2019 Winners and Runners-Up

For a comprehensive list of our 2019 Finalists and Semi-Finalists, click here.



Tadzio Koelb, well-known fiction writer and literary critic, whose newest novel is Trenton Makes.
His selections are:

The Race Caller
By Andy Plattner of Atlanta, GA



The Last Days of Monkey Zak

By Skip Horack of Tallahassee, FL

Others on the Short List:
Among the Porcelain, Daniel Turtel, New York, NY
Seven Days, Robert Redfearn, Jr., New Orleans, LA
Sugar Blues, Lee Meehan, Napa, CA
Suppose I say Hummingbird
, Beth Ann Fennelly, Oxford, MS

The Coal Tower, Tony Gentry, North Chesterfield, VA
The Day the Music Didn’t Die, Julia Tagliere, Sandy Spring, MD
The Museum of an Extinct Race, Jonathan Rosen, Burlington, CT
The Wisdom of Water, Laura Lane McNeal, New Orleans, LA

Narrative Non-Fiction Book


Andrei Codrescu, bestselling poet, non-fiction writer, novelist, and social commentator.

His selections are:

The Winner:
Wild Tail
By Catherine Raven of Emigrant, MT

The Runner-Up:
Poet for Hire
By Ben Aleshire of New Orleans, LA



Others on the Short List
Futebol, Sascha Bercovitch, Brookline, MA
Kinds of Love: Essays on Otherness, Natasha Sajé, Salt Lake City, UT
Men I’ve Never Been, Michael Sadowski, Rhinebeck, NY
Mike & Me, Martha Donegan, Metairie, LA
My Beautiful Tigers, Rosemary Daniell, Savannah, GA
Streetlight, Steve Kash, Terre Haute, IN
The Beeches Lifted Up Their Green Arms to Comfort Me, Deborah Marquart, Ames, IA
The Theory of Grace, Ethel Morgan Smith, Birmingham, AL
There Lies a Circle, Ellen Ann Fentress, Jackson, MS


The Judge
Moira Crone, prize-winning fiction writer, former winner of the Society’s gold medal for best novella, and one of the founders of the LSU MFA program, has made her selections. They are:

The Winner
Damage Control
by Andrew Cominelli of New Orleans, LA

The Runner-up
By Amina Gautier, Chicago, IL

Others on the Short List
Breeding in Stockholm, Stan Kempton, New Orleans, LA

I Had No Choice, Phillip Erickson, St. Paul, MN
Incidentals, Matthew Minson, Tomball, TX
Goodbye, Maggie, Gary Gautier, New Orleans, LA
Oddfish, Kevin Maus, Las Vegas, NV
Revolution, Adjie Henderson, Bronx, NY
The Be-Everything Brothers,
Matthew Pitt, Fort Worth, TX
The Canon Code,
Jon Geggenheimer, Gretna, LA
The Don Bockman Restaurant, Jon Schorr, Baltimore, MD


The Judge
Laura Lane McNeil, a highly accomplished marketing professional, whose first novel, Dollbaby, received widespread critical acclaim, has made her selections. They are:


The Winner
The Spy
By Tom Hill, New Orleans, LA



The Runner-up

I Am a Stalwart
By David Kennedy, Bronx, NY

Others on the Short List
Dreams on Hold, Bryan Mayfield, Dallas, TX

Fall Girl, Ann Vandenberg, Atlanta, GA
Fourteen Meals, Stephanie Early Green, Alexandria, VA
Gravity, Dan Turtel, New York, NY
In the Hot Springs at Niseko, Dan Turtel, New York, NY
Junk, Ashley Wolfe, New Orleans, LA
Love’s Ragged Claws, Gary Gautier, New Orleans, LA
Midden, Clayton Luz, Bokeelia, FL
Nashville Radio, Tom Andes, New Orleans
On the Shores of a Pleistocene Sea, W.B. Henley, Indian Springs Village, AL
The Best Company, Jane Kahramanidis, New Orleans, LA
The Boy with the Hole in His Heart, William Christy Smith, New Orleans, LA
The Sound of Love, Jim Fairhall, Chicago, IL
The Toy Chest, Kyle Gordon, New Orleans, LA
Tinderbox, Stan Kempton, New Orleans, LA
Uncle Edgar and the Tintinnabulation of the Bells, S. A. Slosberg, Bronxville, NY


The Judge

Maurice Carlos Ruffin, a previous winner of the Society’s Gold Medal for Best Novel-in-Progress, who went on to complete his novel and and publish it as We Cast a Shadow. His selections are:

The Winner:
Wait There Till You Hear From Me
By Tom Andes, New Orleans, LA

The Runner-Up:
The Last Oracle
By Celia Andresen, Baton Rouge, LA

Others on The Short List
Birdman’s Flight, John Vanderslice, Conway, AR

Blue Hour, George Harrar, Wayland, MA
Inward Cussedness, David Kennedy, Bronx, NY
Marigold, Sarah Colombo, Baton Rouge, LA
Porches, Nancy Brock, Columbia, SC
Storms and Dust, Chance Landry, Pierre Part, LA
The Space Between, Elizabeth Bedell, Northampton, MA
Traffic, Alexander Joseph, Boulder, Co
The Ascension of Mary, William West, Austin, TX
The Brick Maker’s Son, Victoria Ryan, New Orleans, LA
The Weight of Color, Donna Sauter, Woodstock, MD
Visible Man, Nick Willard, Pompton Lakes, NJ


