Sarah Black Awarded 2016 Orlando Poetry Prize
Apr02

Sarah Black Awarded 2016 Orlando Poetry Prize

Congratulations to Sarah Black  on the selection of her poem, “Mooring the Boat to the Dock,” for the 2016 Orlando Poetry Prize. “Mooring the Boat to the Dock,” will be published in Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, Featuring Maxine Hong Kingston. “Mooring the Boat to the Dock” holds the brutality of history in one hand the work of life in the other. It testifies to the enduring power of the archetypal feminine, ancient and still yet with us “On every given morning.”—Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge We asked Sarah to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: This piece came from listening to Paul Gregory’s interview on the Econtalk podcast about Stalinism and whether the ascendance of power abusers in unstable times is inevitable. I was thinking about how indistinguishable the personal and political are to caregivers in any society facing changing historical circumstance. I am pretty much wholly unpublished, so this is extremely flattering and encouraging. I’m glad that someone enjoyed something I wrote, and that good use can be made from the time and energy I carve out for writing projects. Sarah Black is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts and Grinnell College. She currently works as a title analyst and a bar manager and intends to pursue a masters of public administration in the...

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Tessa Lunney Awarded 2016 Orlando Short Fiction Prize
Apr02

Tessa Lunney Awarded 2016 Orlando Short Fiction Prize

Congratulations to Tessa Lunney  on the selection of her piece, “Those Ebola Burners Them,” for the 2016 Orlando Short Fiction Prize. “Those Ebola Burners Them,” will be published in Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, Featuring Maxine Hong Kingston. “Those Ebola Burners Them” takes us into a place of life and death, where heroic choices are made that will never be able to be brought back to the village. The ravages are told in a language stark and poetic, powerful enough to redefine heroism and redemption.—Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge We asked Tessa  to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: My main preoccupation is the nexus between silence, trauma, conflict and language; in particular, how language can utilise silences and gaps in order to express the otherwise inexpressible. A newspaper article inspired this story as its brief descriptions and few quotes contained worlds. Each publication is important as each time an editor reads and understands my work, and sends it out to the public, I’m inspired and encouraged to write more, take more risks, work harder to reach for the essence of the piece. To win a prize such as this encourages me ten-fold, and I am very grateful.    Tessa Lunney is a novelist, poet, and academic. In 2013, she graduated from the Western Sydney University with a Doctorate of Creative Arts that explored silence in Australian war fiction. In 2014 she was the recipient of an Australia Council ArtStart grant for literature. Her poetry, short fiction, and reviews have been published in Southerly, Cordite, Mascara Review and Contrapasso, among others. She works as the Editorial Assistant for Southerly and as a casual academic at universities around Sydney. You can find more of her work...

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Valerie Speedwell Awarded 2016 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize
Apr02

Valerie Speedwell Awarded 2016 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize

Congratulations to Valerie Speedwell on the selection of her piece, “Regina,” for the 2016 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize. “Regina,” will be published in Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, Featuring Maxine Hong Kingston. “Regina” creates an unstoppable presence and voice, in a rush of language and rhythm that admits no argument or challenge, despite the obstacles it names. The sheer energy and vitality of the piece is absolutely commanding. —Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge We asked Valerie  to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: This piece is about resilience. Regina has every reason to fail and to think she’s worthless yet she’s magnificent in her defiance. This is my first publication and I’m thrilled, not only for the validation by such a prestigious organization as AROHO affords, but also because it gives me the courage to keep writing. Valerie Speedwell grew up in New York and now lives and writes in San Francisco. She’s currently working on a novel called Potluck: Recipes for Love, Passion, and...

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Jocelyn Edelstein Awarded 2016 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize
Apr02

Jocelyn Edelstein Awarded 2016 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize

Congratulations to Jocelyn Edelstein on the selection of her essay, “Keep Calling My Name: Frogs, circles and climate change,” for the 2016 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize. “Keep Calling My Name: Frogs, circles and climate change,” will be published in Waves: A Confluence of Women’s Voices, Featuring Maxine Hong Kingston. “Keep Calling My Name: Frogs, circles and climate change” looks for ways in which some things in the world might still be made right, and finds models in dance, physics, children and frogs. All these are wreathed together through the essay, deftly enacting the kinds of connection and flexibility that just might save us. —Diane Gilliam, Orlando Finalist Judge We asked Jocelyn to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: My piece is about the ways movement teaches us how to survive and build strong, vibrant communities. It’s about the innate brilliance of children and the wisdom found in different cultures. Publication has always given me the chance to view my work from a different lens. It helps me remember that my writing evolves as I do and serves as a reflection for a certain moment in time. Jocelyn Edelstein’s work has appeared in three Best Women’s Travel Writing anthologies, The Other Otter, 3Elements Review, Conscious Dancer Magazine and Commonline Journal. When she’s not teaching dance, she’s writing about the great outdoors or making films about movement and community. Her feature length documentary, Believe The Beat, is currently in post production. More information can be found at...

