5th annual Still: The Journal Writing Contests 

in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative nonfiction, 2014


Thanks to all our readers who entered and supported our 2014 Literary Contests at Still: The Journal.  We are happy to announce our winners in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The first-place winners and the judges’ choices appeared in our Fall Issue #16Thanks also to our judges: Denise Giardina for fiction, Allison Joseph for poetry, and Jason Howard for creative nonfiction.


1st Prize:      Chelyen Davis, Richmond, Va., "Bugsong"

Judge’s Choice:      Karen George, Florence, Ky., "Cornerstone"

Judge's Choice:          Debra Mihalic Staples, Canton, Ga., "What Has Become of Us"


1st Prize:         Matt Prater, Saltville, Va., "Jerusalem Artichoke"

Judge’s Choice:           Melissa Helton, Asher, Ky., "Ossified"

Judge’s Choice:           Charles Swanson, Chatham, Va., "Sugar Corn and Beetle Dogs"

Poetry Finalists:

Joy Bowman, "New Year, Old Blues"

Pauletta Hansel, "Hateful"

Leah Hampton, "To the Woodpecker Who Broke My Picture Window"

Lisa Kwong, "This ABC (Appalachian Born Chinese) Woman"

Cathy Lentes, "February 24"

Kathleen Brewin Lewis, "The Poet at Fifty-Nine"

Llewellyn McKernan, "4-Pole Creek Itself"

Larry Thacker, "This poem betrays me and I leave you in bed"

Allison Thorpe, "Blackberries"

Sylvia Woods, "Word Path"

Creative Nonfiction

1st Prize:       Kristin Janae Steele, Huntington, W.Va., "How to Say Appalachia"

Judge’s Choice:       Elizabeth Gaucher, Middlebury, Vt., "Farm Dogs"

Judge’s Choice:       Elizabeth Glass, Louisville, Ky., "Gravy Lessons"

Creative Nonfiction Finalists:

Ryan Harper, "Concis"

Tia Jenson, "Empty"

Susan Montgomery, "Standing Up in Slow Time"



About our 2014 Judges: 



Denise Giardina is a renowned novelist and playwright whose books include the masterpieces Storming Heaven and The Unquiet Earth.  She recently retired from teaching at West Virginia State University and has started work on a memoir and a new novel. She is the winner of the American Book Award, the Lillian Smith Book Award, the Weatherford Prize, the Boston Book Review Fiction Prize, and was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, among other honors. Giardina's work as an activist for environmental justice is also widely regarded.


Allison Joseph lives, writes and teaches in Carbondale,
Illinois, where she is on the faculty of Southern Illinois
University.  Her books of poems include
In Every Seam, Soul
Train, What Keeps Us Here,
and My Father's Kites . Her newest chapbook, Trace Particles, was published by Backbone Press in 2014. She is poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review and founder and director of the Young Writers Workshop, an annual summer creative writing workshop for high school writers. Joseph was awarded the 2012 George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community in Literature by the Association of Writers & Writing Programs. 

Creative Nonfiction

Jason Howard
is the author of A Few Honest Words: The Kentucky Roots of Popular Music, coauthor of Something’s Rising: Appalachians Fighting Mountaintop Removal, and editor of We All Live Downstream. His features, essays, reviews and commentary have appeared in such publications as The New York Times, the Nation, Sojourners, Revolve, LGBTQ Nation, Paste, No Depression, the Louisville Review, and on NPR. A former senior editor and staff writer for Washington, D.C.-based
Equal Justice Magazine, Howard co-founded Still: The Journal in 2009. In November 2013, Howard was named editor of Appalachian Heritage, a literary quarterly founded in 1973. Howard holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts, an M.A. in History from the University of Kentucky and a B.A. in Political Communication from The George Washington University.

photo by Page Hamrick                                               


(photo by C. Williams)

photo by C. Williams