First place ($1000) is awarded to Nafissa Thompson-Spires for “Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology.” Thompson-Spires’ short fiction and scholarship have appeared in East Bay Review, Compose, Blinders, FLOW, The Feminist Wire, and other publications, and in 2013, her short story “This Todd” won the Josephine M. Breezee Memorial Prize in Fiction, judged by Jennine Capó Crucet. She currently teaches at UIUC as a Visiting Assistant Professor of African-American Studies and Creative Writing and is revising a completed young-adult novel.
First runner up is awarded to Amanda Leduc for “Wild Life.” Leduc’s stories and essays have appeared in The Butter, The Rumpus, ELLE Canada, Tincture Journal, Big Truths, and others. Her novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men, was published in 2013 by Toronto’s ECW Press. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
Second runner up is awarded to J. Bowers for “Based on a True Story.” Bowers’ short fiction has appeared in The Indiana Review, Redivider, The Cossack Review, Zone 3, The Portland Review, The Laurel Review, Cream City Review, and other national publications. She is full-time English faculty at Maryville University in St. Louis, MO.
All three winning submissions will appear in StoryQuarterly 49. Our judge for this year’s competition was Mat Johnson, author of the novels Loving Day, Pym, Drop, and Hunting in Harlem, the nonfiction novella The Great Negro Plot, and the comic books Incognegro and Dark Rain.