SLS UNIFIED CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED!
Our 2013 Unified Literary Contest was one of our largest and strongest yet, with over 1200 entries received from every corner of North America, Europe, and beyond. Congratulations to the winners, and all who entered!
A very special thanks to our contest judges: Mary Gaitskill, Eileen Myles, Ander Monson, Ed Hirsch, and Charles Bernstein, as well as our contest partners Fence Magazine, Graywolf Press, The Center for Fiction (The Literarian), The St. Petersburg Review, DIAGRAM, Joyland, and Branch.
Over the next week or so, we will be sending out a number of merit-based fellowship offers to the contest participants whose work has impressed our readers and judges with its overall strength.
2013 Unified Literary Contest Winners (bios below)
FICTION (judged by Mary Gaitskill)
First Place: Ruth Joffre (Iowa City, Iowa)
Second Place: Andy Mozina (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Third Place: Glenn Vanstrum (La Jolla, California)
POETRY (judged by Eileen Myles)
First Place: Jenny Zhang (Brooklyn, New York)
Second Place: CAConrad (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Third Place: Danniel Schoonebeek (Brooklyn, New York)
NON FICTION (judged by Ander Monson)
First Place: Stuart Ross (Chicago, Illinois)
Second Place: Spring Ulmer (West Chester, Pennsylvania)
Third Place: William Scott Williams (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Winner: Leah Bailly (Canada/Los Angeles, California)
Runners Up: Trudy Lewis (Columbia, Missouri), Margot Singer (Granville, Ohio), and Shehryar Fazli (Islamabad, Pakistan)
The Center for Fiction Prize (The Literarian)
Winner: Alake Pilgrim (Trinidad & Tobago)
Runners Up: Keya Mitra (Spokane, Washington) & Pam Zhang (San Francisco, California)
Sutzkever Centennial Translation Prize (judged by Ed Hirsch)
Winner: Lee Sharkey (Vienna, Maine )
Runners up: Jacob Oet (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania) & Heather Valencia (Thornhill, Scotland)
Lee Sharkey will receive a full scholarship at SLS Lithuania, as well as a $500 travel stipend. Her winning entry will be translated into Lithuanian and read at a celebration in Vilnius in July 2013.
Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Prize for Innovative Poetry (judged by Charles Bernstein)
Winner: Maxwell Clark (New Haven, Connecticut)
Runners up: Lindsay Vella (Iowa City, Iowa) & Roberta Hatcher (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Maxwell Clark will have his entry published on judge Charles Bernstein’s commentary page at Jacket2, a widely read site for new poetics. In addition, the winner will receive free tuition and $1000 towards travel funds to attend the 2013 SLS Lithuania Program. Lindsay Vella and Roberta Hatcher will each receive a 50% tuition discount for the 2013 SLS Lithuania Program.
Ruth Joffre is currently an MFA candidate at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has been published in The Kenyon Review.
Andy Mozina has published fiction in Tin House, Ecotone, Fence, The Southern Review, The Missouri Review and elsewhere. His stories have been cited in Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize. His collection, The Women Were Leaving the Men, won the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award for Fiction. He
teaches creative writing and literature at Kalamazoo College.
Glenn Vanstrum's fiction has been published in LITnIMAGE, the Bellevue Literary Review, and THEMA. His book of nature writing, The Saltwater Wilderness (Oxford), won a San Diego Book Award. Essays of his have appeared in Sierra, California Wild, and the Los Angeles Times. Vanstrum has written six novels and three story collections. Currently he is polishing the novel Opus Brooklyn, also adapted to screenplay format. It is the story of a young psychiatrist, who, ignoring her lecherous director, brings three musician/patients together to learn that the deeper the madness, the sweeter the music. Visit www.vanstrum.net for more information.
Jenny Zhang is the author of the poetry collection, Dear Jenny, We Are All Find (Octopus Books, 2012.) Her fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in Fence, Bomblog, HTMLGIANT, Glimmertrain, Altered Scale, Pen American, Coconut, Octopus, Pinwheel, Sink Review,Jezebel, The Guardian, and Vice. She writes for teenage girls at Rookie magazine, and teaches high school students in the Bronx. She's currently a writer-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.