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Ingrid Jendrzejewski Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize
Oct01

Ingrid Jendrzejewski Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize

Ingrid Jendrzejewski Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize Congratulations to Ingrid Jendrzejewski on the selection of her essay, “The Immaculate Heart of Mary/Steel City 1910,” for the Fall 2015 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize! “The Immaculate Heart of Mary/Steel City 1910” will be published in Issue 19 of The Los Angeles Review. The author of “The Immaculate Heart of Mary/Steel City 1910″ honors the form of flash fiction by not attempting to make it something it isn’t: it’s neither a boiled down short story nor a fleeting glimpse of life. She manages to evoke the grittiness and toil of early twentieth century immigrant life and the complexities of gender and desire in a piece filled with magic, lust, and despair. This story won my (far from immaculate) heart.” —Anne Finger, Fall 2015 Orlando Flash Fiction Finalist Judge We asked Ingrid to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: My great-grandparents were Polish immigrants who worked in the Pittsburgh steel mills, but I know very little about them; writing [“The Immaculate Heart of Mary/Steel City 1910”] gave me a way to sidle up to some of that lost family history. Only after sharing it with my father did I discover that my great-grandparents’ house and my grandfather’s school were located near the church that features in the story. A little over a year ago, I made a commitment to myself to give writing a serious try; as part of that, I started submitting work for publication. The very first story I sent out was published and I received $25.00 along with a huge confidence boost. That acceptance and each one since has inoculated me against the slew of rejections that have also come in. I love the idea that, once in a while, a little pulse that one sends out into the universe can resonate with other people. That being said, when I’m in the process of writing and editing, I try my best not to think about any of that. I’ve never had good results when I’ve tried to write ‘for publication’, and “The Immaculate Heart of Mary” is a good example. This piece started out as a character study, written in response to a prompt, that I submitted as part of a writing workshop application. I wasn’t offered a place, but that rejection was the best thing that ever could have happened to this story. Without an audience in mind, I felt free to write outside my comfort zone, and the result – the piece that I submitted to the Orlando Prize – is one of my favorite stories to date. Winning was a complete surprise and I’m still in...

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Beth Ann Fennelly Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize
Oct01

Beth Ann Fennelly Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize

Beth Ann Fennelly Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize Congratulations to Beth Ann Fennelly on the selection of her essay, “Goner” for the Fall 2015 Orlando Nonfiction Prize! “Goner” will be published in Issue No. 19 of The Los Angeles Review. “The arc [of ‘Goner’] is clear and well developed. The author uses ecclesiastical language to great effect, as it immediately establishes that this setting is a world apart. Yet, at the same time, given this author’s compelling language – the vivid, potent, and compelling details – the narrator invites the reader inside this narrative. In short, the reader feels as if she (the reader) is there with the narrator…[Fennelly] seamlessly twines together themes of sexual abuse and gender politics. Within these themes, she also uses irony to great effect. This is a winning essay! —Sue William Silverman, Fall 2015 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Finalist Judge   We asked Beth Ann to talk about her essay and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: “Goner” is essentially about memory, and about how new information can color memory retroactively. I’d always felt a little bitter about being kicked out of that altar boy meeting; learning what I learned later complicated that so much, because I understood also how lucky I was, and how unfortunate my male classmates were. It’s so validating to be able to tell my truth in this essay, to narrate the history of secrets and cover ups that shaped so much of my growing up years, and, through publication, feel I’m part of the conversations happening now about abuses in the church. I think that’s one of the essential reasons why we write and try to publish after all–to join the conversation.             Beth Ann Fennelly directs the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants from the N.E.A., the MS Arts Commission, and United States Artists. Her work has won a Pushcart Prize and three times been included in The Best American Poetry Series. Fennelly has published three full-length poetry books. Her first, Open House, won The 2001 Kenyon Review Prize, the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award, and was a Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Pick. Her second book, Tender Hooks, and her third, Unmentionables, were published by W. W. Norton in 2004 and 2008. She has also published a book of nonfiction, Great with Child, in 2006, with Norton. Fennelly writes essays on travel, culture, and design for Country Living, Southern Living, AFAR, Garden & Gun, The Oxford American, and others. Her most recent book is The Tilted World, a novel...

