Previous Contests

2019: Fiction / Nonfiction

Carmen Maria MachadoJudge: Carmen Maria Machado
Deborah Jackson Taffa – Kiva Song
Lilly Dancyger – Negative Space
Joseph Holt – Your Nightmare

Negative Space<br /><span class="booktitle">Lilly Dancyger</span>

Negative Space
Lilly Dancyger

"NEGATIVE SPACE is one of the greatest memoirs of this, or any, time.” -T Kira Madden, Award-winning author of Long ...
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2019: The 2040 Books James Alan McPherson Prize

Gish JenJudge: Gish Jen
Christina Chiu – Beauty

Beauty<br /><span class="booktitle">Christina Chiu</span>

Christina Chiu

“Christina Chiu’s Beauty is beautiful in the way of a scalpel blade. It’s that sharp and precise, that lacerating, that ...
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2018: The 2040 Books James Alan McPherson Prize

Judge: Mat Johnson
Bonnie Chau – All Roads Lead to Blood

all roads lead to blood (cover)

All Roads Lead To Blood
Bonnie Chau

Unflinching and compelling portrayals of desire fill this award-winning story collection, moving back and forth between California and New York, ...
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2017: Fiction / Nonfiction

Judge: Benjamin Percy
Wendy Fox – If the Ice Had Held
Doug Crandell – Tornado Season
Kate Wisel – Driving in Cars With Homeless Men

If the Ice Had Held<br /><span class="booktitle">Wendy J. Fox</span>

If the Ice Had Held
Wendy J. Fox

“Razor-sharp “…written with incredible grace and assurance. I gave myself over to this story and felt as though I had ...
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2015: Fiction / Nonfiction

Judge: Emily St. John Mandel


A.A. Balaskovits – Magic for Unlucky Girls
Elizabeth Horneber – Chinese Red
Lisa Reisman – 5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours

Magic For Unlucky Girls<br /><span class="booktitle">A.A. Balaskovits</span>

Magic For Unlucky Girls
A.A. Balaskovits

"That rarest of things: A book that doesn't remind me of anything else I've read. A wonderful, truly original work." ...
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5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours  <br /><span class="booktitle">Lisa Reisman</span>

5 Months 10 Years 2 Hours
Lisa Reisman

When a disillusioned New York attorney decides to leave the law, buy a convertible, and hit the road, she doesn't ...
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2013: Nonfiction


Judge: Lee Gutkind

Annita Sawyer — Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass
Allen Gee — My Chinese America
Mary Quade — Ideal Uncertainties

My Chinese-America<br /><span class="booktitle">Allen Gee</span>

My Chinese-America
Allen Gee

"Masculinity, mobility, history, and the American dream of equality all take their turn under Gee’s lens, as he shrewdly navigates ...
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Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass<br /><span class="booktitle">Dr. Annita Perez Sawyer</span>

Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass
Dr. Annita Perez Sawyer

What would lead a lively, high-achieving teenager to shrivel into a dark, inaudible wraith dedicated to her own destruction? How ...
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Nights I Dreamed of Hubert Humphrey<br /><span class="booktitle">Daniel Mueller</span>

Nights I Dreamed of Hubert Humphrey
Daniel Mueller

Nights I Dreamed of Hubert Humphrey About the Book: Eleven stories by the author of the critically-acclaimed HOW ANIMALS MATE ...
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Muscle Cars<br /><span class="booktitle">Stephen G. Eoannou</span>

Muscle Cars
Stephen G. Eoannou

"Eoannou proves masterful at revealing that razor’s edge inside everyday American man." ...
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 2011: Fiction/nonfiction

Alan Cheuse
Judge: Alan Cheuse

Lance LarsenSeventeen Ways to Float
Angie Chuang — The Four Words for Home
Emily StoneIn Search of Chocola: Love, Chocolate, and Language in Guatemala

The Four Words for Home<br /><span class="booktitle">Angie Chuang</span>

The Four Words for Home
Angie Chuang

The Four Words For Home About the Book: Angie Chuang takes on an assignment to "find the human face of ...
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2011: Poetry

Rose Solari

Judge: Rose Solari


Jude Nutter – untitled selection
Katie Schmid – The Heaven and The Hangover
Charles Atkinson – untitled selection