CAConrad is the author of A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon (Wave Books, 2012) and The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010/Chax Press, 2009). He is also the author of Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull Press, 2009), Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull Press, 2006), and a collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock titled The City Real & Imagined (Factory School, 2010). The son of white trash asphyxiation, his childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift.
Danniel Schoonebeek was born in the Catskills. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, Boston Review, Fence, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, Guernica, Denver Quarterly, BOMB, Colorado Review, Drunken Boat, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. A runner-up for the 2013 Discovery poetry prize, he was an Emerging Poets resident at Poets House and a writer-in-residence at Oregon State University. He writes a monthly column on poetry for The American Reader, hosts the Hatchet Job reading series in Brooklyn, and works as associate editor at PEN America, where he edits the PEN Poetry Series.
Spring Ulmer holds a M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Arizona, and a M.F.A. in Nonfiction from the University of Iowa. Her honors include grants for photography and writing from the Kentucky Arts Council, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and the Andrea Frank Foundation, as well as residencies from the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, and the University of Iowa’s Museum of Art. Her book of poetry, Benjamin’s Spectacles, was selected by Sonia Sanchez for Kore Press’s 2007 First Book Award. A collection of her essays, The Age of Virtual Reproduction, was published by Essay Press in 2009. She is an assistant professor at West Chester University in West Chester, PA.
William Scott Williams lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife, Lia, and their three children: Isabel, Lee, and Catherine Dare. Williamholds masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. William has studied creative writing with John Robert Lennon (Castle, Mailman), Christopher Tilghman (In a Father's Place, Roads of the Heart), Tom Spanbauer (In the City of Shy Hunters, Now is the Hour), and Joanna Rose (Little Miss Strange). William’s work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in Meridian: The Semi-Annual from the University of Virginia, The Massachusetts Review, Poydras Review, and The Greensboro Review. William is an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College and has just completed his first novel, Keeping.
Leah Bailly is a fiction writer originally from Canada, currently living in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in journals across Canada and the US and has received awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Literary Awards and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Leah is currently working on a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California where she is the Annenberg Fellow in Fiction.
Trudy Lewis is the author of the short story collection The Bones of Garbo, winner of the Sandstone Prize in Short Fiction (Ohio State University Press). Her fiction has appeared in American Short Fiction, Atlantic Monthly, Best American Short Stories, Cream City Review, Five Points, Meridian, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Southwest Review, Shenandoah, Third Coast, Witness, and others. Trudy’s first novel, Private Correspondences, won the William Goyen Prize (TriQuarterly Books/Northwestern University Press) and her short stories have been awarded the Lawrence Foundation and Glenna Luschei Prizes from Prairie Schooner. Trudy is currently the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Missouri.
Shehryar Fazli is an author and political analyst based in Islamabad, Pakistan. His first novel, Invitation, was published in India in 2011. It was a best-seller in South Asia and was runner-up for the 2011 Edinburgh International Book Festival's award for a first book. He is also a senior analyst and South Asia regional editor for the
International Crisis Group, an independent Brussels-based organization focusing on preventing and resolving deadly conflict. He has published literary and political essays for range of publications, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Foreign Policy, Jane's, Standpoint, and numerous academic and defense journals. The son of a Pakistani diplomat, he was born in Tunis in 1978.
Margot Singer bio forthcoming
Alake Pilgrim is a Caribbean writer living in Trinidad & Tobago. Her stories have twice been awarded the Commonwealth Short Story’s Regional Prize for Fiction. They have been shared on international radio by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and published in the Small Axe Journal. In 2010, she was one of the emerging writers selected to attend the Cropper Foundation Writers Workshop and in 2011, she was one of three New Talent readings at the Bocas Literary Festival (www.bocaslitfest.com). After graduating with an MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University, she worked as a screenwriter and researcher for “An Inward Hunger: The Story of Eric Williams” (www.savantmedia.tv), produced and directed by Mariel Brown (Best Local Feature, T&T Film Festival and Official Selection, Havana Film Festival and Caribbean Film Corner, London). Alake is currently completing her first short-story collection: “Blue Crabs and Other Stories”.
