, AL
On a Rush of Silent Wings, Laine Cunningham, Hillsborough, NC
Outsider Art, Patricia King, Durham, UK
Researching Murder, Ania Savage, Denver, CO
River Steal, Rachel Lyon, Brooklyn, NY
Rocket Scientists I Have Known and Loved,
Petra Perkins, Highlands Ranch, Co
Ryland’s Bride, Erica Obey, New York, NY
She Who Sees Beyond, Kaye Park Hinkley, Dothan, AL
Soul Kitchen, Austin Gary, Las Vegas, NV
Standing Dead Wood, Mike Kirk, Manchester, MA
The Adulterer’s Club, Laura Brodie, Lexington, VA
The Bath School Disaster, Joy Lanzendorfer, Petaluma, CA
The Declining Day, Sahar Mustafa, Mokena, IL
Gingerbread House, Phoebe Rusch, Highland Park, IL
The Woman Who Could Talk After Death, Nancy Avery Dafoe,
Homer, NY
Twin, F. X. Baird, Washington, PA
White Lilies, Joyce Gordon, Glencoe, IL

Alphabet of Snakes
, Irene Mosvold, Louisville, KY
A Minor Offense, David Parker, Jr., Hendersonville, NC
A Slight Curve, A. Molotkov, Portland, OR
Beneath a Heavy Sky, Patrick Farrell, Sherman Oaks, CA
Black Toad, Megan Vorm, Ketchum, ID
Book of Lies, Gerry Wilson, Jackson, MS
Coventry, Monica Comas, New York, NY
Deadlight, Lenore Hart, Franktown, VA
Diblings, Kim Bradley, St. Augustine, FL
Aloha Spirt, Linda Ulleseit, San Jose, CA
Girl Behind Glass, Geoff Schutt, Salem, MA
Hard News, Mark Melady, Ashford, CT
High Invisibility, Robert Hambling Davis, Newark, DE
Hurricane Summer, Maureen D. Hall, West Tisbury, MA
I’ll Be Seeing You, Dan Flanigan, Fairway, KS
In Sheep’s Clothing, Tim Osner, Orlando, FL
Gingerbread House, Phoebe Rusch, Highland Park, IL
Jesse’s Shrine, Mike Tuohy, Jefferson, GA
Kanypsi Singularity, Jordan Cundiff, Denver, CO
Kenneth, John Henry Fleming, Tampa, FL
Leaves of Cane, Trisha Hukins, Larose, LA
Left on the Grass: A Tale of Reincarnation and Redemption,
Daniel A. Brown, Taos, NM
Marianne’s War, Douglas Hall, Rockport, MA
Morgan’s Renaissance, Diane Owens Prettyman, Austin, TX
Mother City, Starner Jones, San Antonio, TX
My Name Was Greer, Joan Mora, Irving, TX
Of Plymouth Plantains, Sam Bradford, Roswell, GA
On Tophet Run, Wickliffe W. Walker, Washington, PA
Pathkeeper Chronicles, Shane Austin Press, Wallingford, CT
Plunged in Purple, Barbara V. Evers, Greer, SC
Potcakes, Emily Blitstein, Traveler’s Rest, SC
Refuge, Kathy Conde, Superior, CO
Six Strings, Michelle T. Simon, Scottsdale, AZ
Slaughterhouse Rats, Ron Ebest, University City, MO
Some Kiss We Want, A’Dora Phillips, Cincinnati, OH
Sun City, Matthew Minson, M. D., Tomball, TX
The Baptism of Maggie Still, Lane Stewart, Athens, GA
The Dangerous Blues, Stephen Policoff, New York, NY
The Double Sun, Jeanne Lyet Gassman, Peoria, AZ
The Inevitable, Queen McKee, Lily Bowland, Daisy Chavez, Lexington, NC
The Interloper, Bobbi Parry, Baton Rouge, LA
The Keepers, Jennifer Dupee, Arlington, MA
The Land of Lost Souls, Jody Hadlock, Colleyville, TX
The Leolat Prophesy, Alicia Tubbs, Tucker, GA
The Love That Moves, Ashlee Cowles, Colorado Springs, CO
The Princess is Launching Handbags, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl,
Minneapolis, MN
The Show Must Go On, Kat Bakonyi, Sugarland, TX
The Water Creatures, Liza Achilles, Derwood, MD
The Wheel, Pat Marsello, Albuquerque, NM
Tiny Religious Acts, Parker Bauman, Hartford, CT
To Keep On Westward, Suzie Eckl, Washington, DC
To the Place Where They Go, Sabrina Canfield, New Orleans, LA
Wave Goodbye, Clayton Luz, Bokeelia, FL
When Wayne Died, C. F. Winn, Lindenhurst, NY
Wicked Good, Marguerite Weisman,
Wickham, Amanda Bull Chafin, Hamilton, OH


