Posts Categorized: Fiction

Interview with 1/2K Finalist: J. Bowers


“And for a holy moment you are soaring…”

When our editors were reading through submissions to last year’s Half-K Prize, it was J. Bowers’ depiction of the “holy moment” that captured our editors’ attention and held it tight. In her “Two on a Horse” series, Bowers focuses on a fleeting physical experience – the Steeplechase ride at Coney Island around the turn of the century – and uses it to explore complex themes of gender and class without ever slowing the momentum of language and story.

The parameters of our annual Half-K Prize can be confusing and challenging because of its limited word count (500 words) and unlimited genre constraints (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, short-shorts, prose-poetry, flash-whatever). We asked Bowers to tell us more about her pieces that were finalists of the 2012 Half-K Prize, focusing particularly on her process of determining its length and form.

We hope this helps, all of you current and prospective Half-K authors!

(Click here to read more!)

2013 1/2 K Prize


It’s summer in Bloomington, the undergraduates have fled, and Editor Katie Moulton and I are doing our best to keep things lively in the office while the rest of the staff is on break.

A couple of notes from our to-do list that we want to pass on to you:

Regular submissions are currently closed.  We will open the gates again on August 1. 

Any electronic or hard-copy submissions received between now and July 31 will be returned unread.


I know, it is sad.

But wait!  No need to despair!

We will be accepting submissions for the annual Indiana Review ½ K Prize, judged by Dinty Moore, between June 1 and August 1, 2013.



Yep.  We’re excited too!  Send us your very best 500-word previously unpublished pieces. Prose? Poetry? Prosetry? There are no rules, man! Well, except for these: 

You may submit 3 pieces per entry and you may also submit multiple entries. At $20 per entry, that’s a pretty sweet deal.  If you are submitting online, make sure to pay the entry fee after you have submitted your pieces. Note: You can pay now, but you won’t be able to submit until June 1.

When submitting online make sure to designate your entry as a submission to the 1/2 K Prize.  If you are paying the old-fashioned way please make checks out to Indiana University.

Full submission guidelines can be found here.

Stay tuned to the blog for more updates and summer shenanigans!


Announcing the 2012 Fiction Prize Winner and Runner-Up!

We could not be more excited to announce the winner (and finalists) of Indiana Review’s 2012 Fiction Prize!

2012 Indiana Review Fiction Winner

“Mavak Tov”

CB Anderson

Arlington, MA


“It’s Not All Cause and Effect, Miss Carbin”

Nolan Grieve

When asked to say a few words of the winning piece, “Mavak Tov,” contest judge Dana Johnson writes:

This story haunted me. The main character’s longing and desire for comfort, for a place to be, is so powerful and recognizable, as is the conflict and question this story poses, not just for the main character but for all of us: At what price do we achieve comfort? At what point do we reject what is easy and familiar for something far more necessary, which is true agency and power? This essential question is explored through a beautifully rendered relationship between a mother and her daughter and between the wives of one polygamist man, in gorgeous, unflinching detail.

The winning story will appear in Indiana Review 35.1, due out in late spring 2013. You can order a single issue or a subscription here.

A huge congratulations to our winner and runner-up, and a million more thanks to the hundreds of writers who submitted and made this contest a success! We appreciated the chance to read such varied, surprising and often wonderful work.


Adrienne Celt, “The Boy with the Open Mind”

Annie Hartnett, “Cheek Teeth”

Rachel May, “The Gold Dust Room”

Jane Ridgeway, “Creation Groans”

Michael Tasker, “For the Killing”

Tara Wright, “The Lives that Come before You, the Lives that Never End”

Fiction Contest Deadline Extended!

I know. We’re excited, too.

Due to extreme weather conditions, we wanted to make sure our friends, readers, talented submitters on the east coast who may have lost power had the chance to send us their stories. Y’know, since they may have been concerned with other things when this happened:

Therefore, the deadline for our 2012 Fiction Prize has been extended to this Friday, November 2. If submitting via mail, this is the postmark date. If submitting online, you have until 11:59pm on Friday to do so. The guidelines are listed here. One more chance at glory within the pages of Indiana Review and $1,000? You might say it’s a “perfect storm.”

And finally — HAPPY HALLOWEEN, ghost-writers!

Inside IR: Meet Fiction Editor Joe Hiland

Clockwise from top left: Mark Twain, Ron Swanson, Sean Connery, Topper Hiland and Joe Hiland

It’s true, Fiction Editor Joe Hiland has discerning taste in literature, whisky, and canines, but he also has a soul. Despite his dry wit and carnivorous tendencies, Joe is a true Duke Silver: sensitive, compassionate, and as tender on the inside as a medium-rare steak. Read on to see for yourself.

JL: What is the last piece of writing that knocked the wind out of you?

JH: We usually think of writing knocking the wind out of us (or whatever image we want to use) when we read something for the first time, but it’s interesting when a familiar piece of writing knocks the wind out of you.  I recently had that experience with Bobbie Ann Mason’s story “Shiloh.”  I’ve read that story at least a dozen times, and I was rereading it the other day in preparation for a class I’m teaching.  I was taken aback by the precision of Mason’s language and the richness of even the simplest details in her story.  I’d forgotten the first line, and it caught me pleasantly off-guard during my reread:  “Leroy Moffitt’s wife, Norma Jean, is working on her pectorals.”   So much of what’s at stake in the story is encompassed in that simple opening line.

JL: What do you look for a good story to do?

Read more, after the jump!

Read more…