Creative Nonfiction Prize: "I said No"
Roberta Marstellar is a writer and storyteller. Her career path is a circuitous one, defined by detours: Structural engineer—marketing specialist—finance manager—general contractor—food blogger—entrepreneur. Since the age of twelve, writing is the one endeavor Roberta has faithfully pursued. She lives in Chicago with her husband, two beehives, and a lifetime of books.
Short Story Prize: "Nobody Knows How Much You Love Him"
Dean Gessie has been a finalist in ten international fiction competitions. His stories have appeared in anthologies in Ireland, England and the United States. He has also published three novellas: Guantanamo Redux is dystopian fiction; A Brief History of Summer Employment is a fictional memoir; and TrumpeterVille is animal allegory.
Prose Poetry Prize: "U-Turn"
Cynthia Roby lives in Bronx, New York, where she works as an adjunct professor of academic writing. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in publications including The Penman Review ("Boomerang And Sadie," "Faltered Footwear"/"After My Five Cents, I Ran," "Lust"), The Lindenwood Review, Rat's Ass Review, Thrice Fiction, and Black Denim Lit. Cynthia earned her MFA from Lindenwood University.
Poetry Prize: "Outside the Clinic"
Patrick Synan is a young poet from New Hampshire. He studied literature at Boston College and teaches in Boston. His first poems appeared in Crosswinds Poetry Journal.