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Interview with 2015 1/2K Prize Judge: Kim Chinquee

kimchinqueeOur 2015 1/2K Prize judge is the phenomenal Kim Chinquee, whose excellent story, “Darling,” will appear in The Indiana Review issue 37.2, Winter 2015. Here she discusses her thoughts on short-short work, dealbreakers, and what she might be looking for in the prize-winning entry.

Kim Chinquee is the author of the collections PRETTY, PISTOL, and OH BABY. Her website is www.kimchinquee.com.

 

1) When and how did you start writing short-short work?

I wrote my first flash fiction piece in 2000, in Mary Robison’s workshop at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Center for Writers. It was my second semester as a graduate student. She had asked the students to bring in something short, so I wrote a piece called “Pure Gold,” which I sent to NOON. It was accepted by Diane Williams, and retitled “The Top Shelf.” I continued writing flash fictions, along with longer work, and seem to have better luck with the flashes.

2) We hear a lot about the challenge of “compressing” in short-short work. Can you speak a bit to how you’ve found this to be the case or not, and to any other challenges you encounter in writing?

My biggest challenge is writing longer work. I’ve become so accustomed to writing short work that my internal editor is sometimes hyperactive.  Lately, I’ve been trying to write more, and then scale back, after I can see the work objectively. I find enjoyment in that.

3) “Choo and Rumble” is at once highly specific and vast in its thematic scope and treatment of time. What are some of your thoughts on the responsibility of short-short work at large, or some myths about it that you want to debunk?

I admire senses and scenery in short-short work. And jumps in time and space. More showing, less telling. Sometimes language play. Breaking limits and boundaries. In short-short work, it’s interesting to break the rules.

4) Do you have any hard and fast “dealbreakers” in writing? Any pet peeves?

Ending the piece by saying it’s a dream. Fiction is already a dream, so it takes the dream out of it when a narrator announces to the reader it’s a dream. On the other hand, I think dreams can make interesting stories, and can sometimes add depth to fiction, as long as the narrator doesn’t point out that the “dream” is a dream.

5) What might you be looking for in the prize-winning entry?

Originality. Interesting language, sensory details, themes. And lots of surprises!

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Announcing the 2015 Poetry Prize Winner

Our Prize judge Eduardo Corral has selected “Between the Bloodhounds and My Shrinking Mouth” by Caitlin Scarano as the winner of the 2015 Poetry Prize! Her poem will appear in the Winter 2015 issue of The Indiana Review. We received a great number of excellent poems for consideration in this contest, and the decision was a difficult one. We thank all prize entrants for their interest in and support of The Indiana Review.

 

2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize Winner

Caitlin Scarano, “Between the Bloodhounds and My Shrinking Mouth”

Corral says this about the winning poem: “The voice in this poem is ravenous and disciplined. It strikes and it croons. It’s splendid and captivating. It releases gorgeous sonic and visual energies. Vivid images linger in the mind, music beautifully rattles the lines. I’m especially struck by how the voice approaches and retreats from memory. ‘Between the Bloodhounds and My Shrinking Mouth’ is a startling poem.”

 

Runner-Up

Jennifer Givhan, “My God, Nieve”

2015 Indiana Review Poetry Prize Finalists

Graham Barnhart, “Breach Birth”

Gabrielle Bates, “Cinderella As Told By Grackles”

Juliana Daugherty, “Psalm”

Jennifer Givhan, “Town of Foolish Things”

LA Johnson, “Constellarium” & “Split-Level”

Peter LaBerge, “Turbulence”

Lisa McMurtray, “How to Get Out of Failures at Night” & “Floodwater”

Sarah Maria Medina, “Hush the Young Coahuila Sons”

Caitlin Scarano, “To the City With Her Skull Wind”

Paige Quinones, “Blood Sport”

 

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Online Feature: “Sorry for Crashing Your Party and Possibly Killing Your Horse” by Elise Burke

 

I call Niles when I have a good amount of energy and feel sorry for myself. But he isn’t even fun enough to be distracting. When he comes on my stomach, he curses apologies and dabs at the pink scars, as if his little puddle hurts the spot where the tumor used to be. Who knows why he bothers pulling out, like it’s even possible for my body to support another person. At least for that one second he believes I’m a normal girl—one you can count on to be alive nine months later.

Read more…

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Announcing the 2015 Nonfiction Prize Winner!

Judge Kiese Laymon has selected “Black (in) Time,” by John Murillo III, as the winner of Indiana Review’s inaugural Nonfiction Prize! Murillo’s piece will appear in the 2015 Summer issue of Indiana Review. We received hundreds of submissions of outstanding quality and variety. All work was read anonymously and closely by our editors. Thanks to all who submitted their work for consideration and made this year’s 2015 Nonfiction Prize possible.

2015 Indiana Review Nonfiction Prize Winner:

“Black (in) Time”

John Murillo III

Laymon has this to say about the winning piece: “I’ve never read an essay that so courageously and really out of necessity blended the mystery, ruthless joy and temporality of black life in this country. The piece moves in and out of music, dramatic scene, playwriting and buoyant social critique not effortlessly, but so, so effectively. It’s one of the most amazing pieces of prose I’ve read in the 21st century.

Congratulations also to our finalists, all of whom submitted excellent nonfiction for consideration in our inaugural nonfiction contest that made the final call a close and difficult one.

Nonfiction Prize Finalists:

Kendra Atleework, “Santa Cruz Blur”

Meilan Carter-Gilkey, “Carnival”

Chris Emslie, “Suffer Us to Famish”

Sari Fordham, “The Foreign Government Dances Back and Forth”

Hafeez Lakhani, “Big Enough”

Maurine Ogbaa, “Something Between Us”

Aaron Orbey, “Boy Problems”

Adrienne Perry, “A Dark and Simple Place”

Abel Shifferaw, “Untitled (Oscar, or Me, or Us)”

Don Stoll, “The Aspect of an Unknown Planet”

Jordan Thomas, “The Murder of Crows”