The Judge
Ken Wells is a fiction writer, non-fiction author, and journalist, whose own new book is a culinary memoir, Gumbo Life: Tales from Bayou Roux. His selections are:


The Winner
River Journey One
Karen Eberle, New Orleans, LA

Awakenings By Vicki Siska, Fort Collins, CO

Others on the Short List
Big Bang Nutshell Time’s Haunted Generation, M. D. Veritas, New Orleans, LA

Finding Mother, Holly Schwartztol, Cape Canaveral, FL
Finding T, Katherine Velie, New Orleans, LA
Glass Houses, Laura Brodie, Lexington, VA
Mismatched, Sudy Leavy,
Ripples in a Distant Pool, John Saporito, Sarasota, FL
Singing an Acoustic Ecology, Debra Marquart, Ames, IA
The Big Why, Garry Wallace, Powell, WY

At the request of poets and small press publications, the Faulkner Society has created a new category for 2019. It is Poetry Collection to be judged by a best-selling poet and non-fiction author. Additionally, there will be a cash prize for the winner of $1,000. The book will be launched at the 2020 New Orleans Poetry Festival.

The Judge:
Rodger Kamenetz, whose own new poetry collection is the critically acclaimed Yonder.



 The Publisher
The prize for this category will be publication of the collection in a perfect bound book by the respected boutique publisher Lavender Ink, founded and directed by respected poet and prose writer Bill Lavender, also a founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival. 

The Winner
The Murderous Sky
By Rosemary Daniell of Savannah, GA

The Runner-Up:
Preowned Odysseys and Rented Rooms
By Lawrence Rhu
Columbia, SC

Rosemary and Larry both are previous
Gold Medal Winners in the Faulkner Wisdom Competition

Others on the Short List
Fake Noose by Benjamin Aleshire, New Orleans, LA
Free Running Brown Legs, Jada Smiley
, New Orleans, LA
Escape From Suburbia, Jacob Appel, New York, NY
Poetry Land
, Mark Spitzer, Mayflower, AR
Queen of a Rain Country
, Chad Foret, Independence, LA

Schematics and Assemblies, Gary Gautier, New Orleans, LA
The Law of the Land: A Moral History
by Red Hawk
“We are officially inside a Kafka story”: Changing Seasons with the Ditchdigger in New York
by Dr. Benjamin Shepard, Brooklyn, NY


The Judge
Jessica Faust, Poet and Co-Editor and Poetry Editor of the Southern Review, has made her selections. They are: 


The Winner
Plea to Our Future Worst Selves on a Cold Winter Night

By Jacob Appel of New York, NY
Jacob is a previous Gold Medal winner in other categories.

The Runner-up

Pressing Day

Yoruba Baltrip Coleman, New Orleans, LA

Others on the Short List
Build a Wall, Candace Wiley, Tulsa, OK

Conversations, Judith White, Chevy Chase, MD
Haunted Generation, M. D. Veritas, New Orleans, LA
Hunch Over Notre Dame, Manfred Pollard, New Orleans, LA
Mismatched, Sudy Leavy, Athens, GA
Mixed Emotions Prior Trump, Holly Schwartztol, Cape Canaveral, FL
New Orleans Ghost Tour, Benjamin Aleshire, New Orleans
Parasites, Kelly Anderson, Marrero, LA
Railroad of the Secret Sarcophagi, Constantina Clark, Greens Fork, IN
That Day, Tom Hill, New Orleans, LA
Tiger in a Turtle Shell, Tina D. C. Hayes, Dixon, KY
To Angelita, Chance Landry, Jocotenango, Sacatepequez, Guatemala
Winged Victory Before 1863, Melissa O. Meeks, Austin, TX
Your Father’s Son, Jean Carr, Tucson, AZ

The Judge:

Jessica Kinnison, a prize-winning short fiction writer and creative writing workshop teacher, has made her selections for Winner and Runner-up.  They are:

The Winner
The Women in Blue
By Renee Richichi
of Covington, LA


The Runner-up
The Disappearance of Either My Objects or My Sanity
By Nyela Amili Raha Joshua
of New Orleans, LA


Others on the Short List
An Account of Colonized Flesh, Megan Lunny, Doylestown, PA

A Winter Tale, Kristian Palmer, Algiers, LA
Blurberry Street, Ori Wilson, New Orleans, LA
Cicada, Torie Bovey, New Orleans, LA
Don’t Tell the Universe, Naomi Adler, New Orleans, LA
Feathers Fall Off, Kenya Alexandra Mask, Lafayette, LA
How Your Cat Kills You, Gabriella Munoz, Idyllwild, CA
Letters From the Greenhouse, Lore Bordagary, Covington, LA
Some August Afternoon, Emma Smith, Idyllwild, CA
Streetcar to the 7th Ward, Donatella Henry, Abita Springs, LA
The Devil’s Ivy, Gabrielle Balot, Jefferson, LA
The Fall, Jules Worden, New Orleans, LA
The Last Night I Saw Her, Rome Smaoui, Idyllwild, CA
What You Make of It, Nicholas Burtchaell, Chalmette, LA
Wonderbread Whiteboy, Ashley Schilling, Abita Springs, LA

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