Language Arts, Ann Read, Homestead, FL
Judge Rodger Kamenetz, bestselling non-fiction author and poet, has this to
say about his selections for winner:

The language is exquisite. The form is unique and daring– a series of brief language arts essays as if written by a school child, each responding to a literary work–Frost, Whitman, Thornton Wilder. The whole depicts in compressed form an autobiography of place, a very vegetal place, full of secret and entwining grow, itself a metaphor, as Whitman’s web-casting spider poem is, for the doings of the soul. I admire the originality of the structure which makes it new, and its engagement with both the intimate personal and the objective text– in this case literary text. That tension is at the root of the essay going back to Montaigne.

Apple Journeys, Judith White, Chevy Chase, MD

Exquisitely written from beginning to end, this focuses down to a single strange moment– capturing the moment of passage from innocence to something else. The author really immerses us in the family situation and then delivers a surprising and powerful anecdote.

Ignorance or Innocence, Johnnie Bernhard, Ocean Springs, MS
This memoir captures a social milieu, a time and place, and reveals the author’s own journey out of a small town towards the wider perspective the writing itself exemplifies.

The Curse of the Lucky Bead Lady, Ellis Anderson, Bay St. Louis, MS
Very nicely written and well-plotted, a good anecdote well told.

A House Without Faulkner, Grayson Russell, Sumter, SC
A Redneck in the Queen’s Caribbean Court, Peter Tattersall, New Orleans, LA
, Irene Mosvold, Louisville, KY
In Defense of Purple Prose, Michelle T. Simon, Scottsdale, AZ
Left-handed Euphoria, Sudy Vance Leavy, Athens, GA
Rena, Rosemary Daniell, Savannah, GA
Something Lost, Dawn Ruth Wilson, New Orleans, LA
Swimming, Mary Jane Reynolds, Columbia, SC
We Were A Team, Gary Wallace, Powell, WY
Wings, Petra Perkins, Highlands Ranch, CO

A Dog From Every County, Angela Campbell, Salem, MA
Audubon’s Walk, Grayson Russell, Sumter, SC
Beethoven’s Photograph, Andrew Gregory Krzak, Chicago, IL
Comforts of the Grid, Gary Wallace, Powell, WY
Leveling the Playing Field, a Satire, John Hastings, St. Louis, MO
Neal, Duane DeRaad, El Prado, NM
Nightmares and Dreams: Immigrant Voices from Inside Detention,
Lynn Ditchfield, Edgartown, MA
Semper Lie, Franklin Cox, Atlanta, GA
Smitty’s, Katie Burke, San Francisco, CA
The Tragedy of the Great J. G., Mark Havlik, Huntersville, NC
When Mom Became a 3 Syllable Word
, Pat Gallant, New York, NY

Attachment Theory, Gary Wallace, Powell, WY
Effigy, Diane O’Shea, Grand Rapids, MI
Goodwill Changes Lives, Janet Taylor-Perry, Ridgeland, MS
Lee and the Poison Lobster, Pat Gallant, New York, NY
Legacy, Maureen D. Hall, West Tisbury, MA
My Grandfather’s Valentine, Grayson Russell, Sumter, SC
Namely Me, Torie Marie Dale, Taylor, SC
One Night Over Cocktails, Tena Russ, Riverwoods, IL
Pillow Talk, Pat Gallant, New York, NY
Rebirth and Racism, Ann Marie Falcon, Pittsburg, PA
San Francisco
, Grayson Russell, Sumter, SC
The Gift of Self Improvement, Kathleen Greishaber, Metairie, LA


Entrance Exam, Nancy Avery Dafoe, Homer, NY

Judge Mark Yakich, widely published poet and editor of the New Orleans Review, had this to say about his selection:
This is a curious ekphrastic poem that probes the lives of artists in order to reveal the poem’s maker.

Murder – Suicide, Jacob Appel, M.D., New York, NY
The title prompts a bit or horror but the body of the poem surprises with lush, at times gentle, language.