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Leigh Claire Schmidli Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize
Oct01

Leigh Claire Schmidli Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize

Leigh Claire Schmidli Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize Congratulations to Leigh Claire Schmidli on the selection of her short story “Grow Heavy” for the Fall 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize! “Grow Heavy” will be published in Issue 19 of The Los Angeles Review. “Subtle, tender, poignant, this story delivers an emotional wallop in just a few pages. A gorgeous evocation of loneliness, of the delicate yearning for connection, for contact, at the same time as it pursues larger notions of manhood. Lovely and deeply memorable.” —Megan Abbott, Fall 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Finalist Judge We asked Leigh Claire to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her. She replied: For me, “Grow Heavy” speaks of gentleness and strength together, of loss and longing, of the inner life—a small obsession, a memory—that arises and allows the days to move on, of the flickers of light that filter through. Writing can be so solitary and slow. Often, in the quiet, just me, I begin to wonder why I’m doing this work. But then I remember what happens when I read someone else’s story and it resonates with me. I experience a connection. Some combination of aesthetics and narrative ignites, and I can feel for those characters, I can miss them after the last page, and I can recognize their narratives in the real lives around me. For me, publication means connection. It’s the possibility that, after many long and lonely days of writing, these characters I’ve been wrestling with—their emotions, their ideas and journeys—they might go off into the world and touch someone.         Leigh Claire Schmidli grew up along Midwestern plains, but now lives with a view of woods-covered hills—orange in fall, purple in spring. She writes poetry, fiction, and essays, loves to read work with lyrical leanings, and cooks meals with a man who calls her Lucy. Her first published piece—a work of flash fiction—recently came out in Carve...

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Allison Adair Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Poetry Prize
Oct01

Allison Adair Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Poetry Prize

Allison Adair Awarded Fall 2015 Orlando Poetry Prize Congratulations to Allison Adair on the selection of her poem, “Flight Theory” for the Fall 2015 Orlando Poetry Prize! “Flight Theory” will be published in Issue 19 of the Los Angeles Review. “[FLIGHT THEORY] pulled me into the poet’s experience from the first two lines: You turn off the lights this time/ and lie still, a body shifting from its country… The writer grapples with the complexity of her experience by using language that is rough, raw, surprising, painful and difficult, but important. The poem is layered and full of imaginings, it places the reader right there in the moment. I felt like I was watching all the scenes unfold, even the scenes that were not completely clear to me. There are so many searing lines, these are among my favorites: he slips into your wet speech,/ dismantles you quietly… Organs are everywhere: on the workbench outside… his black/ feathers stir… you lose yourself under a loud human neck… land/ disappearing like salt/ in a stirred glass… The writer builds the images and follows them to one surprising, frightful, gorgeous conclusion.” —Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, Fall 2015 Orlando Poetry Finalist Judge We asked Allison to talk about her poem and to tell us what publication means to her. She replied: This poem reconstructs the shadowy personal history of my great-grandmother: she was only sixteen when her mother woke her one night, with no warning, ushered her out into the unlit road, and sent her off, alone, to America. About that night, my great-grandmother would say only that her stepfather had grown “too rough” since she had become a teenager. It was important to me to develop a form that might render the uncertainties about what my great-grandmother had experienced—to recreate the competing voices that crowd her story. Though I’ve written my whole life, I began submitting work for publication only within the last year or so. Positive responses have done wonders for my confidence as a writer, and have encouraged me to experiment, to push harder, to ask more questions of myself as a poet and as a thinker. Publication reminds me that each poem has its audience: it’s part of my job to find that audience, and to serve it.           Allison Adair’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2015, Boston Review, Mid-American Review, Missouri Review, Tahoma Literary Review, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, the Boston Globe, and the anthology Hacks; hypertext projects appear on The Rumpus and Electric Literature. Winner of the 2014 Fineline Competition, Adair is on the English faculty at Boston College and teaches poetry workshops...