Robert Olen Butler

Judge: Robert Olen Butler


Tara Laskowski –Black Diamond City
Nicole Louise Reid – A Purposeful Violence
W.A. Smith – Einstein’s Fiddle

Screenplay Awards Grand Prizewinner: John Bengel – The Voyeur

Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons <br /><span class="booktitle">Tara Laskowski</span>

Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons
Tara Laskowski

The best-selling indie hit returns with an all new revised and expanded edition! ...
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Bystanders<br /><span class="booktitle"> Tara Laskowski

Tara Laskowski

"Laskowski’s collection will be welcomed by readers who care about witnessing the significant rather than the spectacular." ...
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Pagan Kennedy

Judge: Pagan Kennedy


Matthew PittListening for Life
Nicole Louise Reid – This One Last Thing
Adam Sturtevant – Ease Chest Tuck Hid Debt Art

Attention Please Now: Stories <br /><span class="booktitle">Matthew Pitt</span>

Attention Please Now: Stories
Matthew Pitt

Attention Please Now About the Book: The characters in Matthew Pitt's debut short story collection strive to blend into the ...
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So There!<br /><span class="booktitle">Nicole Louise Reid</span>

So There!
Nicole Louise Reid

So There! About the Book: With the graceful lyricism of a musician’s ear, the stories of So There! inhabit the ...
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The Biology of Luck<br /><span class="booktitle">Jacob M. Appel</span>

The Biology of Luck
Jacob M. Appel

The Biology of Luck About the Book: Odd-job queen Starshine Hart is about to go on somebody else’s perfect date ...
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Keowee Valley<br /><span class="booktitle">Katherine Scott Crawford</span>

Keowee Valley
Katherine Scott Crawford

Keowee Valley About the Book: She journeyed into the wilderness to find a kidnapped relative. She stayed to build a ...
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Before He Finds Her<br /><span class="booktitle">Michael Kardos</span>

Before He Finds Her
Michael Kardos

Everyone in town knows the story: Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his wife and daughter. But ...
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Richard Currey

Judge: Richard Currey


Bethany Harvey – Falling Rock
Joseph M. Schuster – A Saint in the Family
Whitney Purvis – Cuentitos Caoticos

The Might Have Been<br /><span class="booktitle"> Joe Schuster</span>

The Might Have Been
Joe Schuster

Full of passion, ambition, and possibility, The Might Have Been maps the profound and unpredictable moments that change our lives ...
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The Professor's Daughter: A Novel<br /><span class="booktitle"> Emily Raboteau</span>

The Professor’s Daughter: A Novel
Emily Raboteau

In exhilarating prose, The Professor's Daughter traces the borderlands of race and family, contested territory that gives rise to rage, ...
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Sons of Their Fathers: A Novella & Twelve Stories<br /><span class="booktitle">W. A. Smith</span>

Sons of Their Fathers: A Novella & Twelve Stories
W. A. Smith

Sons of Their Fathers focuses sharply on the relationships between fathers and sons and the power of love and redemption ...
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Last Call: Stories<br /><span class="booktitle"> K. L. Cook</span>

Last Call: Stories
K. L. Cook

Last Call About the Book: In this tenth anniversary edition of K. L. Cook’s debut collection, the linked stories of ...
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Jayne Anne Phillips

Judge: Jayne Anne Phillips


Charlotte Gullick – By Way of Water
Kate Small – The B-Zone Open
Patricia Schaefer – Love Is Blue
Haruko Yamauchi – Witness

By Way of Water<br /><span class="booktitle">Charlotte Gullick</span>

By Way of Water
Charlotte Gullick

"By Way of Water is a work of exquisite beauty." ...
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Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy<br /><span class="booktitle">Ira Sukrungruang</span>

Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy
Ira Sukrungruang

Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy About the Book: On one side of the door, the rich smell of ...
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Woman Who Never Cooked: Stories<br /><span class="booktitle">Mary L. Tabor</span>

Woman Who Never Cooked: Stories
Mary L. Tabor

The Woman Who Never Cooked About the Book: The Woman Who Never Cooked is Mary's collection of linked short stories ...
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