The editors of Fairy Tale Review are pleased to announce the winners and finalists of our third annual contests in both prose and poetry. Each winner will receive $1,000 and publication in The Charcoal Issue of Fairy Tale Review.
In the prose category, guest judge Helen Oyeyemi chose “Unpresidented!” by Eric Schlich. In the poetry category, guest judge Aimee Nezhukumatathil selected “Village of the Red Mothers” by Mary Haidri. Our heartiest congratulations to the winners!
Of the winning story, Oyeyemi writes:
I love the way fairy tales tend to look at rules with X-ray spectacles on, noting which ones change at the core, which remain fixed, and which only seem to do so. “Unpresidented!” travels so lightly over this very terrain, like the voice of someone who left home so suddenly that there was only time to bring along an extra-sharp switch of satirical wit. This story’s blending and separation of the literal and the symbolic is delicious and ominous in just the way that only true fairy tales—or the split second before a deluge of apple pie—can be.
Eric Schlich’s stories have appeared in Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Electric Literature, Redivider, River Styx, Nimrod, New South, and others. He lives in Dunkirk, New York and teaches at SUNY Fredonia.
Oyeyemi also selected “The Grief of the Body,” by Goldie Goldbloom, as a runner-up.
Of the winning poem, Nezhukumatathil writes:
“Village of the Red Mothers” is mythic in its scope and vision—the village and its spooky inhabitants are so fully rendered, one could almost hear breath and pulse from the page. The insistent and growing cadence of each line deftly builds to the final stanza built of flicker-flame and the sort of quiet scream that guarantees you won’t ever forget this poem. Congrats to all the fine finalists for making this a supremely difficult decision!
Mary Haidri is a writer and library ghost living in Portland, Oregon. Her poetry has been published in the Spring 2017 issue of the Portland Review, and her play “Every Path” was produced by La Jolla Playhouse in the 2015 Without Walls Festival. Her creative nonfiction was recently published in Nightingale Magazine.
Nezhukumatathil also selected “A Real Spacesuit is a Little Envelope of Earth Conditions,” by Cori Winrock, as a runner-up.
We would like to take a moment to congratulate the finalists in both prose and poetry, whose work impressed the editorial staff:
Noah Bogdonoff, “Indoor Animals”
Amelia Brown, “Bamboo Grove”
Caroline Crew, “The Discomfort Index”
Avra Elliot, “Bruja’s Son”
Ashleigh Gill, “The Woman Who Ate Foxes”
Thomas Gresham, “Peach”
C Pam Zhang, “Shelter”
Jennifer Campbell, “Gretel with High Honors”
Sarah Cook, “Joan”
Paola Ferrante, “Gestational Stage”
Antonio Lopez, “The Soldier of Aztlan”
Maggie Queeney, “Metamorphosis: Arachne, Struck Silent, Radiates Silk”
Theresa Sullivan, “The Women”
Renia White, “lump”
Gabrielle Williams, “Persinette”
Every year we donate 10 percent of the contest proceeds to a different charity focused on improving the lives of the people of Tucson and southern Arizona as a whole. This year, we’ve selected No More Deaths/No Más Muertes, an organization “whose mission is to end death and suffering in the Mexico–US borderlands.”