2017 Literary Contests in Fiction, Poetry & Creative Nonfiction

Thanks to all our readers who entered and supported our 2017 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 #25. Thanks also to our judges: R. Dean Johnson for fiction, Marc Harshman for poetry, and Sarah Einstein for creative nonfiction.

Winners & Finalists


First Prize:  Lonormi Manuel, Lawrenceburg Kentucky, An Unmarked Grave    

Judge’s Choice:  John Roche Guerra, Berea, Kentucky, All the Things That Matter

Judge’s Choice:  Brandon J. Johnson, Mars Hill, North Carolina, Other Delights   

Fiction Finalists:

Ernest Gordon Taulbee, Louisville, Kentucky, Somewhere They Were Singing

Jayne Moore Waldrop, Lexington, Kentucky, View from Within



First Prize:  J. Stephen Rhodes, Charleston, South Carolina, Inheritance

Judge’s Choice:  Bill King, Elkins West Virginia, Going down the Hall on a Gurney

Judge's Choice:  Joshua L. Martin, Atlanta, Georgia, Lost in a Field of Lilacs

Poetry Finalists:

Jessica Cory, Waynesville, North Carolina, In a Sleepy Little County

Pauletta Hansel, Cincinnati, Ohio, America

Christina Lovin, Lancaster, Kentucky, Geodes

Megan Nemise Hall, Kingsport, Tennessee, Oral History 

Rachel Marie Patterson, Ewing, New Jersey, High Acres Drive

Dara-Lyn Shrager, Princeton, New Jersey, Shoes

Larry Thacker, Johnson City, Tennessee, Porches: A Death      

Allison Thorpe, Lexington, Kentucky, The Almost Season

Pamela S. Wynn, New Brighton, Minnesota, Story’s Loss

Creative Nonfiction:

First Prize: Michael Dowdy, Columbia, South Carolina, Mountainsickness

Judge’s Choice: Sarah Diamond Burroway, Touch    

Judge’s Choice: David Evans, Lost City, West Virginia, Why We Build   

Creative Nonfiction Finalists:

Richard Hague, Cincinnati, Ohio, Scalpeen

Meghann Hart, Richmond, Kentucky, Kentucky Ghostscapes

Tia Jensen, West Richland, Washington, If I Had Not

Shauna Jones, Buckhannon, West Virginia, Physical Graffiti

Contest Judges:

Fiction ~ R. Dean Johnson 

R. Dean Johnson grew up in California and now lives in Richmond, Kentucky with his wife, the author Julie Hensley, and their two children. The author of a novel, Californium; and a story collection, Delicate Men, his work has appeared in The Louisville Review, Salt Hill, Slice, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. An Associate Professor at Eastern Kentucky University, he also directs the low-residency MFA in creative writing program, Bluegrass Writer Studio.
Poetry ~ Marc Harshman

Marc Harshman is currently the seventh poet laureate of West Virginia. His second full-length poetry collection, Believe What You Can, won the 2017 Weatherford Award for Poetry. He has authored over a dozen children’s books, including The Storm, a Smithsonian Notable Books, and most recently, One Big Family. His work has appeared in The Georgia Review, Emerson Review, Salamander, and The Chattahoochee Review and has been anthologized widely. His monthly show for West Virginia Public Radio, “The Poetry Break,” began airing in January, 2015. 
Creative Nonfiction ~ Sarah Einstein 

Sarah Einstein is the author of Mot: A Memoir (University of Georgia Press 2015), which was awarded the AWP Series Prize in Creative Nonfiction, and of Remnants of Passion (Shebooks 2014). Her essays and short stories have appeared in The Sun, Ninth Letter, Walk Till the Dogs Get Mean and other journals and anthologies. Her work has been awarded a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net Award. She earned the MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia University and the Ph.D. in Creative Nonfiction from Ohio University. Born in Huntington, West Virginia, Sarah Einstein teaches Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. 


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