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t’ai freedom ford Awarded 2015 To the Lighthouse Prize
Jul01

t’ai freedom ford Awarded 2015 To the Lighthouse Prize

t’ai freedom ford is a New York City high school English teacher, Cave Canem Fellow, and Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Sinister Wisdom, No, Dear, The African American Review, Vinyl, Nepantla, Poetry and others. Her work has also been featured in several anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. In 2012 and 2013, she completed two multi-city tours as a part of a queer women of color literary salon, The Revival. In 2014, she was the winner of The Feminist Wire’s inaugural poetry contest judged by Evie Shockley. She is currently a 2015 Center for Fiction Fellow. t’ai lives and loves in Brooklyn, but hangs out digitally at: shesaidword.com “how to get over,” t’ai freedom ford’s electric, rhythmic manuscript, is AROHO’s 2015 To the Lighthouse Poetry Book Prize winner   Finalist Judge Alicia Stallings writes:  “I was struck by two seemingly opposite qualities of this book—its electricity (charged by the poles of Strife and Love), and its containment and mastery, words that might seem at first at odds with the poet’s concerns with racial oppression and sexual identity.  Yet in these poems, full of jostling rhymes, elaborate rhythms, well-weighed syllabics, received and invented forms, deft improvisations, sonnets and bops, the poet confronts public tragedies and private trauma with craft and music, subverting and incorporating tradition. Take “ode to an African urn:  for Trayvon and them/ after Keats” in which the poet responds to the interrogation of Keats’ cold pastoral by questioning the premature death of another young man, in three taut triolets, the first of which goes:   what men or gods are these? what mad pursuit? what sin or odd odds are these? what men and gods are these what unarmed boys down on bruised knees? what mad blue suits? what men or gods are these? what mad pursuit? Keats’ urn tells us beauty is truth, truth beauty:  that’s all we need to know.  This vessel also has an unstoppered mouth, other things to say.” Special congratulations also to Finalist Joni Wallace, for her manuscript, “Kingdom Come Radio Show,” to Finalist Gillian Cummings, for her manuscript, “A Woman of Water,” to Finalist E.C. Belli, for her manuscript, “Wick Effect,” and to the three-hundred and seventy authors whose top-notch manuscripts we had the pleasure of...

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Kathline Carr Awarded 2015 Clarissa Dalloway Prize
Jul01

Kathline Carr Awarded 2015 Clarissa Dalloway Prize

Kathline Carr, writer and visual artist, earned her BFA in Creative Writing with concentrations in visual art and feminist philosophy from Goddard College, VT and holds an MFA in Visual Arts from The Art Institute of Boston. Her writing/art has appeared in Calyx, Earth’s Daughters, Hawaii Review, CT Review, Alexandria Quarterly and elsewhere; recently, she has exhibited in the Berkshires, NYC, Boston, Toronto, and artSTRAND Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Carr lives in North Adams, Massachusetts with her husband and sometimes-collaborator, figurative painter Jim Peters, and her daughter Mercedes.   “Miraculum Monstrum,” Kathline Carr’s astonishing manuscript, is AROHO’s 2015 Clarissa Dalloway “everything but poetry” Book Prize winner. Finalist Judge Kate Gale writes:  If we look inside ourselves we might find we’re dirty, restless, scared, a bit rotten. What if we brought all that monster out into the open, misshapen as a child’s play sand castle and started stacking story pieces there, disturbing the layers where we’d been colonized and making a new story that could bear up under sunlight. We don’t have to be crazy. Or maybe we can be crazy and still be outside. This is the quaking beauty of ‘Miraculum Monstrum.’   AROHO loves big aching stories that start inside the woman, move out into the community where bits of the story crackle off and meet the sky.  This book with its marriage of art and soul is everything we ever dreamed of in a Dalloway winner.  It is big life stained on paper.   Special congratulations also to Finalist Jennifer Natalya Fink, for her manuscript, “Bhopal Dance,” to Finalist Julie Schlack, for her manuscript, “This All-at-Onceness: Linked Essays,” to Finalist Carol Spaulding, for her manuscript, “Navelencia: 1910,” and to the two-hundred and thirty-two authors whose top-notch manuscripts we had the pleasure of...

