We are delighted to announce the winners of our 23rd annual Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize. We received over 2800 entries this year, and the quality of the semi-finalists made this a very difficult decision. Thank you so much to all the writers who gave us the opportunity to read their work this year. Without further ado, here are our winners in all three genres:
Winner: Melissa Yancy of Los Angeles, California, for “Consider This Case”
Rachel Unkefer of Charlottesville, Virginia, for “Charcoal”
Amanda Harris of New York, New York, for “Isle au Haut”
Sean Adams of Seattle, Washington, for “The Astronaut Who Forgot”
Winner: Kai Carlson-Wee of San Francisco, California
Diane Seuss of Kalamazoo, Michigan
Soledad Caballero of Meadville, Pennsylvania
Marc Wagenaar of Denton, Texas
Winner: David Zoby of Casper, Wyoming, for “Café Misfit”
Jill N. Kandel of South Moorhead, Minnesota, for “Paying the Piper”
Cory Brown of Ithaca, New York, for “Compliance”
Patricia Bjorklund of Wilmington, North Carolina, for “Champs and Chumps”
We received approximately 2800 manuscripts this year, and the overall quality was extraordinarily good, making our decision a difficult one. We always want, of course, our selections to be a challenge — having excellent pieces in all three genres to read, consider, pass, reread, discuss, argue, praise, and so forth — which is exactly what happened during late November and early December as we narrowed down our choices. Selecting winners of the Editors’ Prize should never be easy, and it certainly wasn’t. We deeply appreciate all the writers who entered our contest this year and gave us a chance to read their work. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: TMR is only as good as the work writers submit to us. Without that, we don’t have a magazine. So: thank you.
I also want to say “Thanks!” to our staff. Preparation for the Editors’ Prize began in May, months before we get the chance to even start reading the submissions. Also, there is the never-ending amount of administrative work that goes into promoting the contest. So this six month process has finally concluded successfully, and that’s all due to our contest editor, Mike Petrik, who did all the heavy lifting to make our contest a huge success. His staff of readers and assistants were wonderful. Big thanks to Evelyn Somers, Tanya McQueen, Meagan Ciesla, Danny Miller, Morgan Denlow, Katie Gilgour, Nick Potter, Anne Barngrover, Nathan Riggs, and Tyler Talbott for all their help!
We’re making plans right now for our Editors’ Prize weekend, our annual spring reading and reception to honor the winners of the contest. Details will be forthcoming as soon as we lock down the date, but we’re aiming for dates in March or April. This Editors’ Prize issue, featuring our winners and selected finalists, will also be out in spring of 2014.
Congratulations to Melissa, Kai, and David!
Follow Michael Nye on Twitter: @mpnye