Unstuck Flash Fiction Open #2 -- Winners


Last November, we held a fee-free flash fiction contest. Amelia Gray was our final judge.

We're pleased to announce that the winners were Emily Kiernan, for her story “Palinopsia,” and Dennis James Sweeney, for “When He Comes Home from the War.” Both of the winning stories will appear in Unstuck #3. For the next two months, the winning authors will be working with us on a top-secret project, involving science and high technology, that will be unveiled at our AWP table in Seattle.

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Here are Amelia Gray’s comments about her selections:

“Palinopsia,” by Emily Kiernan

"Dropped into the middle of things—or the end of things, depending on your perspective—we get these fine descriptive labyrinths at the sentence level. This is bold and surprising short work, it is arresting, and proves to me that our subject can be well known, even a little quaintly known as a piece of culture, and fine work prevails to create a thing which is wholly new."

“When He Comes Home from The War,” by Dennis James Sweeney

"This is a lovely, efficient piece and perfectly presents outright danger in the post-trauma mundane. This is a story that I could spend hours going through with students were I not legally barred from interacting with young people."

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During the initial phase of this contest, a group of Unstuck editors read and discussed each story. We then selected about two dozen stories to forward to Amelia Gray, whom we invited to select one or two winners.

The initial culling process turned out to be sort of agonizing because of the high quality of the work we received. There were about 20 stories in the pile that were, at one point or another, some editor's favorite, and another hundred or so that we all enjoyed. All of that is just to say, to everyone who sent us a story: please keep writing, keep submitting, and know that there's a good chance that we are fans of your work.

* A heads-up: we will hold our third flash fiction contest this spring. (As always, the contest will be free to enter for our Twitter followers.) Roxane Gay will be our final judge. Winners will be published in Unstuck #4. We'll have details available soon.

* We will likely hold a fourth flash fiction contest in November. (That's the plan, anyway.)

* If you'll be at AWP in Seattle, note that we will hold a little contest there as well. Entry forms (including guidelines) will be available at our table on the first day of the conference. All entries must be hand-written on the contest forms. Entries will be due by closing time on Friday night of the bookfair.


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