Keya Mitra is currently an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at Gonzaga University and graduated in 2010 with a doctorate from the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program, where she also earned her MFA. In 2008, she spent a year in India on a Fulbright grant in creative writing. Her fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Best New American Voices, Ontario Review, Orchid, Event, Fourteen Hills, Torpedo, and Confrontation, and her nonfiction has been published in Gulf Coast and American Literary Review. Her story received special mention in the Pushcart Prize XXXVII Anthology, and she has been nominated for two Pushcart prizes. She has completed a short story collection, a novel, and a memoir.
Pam Zhang bio forthcoming
Lee Sharkey is the author of the recently released Calendars of Fire (Tupelo, 2013), A Darker, Sweeter String (Off the Grid, 2008), and eight earlier full-length poetry collections and chapbooks. Her work has appeared recently in Consequence, Crazyhorse, FIELD, Kenyon Review, Nimrod, The Pinch,and The Seattle Review. Recipient of the Maine Arts Commission’s 2010 Fellowship in Literary Arts and the 1997 Rainmaker Award in Poetry, she co-edits the Beloit Poetry Journal. Since attending the 2011 SLS workshop in Vilnius, she has been working with the filmmaker Joshua Waletzky on translations of the poetry of Abraham Sutzkever.
Jacob Oet is a freshman at Swarthmore College. He is the author of four poetry chapbooks, with a fifth forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. His work has appeared in journals such as Cream City Review, Yemassee, 580 Split, Redivider, and Moonshot, among others. He can be found onlineat jacoboet.zenfolio.com.
Heather Valencia: Formerly a lecturer in German language and literature at the University of Stirling, Scotland, Heather Valencia began to study Yiddish in the early 1980s, and completed a doctorate on the earlier poetry of Abraham Sutzkever in 1991. She has published widely on Sutzkever, on Yiddish culture in Weimar Berlin and on Yiddish woman poets. Among her published translations are Esther Kreitman's novel Diamonds (2010), a bilingual edition of Shmuel Harendorf's play The King of Lampedusa (2003), and poems by Soviet Yiddish poets in From Revolution to Repression (2012). Her anthology of texts for students of Yiddish, Mit groys fargenign/ With Great Pleasure (2003)is widely used. For many years Heather has taught on Yiddish summer courses, including the annual course in London, Ot azoy! and teaches a lively weekly Yiddish class in Edinburgh.
Maxwell Clark now works primarily under the patronage of U.S.
Social Security benefits and State of Connecticut food assistance. Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) and Fellowship Place clubhouse, both of New Haven, CT, also provide him services. His out-patient clinical diagnosis at CMHC is currently "Psychotic (Not Otherwise Specified)". He has been published in the Socialist Worker (U.S.), Socialist Review (U.K.), decomP, Psych Magazine, Juked, Counterpunch, Swans and Short, Fast and Deadly. His greatest
influences are his friends, familial or otherwise, afterwards also P. B. Shelley and Emmanuel Levinas (both of whom he believes are worth many generations of reading and interpretation).
Lindsay Vella & Roberta Hatcher bios forthcoming
Fiction Judge: Mary Gaitskill is the author of the novels Two Girls, Fat and Thin, and Veronica, which was nominated for the 2005 National Book Award, National Critic’s Circle Award, and L.A. Times Book Award. She is the author of the story collections Bad Behavior and Because They Wanted To, which was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner in 1998. Her newest collection of stories is titled Don’t Cry (2009). Her story “Secretary” was the basis for the feature film of the same name starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader. The film received the Special Jury Prize, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Gaitskill’s stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2002 she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for fiction. She has taught at U-C Berkeley, the University of Houston, New York University, Brown and Syracuse University. Mary Gaitskill was born in 1954 in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1981 Gaitskill graduated from the University of Michigan, where she won an award for her collection of short fiction The Woman Who Knew Judo and Other Stories.