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Linda Cooper Awarded Spring 2015 Orlando Poetry Prize
Apr01

Linda Cooper Awarded Spring 2015 Orlando Poetry Prize

“The longing and painful resurgence of the central figure in this poem is drawn for us through action and image. Every word here is doing important work. … The poet uses her lines masterfully, changing and rearranging my perceptions and expectations, renewing tired language and recharging her poem as she moves it down the page.” —Camille Dungy, Spring 2015 Orlando Poetry Finalist Judge Congratulations to Linda Cooper on the selection of her poem, “The New Morrigan” for the Spring 2015 Orlando Poetry Prize! “The New Morrigan” will be published in Issue No. 18 of the Los Angeles Review. We asked Linda to talk about her poem and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: To me, The New Morrigan is a study in empowerment. I had been researching the behavior and activities of crows and, in the process, learned about boldness, ingenuity and communication. Crows became my teachers, a source of inspiration. I hope that, through this poem, they can inspire other women to rise from grief, limitation, and fear toward a new view of their own powerful selves.   Writing poetry is inspirational, fun, and transformative. Publication has been a source of empowerment and a way to communicate something personal to a larger world. Publication is hard, and I have often asked myself if the effort, rejection, and tedium are worth it. In light of this most recent honor, the answer is yes.   Linda Cooper lives in Seattle, Washington, where she teaches middle school Language Arts. She completed her MFA at Eastern Washington University, and her poems have been published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, West Branch, Many Mountains Moving, Willow Springs, Third Coast, Hubbub, Elixir, Diner, Midwest Quarterly Review, Weber Studies, Redactions, The Far Field, Verse Daily, Railtown Almanac and Rock and...

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Judith Janeway Awarded Spring 2015 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize
Apr01

Judith Janeway Awarded Spring 2015 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize

“A narrator, a place, a past, and a future are crystallized brilliantly in this deceptively brief fiction about a street performer. Long after reading, I found myself shaking my head and asking—’Did that really just happen?’—forgetting that it was only a story.” —Joni B. Cole, Spring 2015 Orlando Flash Fiction Finalist Judge Congratulations to Judith Janeway on the selection of her flash fiction story, “The Street Artist” for the Spring 2015 Orlando Flash Prize! “The Street Artist” will be published in Issue No. 18 of the Los Angeles Review. We asked Judith to talk about her story and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: The Street Artist is about the space, or possibly the dimension, between imagination and reality. Writers invite readers to enter into and inhabit an imaginary world and to experience it as if it’s real.   Publication has taken my writing from a solo venture to a shared one. Now, even when I’m alone at my computer writing, I feel connected to and in conversation with my readers. It’s wonderful.   Judith Janeway can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing stories, but naturally she also had to do other things. She received a Master’s in Comparative Literature and taught for some years at a men’s college. It wasn’t as much fun as it sounds. She left teaching and earned a PhD in Health Psychology and worked for a much longer time as a social science researcher, studying people coping with serious or terminal illnesses and their caregivers. Odds of Dying, released In November 2014, was her first mystery/suspense. Her second mystery, The Magician’s Daughter, book one of a series, was released in February 2015 by Poisoned Pen...

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Anna Scotti Awarded Spring 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize
Apr01

Anna Scotti Awarded Spring 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize

“A great story pulls the twin threads of plot and theme taut from first word to last, and ‘They Look Like Angels’ makes this tautness seem effortless. The spare, simple, straightforward language both impressed and affected me with its restraint. The anguish of the grieving narrator, packed so carefully inside her actions, is almost never seen but emerges in devastating stages as the experience behind those actions is revealed.” —Aimee Liu, Spring 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Finalist Judge Congratulations to Anna Scotti on the selection of her story, “They Look Like Angels” for the Spring 2015 Orlando Short Fiction Prize! “They Look Like Angels” will be published in Issue No. 18 of the Los Angeles Review.    We asked Anna to talk about her story and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: I had two goals in writing “They Look Like Angels.” I wanted to portray an unsympathetic character sympathetically; I wanted the reader to cross that border between “them” and “us.” That was the artistic goal. Then there was a political goal: I wanted to show that while young men who become school shooters are very sick indeed, probably irredeemably so, the society that allows them easy access to guns is at least as troubled.   Publication—and by, extension, prizes—provide validation for a writer. Writing is the most personal of endeavors, yet what’s the point if the product is not read? Publication means someone knowledgeable, someone who cares about words and ideas, connected with what I wrote. In my case, I am fortunate to have the incredibly insightful and sensitive commentary provided by Aimee Liu—what a validation indeed for a writer to have every inch of a story examined, assessed and understood! I am completely delighted and thrilled to be the recipient of AROHO’s Orlando Prize for Short Fiction. It’s an inspirational experience.   Anna Scotti teaches middle school English at a French International school in Los Angeles, and is a working poet who has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize several times. She has also been the recipient of, or a finalist for, poetry prizes offered by Yemassee, The Crab Creek Review, The Comstock Review, and other literary magazines, and her work appears frequently in Chautauqua. Before embarking on a teaching career, Scotti was a widely published journalist, writing columns for InStyle and the late, great, Buzz magazine, as well as features for nationals from Redbook to Traveling in Style. Scotti is writing a YA novel about a girl and a dog who rescue each other in an unexpected way. Find her poetry and a few short fiction pieces...

