Posts Categorized: Prizes

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

Runner-Up

“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.

Finalists:

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!

What We Look for in Poems: Sizzle & Steak

Dana Johnson, the Final Judge for our 2012 Fiction Contest  (which closes on October 31st, fictioners!), told us in an interview that she has no patience for “stories that are clever but have no heart.” She went on to explain that, though linguistic fireworks are important to a piece, what’s most important (to her) is whether or not the piece is trying to initiate a larger conversation with the reader and the world. In poetry, I think about this as a distinction between sizzle and steak.

You know how, when you go to Applebee’s, somebody always orders that dish that comes out sizzling and smoking, and it smells great (by Applebee’s standards), and everyone thinks, man, I should’ve ordered that? I’ve always been intrigued by that dish, but I suspect that the steak leaves much to be desired. In the same way, while I love sizzle in poems—dynamic use of language, surprising lines, dope images, lovely music—I’m also concerned about the steak. The ideal poem has both, I think—sizzle and steak, dazzle and stakes—and that’s one of the main things I look for when reading for Indiana Review.

(Read more after the jump!) Read more…

On Openings and Intrigants

With this blog post I’d like to return to the subject of wading through the slush pile, though I’m on a less curmudgeonly mission this time.  Once you’ve read enough submissions, it’s fairly easy to diagnose the many ways stories can fail.  It’s far more challenging, however, to explain why successful stories are, well, successful.  My project with this blog post is to try to identify at least one shared trait of successful stories, with the hope of helping some of you as you revise and refine your work to submit it to IR and elsewhere.  (Speaking of submitting, don’t forget that you still have time to submit to our fiction contest.)

As far as I can tell, every good or great story must have a good or great opening.  Perhaps this is a fairly obvious observation, but I can’t think of a single good or great story that opens with a mediocre first page.  When you submit your fiction to journals, the opening pages of your story are absolutely essential in determining whether or not your story makes it beyond the slush pile.  The opening convinces a reader to devote his or her time to reading the rest of your story, rather than moving on to another story, and editors are readers with a virtually limitless supply of other stories to move on to. Read more…

Announcing Our 2012 1/2K Prize Winner and Runners-Up!

Image: Shane Gorski

 

2012 Indiana Review  ½ K Winner

“Michigan Central Station Has Been Closed Since 1988”

Lindsay Tigue

Ames, IA

 

Runners-Up

“Lies”

Jenny Halper

Brooklyn, NY

“Co-lo-ny Col-lapse Dis-or-der”

Megan Moriarty

Staten Island, NY

 

When asked to say a few words of the winning piece, contest judge Michael Martone writes:

I love trains, and I also adore ruins. I admire this piece for its content of irresistible decay and how its form replicates the unstoppable rot. This is a story that consumes itself, composts as it confounds. It is rich with stuff, with detail, with nominative junk. It names names, chock-a-block, only to have it all melt and fade away. There is no better drama in such a condensed and pressured space. To have a lump of coal transformed into diamond and then, beyond that rock, into the elemental idea of crystalline and holy loss.

“Michigan Central Station Has Been Closed Since 1988” will appear in Indiana Review 34.2, due out this winter. You can order a single issue or a year’s subscription here.

A huge congratulations to our winner and runners-up, and many thanks to all who helped make our 2012 1/2K Prize Contest a success!