A Charm Against Loneliness, Rashes, Bad Days, Loup Garou and the Early Stages of Dispair, James Bourey, Dickinson Center, NY
One tends to forget that charms and chants were among the first poetic utterances…this one offers an anodyne for modern despair.


A Crown for Apollo’s Garland, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
Days in Aubergine, Jaymes Bullet, New Orleans, LA
God Places No Blame, Janet Taylor-Perry, Ridgeland, MS
Infinitesimal, Jean Carr, Tucson, AZ
A Crown for the Oracular Oak, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
The Palms, Jaymes Bullet, New Orleans, LA
The River Bluesville, Reggie Scott Young, Denver, CO
Unusual Thursday, Stacey Balkun, New Orleans, LA

36, Susan Levi Wallach, Columbia, SC
A Family Man’s Thorny Crown
, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
At the New York Antiquarian Book Fair
, Stephen Thomas Roberts,
Lagrangeville, NY
Blind Lemon Jefferson Could Say It Better, James Bourey, Dickinson Center, NY
By Chanc
e, Pat Gallant, New York, NY
Color, Joanna Gunderson, New York, NY
Confluence, Binh H. Nguyen, San Diego, CA
The Dark Lady’s Crown, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
Dusk to Dawn at the Dirty Movie Drive-in (1983), James Bourey,
Dickinson Center, NY
E=MC Crowned, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
First Marriage, Holly Schwartztol, The Villages, FL
Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Pelican, Nancy Dafoe, Homer, NY
Gift, Constance E. Boyle, Arvada, CO
Imaginarium, Leslie Daniels, Thorold, Ontario, Canada
Just Who Is in Charge, Leslie Daniels, Thorold, Ontario, Canada
Leaving Home – Guatemala, Lynn Ditchfield, Edgartown, MA
MARRY ME said He in The Now Sandy Gardens of Babylon, Liv Evensen,
Oslo, Norway
Misguided Language, Katya Ehresman, Austin, TX
Octoroon, Marie Chambers, Los Angeles, CA
One Way Glass/The View, Walter P. Cavanagh, Austin, TX
Offspring of the Crescent, Amy Trussell, Santa Rosa, CA
Resurrection Day, Dan Flanigan, Fairway, KS
Silence, Kanishka Mitra, Lakeway, TX
Sparrows, Judith White, Chevy Chase, MD
Stretch Marks, Clint Irwin, Bronx, NY
There all along, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA

A Midsummer’s Day, Stephen Thomas Roberts, Lagrangeville, NY
Ars Ironica Corona, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
Beyond Wings, Jean Carr, Tucson, AZ
Chocolate and a Prayer, Stephen Thomas Roberts, Lagrangeville, NY

Coronado Island, Jean Carr, Tucson, AZ
Crop Circle Crown, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
Dust Crowned Quintessance, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
HeyDey, Pat Gallant, New York, NY
Lost Boy, Holly W. Schwartztol, The Villages, FL
Margaret, Joanna Gunderson, New York, NY
Pending, Kaleb Obregon, Austin, TX
Primed with Poison, H. M. Jones, Kingston, WA
Reincarnation, Jack Stillwagon, Hamilton, NY
Shattered, Judith White, Chevy Chase, MD
The Craftsman, Sara Flinn, Austin, TX
The Love of Fire and Water, Sarah Taylor, Louisville, KY
The Road from Cisco to Moab, Jean Carr, Tucson, AZ
Twelve-Thirty P. M., A Villanelle, Edythe Wise, Falls Church, VA
When Shit Goes Down, Duane DeRaad, El Prado, NM
When the White Light Turns to Amber, Andrew Gregory Krzak, Chicago, IL
You Must Remember, Jean Carr, Tucson, AZ
A Crown for Vivian in Bremerhaven, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
Winter Aubade, Stephen Thomas Roberts, Lagrangeville, NY

Short Story by a High School Student

Aquaintances, Lillian Lechler, Metairie, LA

Beautiful Blue Water, Isabelle Simoneaux, New Orleans, LA
Heat, Sophie Evans, New Orleans, LA
Welcome to the Country, Raven Little, New Orleans, LA

Judge Roy Blount, Jr., author of 23 books of non-fiction, had this to say about
his selections:
I would have been glad to choose any of the four. I liked the way Heat incorporated Instant Messaging. I had to give Welcome to the Country and Beautiful Blue Water credit for taking on sexual violence and Katrina, respectively. But I kept coming back to Acquaintances, which takes on nothing more ground-shaking than the feelings involved in girl-girl friendship, but takes them on in an entirely convincing tone and with a certain . . . austerity…that made me think of Hemingway.