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Diana Spechler Awarded Spring 2015 Orlando Nonfiction Prize
Apr01

Diana Spechler Awarded Spring 2015 Orlando Nonfiction Prize

“There is so much to say about this lyric essay. It is not only formally innovative, the form is following function with all sorts of biblical relevance with the number 12. It is really smart, and fast and light on its feet. It gets so much done in short spaces…This writer knows exactly what to tell us, and, often more important (and overlooked in CNF) what NOT to, what connections to let up make on our own. The essay is also deeply and darkly funny, but not at the expense of how moving it ultimately is. Bravo!” —Pam Houston, Spring 2015 Orlando Nonfiction Finalist Judge   Congratulations to Diana Spechler on the selection of her essay, “Twelve Parables” for the Spring 2015 Orlando Nonfiction Prize! “Twelve Parables” will be published in Issue No. 18 of the Los Angeles Review.  We asked Diana to talk about her essay and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: “Twelve Parables” is about shame. It’s about wanting things and being told that you don’t want them or that you want them too much. It’s about feeling things and being told that you don’t feel them or that you should feel something else. It’s about living as a woman inside a world that has fixed ideas about how women should be.   For me, writing and publishing are also about untangling shame: I write with as much candor as I can bear, in part to call taboos into question. My hope, and maybe this is lofty, is that my readers will think, “You’re allowed to feel that way? You’re allowed to say that? Okay, good, I feel better now.”   Diana Spechler is the author of the novels Who by Fire and Skinny, and of the New York Times column Going Off. Her work has appeared in GQ, Esquire, Glimmer Train Stories, PANK, Brevity, The Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She teaches writing in New York City as well as for Stanford University’s Online Writer’s Studio and The Wounded Warrior Project. Her website is...

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Shakespeare’s Sister Fellow, Dipika Guha
Nov01

Shakespeare’s Sister Fellow, Dipika Guha

Dipika Guha of New York, NY, is the recipient of A Room of Her Own Foundation’s first Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship, a partnership joining A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO), Hedgebrook, and The Lark together with award-winning actress, playwright, and author Ellen McLaughlin. This gestational, communal, and developmental fellowship is the trifecta of playwriting opportunities for a female playwright, offering a $10,000 prize and unique experiences with the three partnering organizations. “It’s such a rare and incredible opportunity, inviting the creation of something that maybe hasn’t even been dreamt of yet,” Guha said of the fellowship. “Our intention for the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship is to reward a playwright whose level of excellence and rich, diverse voice challenges literary and cultural traditions. Dipika Guha is such a playwright. We see Guha’s great talent poised to join great opportunity and expect she will continue to push the boundaries of the merely domestic to the language of big ideas and big stories.” Darlene Chandler Bassett, Founder and President of AROHO Get to know more about Dipika Guha, her work, and her story on her Shakespeare’s Sister page here. The fellow and finalists were discovered through a blind, two-round process. The pool of 957 first-round submissions was winnowed down to 40 semi-finalists by Ellen McLaughlin. These 40 semi-finalists were in turn judged by teams of readers from the national theatre community  to reveal five finalists. Final deliberations for the fellow were made by representatives of AROHO, Hedgebrook, and The Lark. “We now know so much more about the vast, varied and remarkable community of women playwrights and are more determined than ever to find ways to serve it,” said Ellen McLaughlin the partnership’s visionary and mentor. “Dipika Guha’s work is fresh as paint, vibrant with authority and originality. It is a joy to acknowledge such a unique talent with the first Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship. We are so excited to see what she will bring into the world as a result of it.” “Dipika Guha is a writer of breathtaking vision and voice, and Hedgebrook is thrilled to join with our partners in awarding her this fellowship. The quality and calibre of our four finalists is truly extraordinary. We were blown away by the dazzling theatrical worlds these writers are creating, and the global scope of their stories. Their subject matter is urgent, their voices raise a call to action.” Amy Wheeler, Hedgebrook Executive Director and playwright   “The Lark is honored to join with our partners in awarding this fellowship to Dipika Guha. Her unique and powerful voice made a deep impression on the entire selection committee. All four finalists also deserve commendation for their extraordinary submissions....

