The Sewanee Review is pleased to announce the results of our 2018 Fiction & Poetry Contest. The winning submissions in each genre receive a $1,000 prize as well as publication in our Winter 2019 issue.
First, the results for poetry, judged by Dan Chiasson.
Winner: “Locomotion,” Cate Lycurgus
Runner-up: “The Hoax is a Hoax,” James May
Finalists: Lisa Ampleman, Shari Ayers, Daniel Brown, Marion Brown, Suzanne Cleary, Edward Derby, Sophie Farjeon, Jared Harél, Troy Jollimore, A. M. Juster, Nancy Keating, Owen McLeod, Regina Walton.
Judge Dan Chiasson writes: “Cate Lycurgus’s ‘Locomotion,’ with its tentative, slaloming path down the page, makes beauty of hesitation, doubt, caution. The stanzas chart its own movement gorgeously. The voice is utterly and immediately gripping, as the slightly old-fashioned word ‘locomotion’ keys us into this poem about the mechanics of the mind.
The title of ‘The Hoax is a Hoax,’ by James May, immediately establishes its authority of seeing through actions of seeing through, submitting skepticism to skepticism. It riffs brilliantly on these paradoxes, in long, loose, conversational lines, before it confides in us.”
The fiction contest was judged by Danielle Evans.
Winner: “On Being Human,” Lily Meyer
Runner-up: “It Goes Both Ways,” Kate Simonian
Finalists: Austin Adams, Mik Awake, Caroline Chang, Nathan Dixon, Paige Patterson Duff, Ariel Katz, Robert Kinerk, Christina Leo, Michael Nye, Leslie Prietrzyk, Amelie Prusik, Carol Staudacher, Catherine Tudish.
Judge Danielle Evans writes: “The confident voice of ‘On Being Human,’ by Lily Meyer, and its capacity for sharp and revealing description, make the campus feel familiar and the narrator feel like an old friend, which makes it all the more delightful when this story turns, repeatedly, away from the expectations it has created and into something more complicated and alive. The story’s confidence in making the question of what it means to be a person both part of its thematic exploration and part of its narrator’s shapeshifting desires pay off. In the best possible way, reading this story was both a pleasure and an ache.
‘It Goes Both Ways,’ by Kate Simonian, boldly introduces a surreality that quickly becomes its protagonists’ new normal, and then builds beautifully to the realization that the strangest things in our lives are perhaps always ourselves and the people we love. The clarity of the writing and the author’s ability to always pick the right detail bring the reader fully into the story’s world alongside its characters, wrestling with the way the taunting pull of the future is always haunted by the past.”