Apollo and Eros, Sarah Rolinski, Covington, LA
Backwash, Serena L. Woosley, West Fountainville, PA
Bathtub, Danae Devine, Idyllwild, CA
Bus Stop Man Says Hello, Margot Rieth, New Orleans, LA
Gin and Tonic, Madeline Yates, New Orleans, LA
Gold Dust, Alexandra Gulden, New Orleans, LA
Let the Moths Run the Night
, David Pena, New Orleans, LA
Outskirts of th Graveyard, Holly Penta, New Orleans, LA
Postcards Bought at a Gas Station, Kindall Gant, New Orleans, LA
Slime, Darius Christianson, New Orleans, LA
Stories, Mawadda Abuhamba, Chandler, AZ
The Distracted Poet, Elizabeth Phillips, El Dorado, AR
The Highway, Victoria Gudino, New Orleans, LA
The Man, Courtney Munkres, New Orleans, LA
Watered Bones, Corazón Johnson, New Orleans, LA
Red Wood, Kayla Reado, Harahan, LA
Years, Kimberly Pollard, Belle Chasse, LA

Abiel, Ezekiel Martin, New Orleans, LA
Animal Behavior, Hannah Molay, Harahan, LA
Bathtub, Danae Devine, Idyllwild, CA
Backwash, Serena L. Woosley, West Fountainville, PA
Berries, Gustavs Tobiss, New Orleans, LA
Brother, Taylor Triplett, New Orleans, LA
Cattle Trip, Maggie Bradley, Madisonville, LA
Couches, Clara Souvignier, New Orleans, LA
Fixed Price, Sophie Friis, Greenville, SC
Garland, Mirabella Miller, New Orleans, LA
Haven, Walter P. Cavanagh, Austin, TX
Holiday, Suh Won Chang, Seoul, Korea
Linens, Pia Mulleday, New Orleans, LA
Livelihood, Jake Ruggiero, Austin, TX
Portland, Oregon, 1998, Genevieve Lovern, Abita Springs, LA
Returning to Baltimore, Henry Heitfeldt, New Orleans, LA
Right Before the Storm, Kristian Palmer, New Orleans, LA
Saladis Are Better, Parsa Sheikholeslami, Idyllwild, CA
Sibilant the Mother, Jordan Blanchard, New Orleans, LA
Silly Girl, Madeline Cox, Ashville, NC
Sisyphean Ordeal, Justin Chae,
Sold, Lily Huage, Garyville, LA
Tart, Madeleine DePree, Decatur, GA
The California Tales, Taylor Lucio, Northglenn, CO
The Collection, Christina Talberg, Glenwood, MN
The Curse, Zsuzi Pasonyi, Nyíregyháza, Hungary
The Foreigners, Sophie Evans, New Orleans, LA
The Distracted Poet, Elizabeth Phillips, El Dorado, AR
The Writer, Poet Wolfe, New Orleans, LA

After Breakfast, Campbell Dixon, Idyllwild, CA
A Point of Tangency, Jeewon Shin,
Atlantis. Was. Ours, Evan Sawatsky, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
At the End of the Sidewalk, Poet Wolfe, New Orleans, LA
Bedside Manner, Mary Murphy, New Orleans, LA
Dialogue, Elias Carrier, New Orleans, LA
Entrapment, Hogan Steffes, Austin, TX
Horse Head Baby, Ségolène Pihut, Idyllwild, CA
Jerry Lyme Will Die, Evan Lytle, Idyllwild, CA
Moth-Flame Love, Tom Yu,
Neh Achama, Emily Clark, Anza, CA
Peace Monger, Joseph Swanson, Idyllwild, CA
Popular, Alex Bishop, Idyllwild, CA
Stranger on the Road, Poet Wolfe, New Orleans, LA
The Moth-Flame Love, Tom Yu, New Orleans,LA
The First Stone is Always an Honor, Have Mansouri, Idyllwild, CA
The One That Got Away, Delany Burk, Idyllwild, CA
Tzuki, Reina Protzel, Slidell, LA
Unborn, Grace Clement, New Orleans, LA
Whirlpool, Alexandra Gulden, New Orleans, LA
Women of the Zoo, Ayana Sofia, New Orleans, LA