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Anna Maria Hong Awarded 2014 Clarissa Dalloway Prize
Oct15

Anna Maria Hong Awarded 2014 Clarissa Dalloway Prize

“H & G,” a fantastical and fantastic re-imagining of the story of Hansel and Gretel by Anna Maria Hong, is the winner of AROHO’s inaugural Clarissa Dalloway “everything but poetry” Book Prize.  Finalist Judge Kate Gale wrote: “H & G represents the AROHO story.  Big myth collides with all of our personal narratives:  the witch, the oven, the fire.  As women, we write our way out of that story and then back in.”   Anna Maria Hong is the Visiting Creative Writer at Ursinus College and was the 2010-11 Bunting Fellow in Poetry at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The recipient of Poetry magazine’s 2013 Frederick Bock Prize, she has poems recently published and forthcoming in publications including Boston Review, Green Mountains Review, The Nation, Verse Daily, Mandorla, jubilat, The Volta, Drunken Boat, Fence, Fairy Tale Review, Bone Bouquet, Unsplendid, POOL, Beloit Poetry Journal, Southwest Review, Best New Poets, 250 Poems: A Portable Anthology, and The Best American Poetry. Her chapbook Hello, virtuoso! was recently published by Belladonna* Collaborative. Hong earned a B.A. in philosophy at Yale University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Texas’ Michener Center for Writers. She is the editor of Growing Up Asian American, an anthology of fiction and memoir. A five-time Pushcart Fellowship nominee, she has received residencies from Yaddo, Djerassi, Valparaiso, and Kunstnarhuset Messen and teaches creative writing at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. She recently completed a collection titled The Glass Age: Sonnets.   Special congratulations also to Finalist Christina Milletti for her manuscript, “Choke Box,” Finalist Andrea Witzke Slot for her manuscript, “The Cartography of Flesh: in the silence of Ella Mendelssohn,” and to the two-hundred and seventy-five authors whose top-notch manuscripts we had the pleasure of reviewing....

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Julie Marie Wade Awarded 2014 To the Lighthouse Prize
Oct15

Julie Marie Wade Awarded 2014 To the Lighthouse Prize

“SIX,” Julie Marie Wade’s breathtaking manuscript, is the winner of AROHO’s 2014 To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize.   Finalist Judge C.D. Wright wrote: “I chose SIX not in spite of but because of its discursiveness, its willingness to wander through the poem with technique at hand, but also a permit to allow both substantive and ephemeral material to wander into the field of the poem and exit without a conclusive goal in mind. It’s an accumulative project, inclusive, and busy about the business of sifting and sorting through this thing we call life that we carry out in this creation we call a body on this tumultuous blue orb we call earth.”            Born in Seattle in 1979, Julie Marie Wade completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003, a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities at the University of Louisville in 2012. She is the author of Wishbone: A Memoir in Fractures (Colgate University Press, 2010), winner of the Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Memoir; Without: Poems (Finishing Line Press, 2010), selected for the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Series; Small Fires; Essays (Sarabande Books, 2011), selected for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature; Postage Due: Poems & Prose Poems (White Pine Press, 2013), winner of the Marie Alexander Poetry Series; Tremolo: An Essay (Bloom Books, 2013), winner of the Bloom Nonfiction Chapbook Prize; When I Was Straight: Poems (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014); and the forthcoming Catechism: A Love Story (Noctuary Press, 2016). A regular book reviewer for The Rumpus and Lambda Literary Review, Wade teaches in the creative writing program at Florida International University.  She is married to Angie Griffin and lives in Dania Beach.   Special congratulations also to Finalist BT Shaw for her manuscript, “The Manual of Small Wars,” Finalist Stephanie Adams-Santos for her manuscript, “Swarm Queen’s Crown,” and to the four-hundred and fifty authors whose top-notch manuscripts we had the pleasure of...