Poetry Judge:Eileen Myles is a poet and writer based in New York City. She has published over twenty books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction, plays, and libretti, including Inferno (a poet’s novel), Skies, Cool for You, School of Fish, and Not Me. The Importance of Being Iceland (2009) travel essays on art was awarded a Warhol/Creative Capital grant. She contributes to numerous journals including Art in America and Artforum, Parkett, and Bookforum, The Nation, and The Believer.
Non Fiction Judge: Ander Monson is the author of a number of paraphernalia including a website, a decoder wheel, several chapbooks, as well as five books, most recently Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir (Graywolf Press, 2010) and The Available World (Sarabande Books, 2010). He lives in Tucson where he teaches at the University of Arizona and edits the journal DIAGRAM <thediagram.com> and the New Michigan Press.
Arkadii Dragomoshenko Prize Judge: Charles Bernstein was born in Manhattan in 1950. He has published 27 collections of poetry including With Strings, Republics of Reality: Poems 1975-1984 and Controlling Interests. His essays are included in My Way: Speeches and Poems and Content’s Dream: Essays 1975-1984. Bernstein is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
Our 2014 Contest will be launched in the fall. Thank you to everyone who participated!
FICTION (judged by Mary Gaitskill)
First Place: m k s volcofsky (Matthew Seidman) (Brooklyn, NY)
Second Place: Steinur Bell (Sarasota, FL)
Third Place: Aggie Zivaljevic (San Jose, CA)
POETRY (judged by Tony Hoagland)
First Place: Dianne Seuss (Kalamazoo, MI)
Second Place: Christopher Robinson (Federal Way, WA)
Third Place: Dawn Marie Knopf (Portland, OR)
NON-FICTION (judged by Ander Monson)
First Place: Will Mackin (Rio Rancho, NM)
Second Place: James Kates (Fitzwilliam, NH)
Third Place: Jim Ruland (San Diego, CA)
The Center for Fiction Award (The Literarian)
Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint (San Jose, CA)
Runners-up: Stacy Hardy & Margaret Meklin
Snowden Wright (New York, NY)
Runners-up: Rachel Cantor, Diana Svennes-Smith, Emma Smith-Stevens, & Laura Pritchett
SLS-St. Petersburg Review Award
Gabriel Tallent, Ashley Wren Collins, Justin Boening, & Cori A. Winrock
SLS Award for Emerging Writers
Karina Slobogian, Ottessa Moshfegh, & Eric Fershtman
Fiction, judged by Jayne-Anne Phillips
Place: Blair Bourassa (Kentville, NS)
Second Place: Matthew Baker (Nashville, TN)
Third Place: Rebecca Rukeyser (Iowa City, IA)
Poetry, judged by Matthew Zapruder
Lillian Bertram (Williamstown, MA)
Second Place: Chloe Honum (Provincetown, MA)
Third Place: Justin Boening (Missoula, MT)
East-European Roots Contest, judged by Phillip Lopate
Place: Nikita Nelin "The Most Current History of the Russian Jew"
Second Place:Daniella Gitlin "Notes From the Basin"
Third Place:(tie) Steven Roiphe "Brighton Beach Memory Gap"
Randall Babtkis "Three Meditations"
Poetry, judged by Mary
First Place: Helen Dimos
Second Place: Hadara Bar-Nadav
Third Place: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
Fiction, judged by Mary Gaitskill
First Place: Gina Frangello
Second Place: Mikael Awake
Third Place: Geoff Schmidt
Poetry, judged by Ann
First Place: Caron A. Levis
Second Place: Rachel Cantor
Third Place: Lisa Gornick
Fiction, judged by Lynne Tillman
First Place: Elizabeth Senja Spackman
Second Place: Ravi Shankar
Third Place: Michael C. Peterson
SLS/Matrix Magazine Editor's Choice Award:Mona Awad