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Julia Laxer Awarded Fall 2014 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize
Oct01

Julia Laxer Awarded Fall 2014 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize

As a reader, I felt immediately transported; I marveled at the weight of each phrase or sentence, the way the writing seemed to have layers of meaning. The voice is powerful, unpredictable, and vibrant. I hope the author expands upon this piece to create a larger narrative. —Deborah Feldman, Fall 2014 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Finalist Judge Congratulations to Julia Laxer on the selection of her essay, “Letter to My Sister in a Mental Hospital,” for the Fall 2014 Orlando Creative Nonfiction Prize! “Letter to My Sister in a Mental Hospital” will be published in Issue No. 17 of the Los Angeles Review. We asked Julia to talk about her piece and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: “Letter to My Sister in a Mental Hospital” is about the relationship between two sisters who are separated by the caustic walls of madness, false memory and institutionalization.  For me, it is an epistolary tale of fragmented grief, possibility and love.   Each time I am published I feel like my narrative matters.  I feel like all the people I’ve met and all the places I’ve been matter, and that my life matters, and that I need to challenge myself to submit more, and call myself a writer.   Julia Laxer lives for the stories and writes in the afternoons from a rickety desk in Portland, Oregon. She was raised south of the Mason-Dixon line, near Manassas Battlefield, in Virginia, and in her early twenties moved to Atlanta, Georgia.  Once she realized the Deep South was just too hot, she fled Atlanta for adventures in San Francisco’s seedy Tenderloin, Oakland’s eternal summer and the Great Northwest.  She recently published flash-fiction in Litro Magazine and a memoir in Prose & Lore.  Her poems appear in So to Speak: a feminist journal of language and art.  She is working on making sense of all this...

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Lisa Nikolidakis Awarded Fall 2014 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize
Oct01

Lisa Nikolidakis Awarded Fall 2014 Orlando Flash Fiction Prize

“The Spinning Field” brings the reader immediately and viscerally into the world of the alien among us – the outsider, the immigrant, the ostracized. For its pitch-perfect voice, succinct yet compelling details, and total honesty (even when it ain’t pretty), “The Spinning Field” has the mark of a writer to watch!” —Kristen Wolf, Fall 2014 Orlando Flash Fiction Finalist Judge Congratulations to Lisa Nikolidakis on the selection of her flash fiction story, “The Spinning Field” for the Fall 2014 Orlando Short Fiction Prize! “The Spinning Field” will be published in Issue No. 17 of the Los Angeles Review. We asked Lisa to talk about her story and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied: Everyone has felt like an outsider, but the injustice of it burns especially bright in teenagers who often feel cast out in multiple ways at once. I wanted to grab that moment when you think of the perfect comeback to an insult—or, in this case, the perfect transmogrification—and really let it empower the narrator.   A writer’s life can be fraught with self-doubt. It’s always a joy to receive an acceptance email. It means that someone other than me thinks I’m doing something right.   Lisa Nikolidakis received her PhD in Creative Writing from Florida State University, and her work has appeared in The Rumpus, [PANK], Hobart, Chautauqua Review, Necessary Fiction, Harpur Palate, and elsewhere. She recently finished her first memoir and currently teaches writing in the...

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Michelle Wright Awarded Fall 2014 Orlando Short Fiction Prize
Oct01

Michelle Wright Awarded Fall 2014 Orlando Short Fiction Prize

It’s so hard to create a world and draw living characters and make the reader feel something, all in just a few short pages–“Moon Shiny Night” did all of this beautifully. Without even naming the characters I felt connected to these girls, felt their brief, wondrous connection to the old man next door–and I ached, knowing it would all be over, and the old man would be left alone. —Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Fall 2014 Orlando Short Fiction Finalist Judge Congratulations to Michelle Wright on the selection of her story, “Moon Shiny Night,” for the Fall 2014 Orlando Short Fiction Prize! “Moon Shiny Night” will be published in Issue No. 17 of the Los Angeles Review. We asked Michelle to talk about her story and to tell us what publication means to her.  She replied:  Through this piece I think what I wanted to capture was the feeling of things coming to an end –  whether that thing be a season, an encounter or adolescence. I wanted to examine that time in teenage existence when we vacillate between self-absorption and an interest in the wider world, between insouciance and responsibility.   I write about people and situations that I feel the need to write about, especially those who don’t have much of a public voice or presence. I use my writing to express things that I feel are worthy of  exploration and discussion.  Publication gives me the chance to put those situations and characters out for others to encounter, reflect on and maybe gain an insight into.   Michelle Wright lives in Melbourne, Australia where she writes short stories and flash fiction. She’s won the Age, Alan Marshall and Grace Marion Wilson Prizes, and placed second in the Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction. She was awarded  the 2013 Writers Victoria Templeberg Residential Writing Fellowship and spent six weeks researching stories in Sri...

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