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Posts Tagged ‘William Van Wert Fiction Award’

It’s been a long, hard haul, but we’ve named the semi-finalists and finalists and winner of our last  of  the 2016 William Van Wert Fiction Award. Each year, the submissions grow, and the talent increases — so the abundance of wonderful work is both a joy and a real challenge. Thanks to all the writers who have trusted us with their writing; we love you all.

We have extended our deadline for the submissions for the 2018 Van Wert Award, since we have been short-handed on staff, and need addition time to go through our most recent submissions, for the 2017 award.  We are several months behind in our announcements, since our policy is to make sure that every single submission gets at least three independent read-throughs before being moved to the next level.  That takes a lot of time, but we are committed to treating everyone’s writing with great respect.  We hope to have everything caught up shortly, and appreciate you all being patient.

Please be sure to bookmark the blog, since this is where we announce our events, our competition results and any upcoming activities, including new competitions or opportunities.

Semi-finalists

Allen, River, Green Bay, Wisconsin, excerpt “Weather the Storm” from The Long Walk Home
Beals, Ellen Wade, Glenview, IL, excerpt, The Good and the Bad of It
Bowman, Jan, Columbia, MD, “Flight”
Brady, Carmen, Lebanon, NH, excerpt, Call of the Song Sparrow
Brandfon, Emily, Brookline, MA, “Struggling to Survive”
Breakell, Jane, Brooklyn, NY, “The Shinbone Coast”
Conde, Kathy, Superior, CO, “Faith Healing”
Corpora, James, Bishop, CA, “The Valley Called Death”
Cusick, Greg, Durham, NC, “A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions”
Emerson, John, Schenectady, NY, excerpt, God Naked and the Devil in Rags
Farrar, S.P., Los Angeles, CA, excerpt, Touch the Pacific
Fears, Iman, New York, New York, “Baby One More Time”
Franklin, Emily, Newton, MA, “Mathematics in the Age of Anxiety”
Greer, Larkin Edwin, New York, New York, “Blindfold”
Hanger, Kaitlin, North Miami Beach, FL, “The Depths of Superior Alchemy”
Harlow, Enid, New York, New York, “The Nanny”
Johnson, Chandra, Salt Lake City, Utah, “A Dull Knife”
Johnson, Chandra, Salt Lake City, Utah, “The One You Feed”
Kaufman, Mervyn, New York, New York, “According to Plans”
Kelly, April, Lynchburg, TN “Mobius Script”
Kinerk, Robert, Cambridge, MA, “I’m Letting My Thoughts Dwell on Inner Grace”
Lee, Aaron, North Point, Hong Kong, excerpt The Unfortunate Three
Lindensmith, Michael, Bridgewater, VA, “Weather Moves from West to East”
Luvaas, William, Los Angeles, CA, excerpt Beneath the Coyote Hills
Malicka, Phillippa, New Delhi, India, excerpt, Call Me Fishmael
Mayer, Jack, Middlebury, VT, excerpt, Before the Court in Heaven
McGuire, Michael, Jalisco, Mexico, “Waiting for the Word”
Meek, David, Fredericksburg, VA, excerpt, Timespawn
Morton, Maris, New South Wales, Australia, “O Fortuna”
Pack, Jimmy, Jr., Philadelphia, PA, “A Phenomenon of No Natural Process”
Paige, Paula, Cromwell, CT, “Killer Bod”
Quinn, Jim, Philadelphia, PA “All Old Dead Days”
Reed, Mary Hutchins, Chicago, IL, “Before the Fall”
Reitano, Gail, Bolinas, CA, excerpt, Headfire
Roan, Carol, Winston-Salem, NC, “A Change in the Air”
Rowe, Tim, Alexandria, VA, “An Unmistakeable Presence”
Sadler, Lynn Veach, Pittsboro, NC, “The Rub of the Green”
Schultz, Anneliese, Richmond, Canada, “Back in Line”
Seiber, Lones, Morristown, TN, “Goodbye, God; I’m Going to California”
Shankman, Jim, New York, New York, excerpt, Tales of the Patriarchs
Soros, Erin, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, “Fallen”
Termini Steven, Dickinson, TX, “Verses in Twine”
Thomas, Dar, Pittsburgh, PA, “Amazing Grace”
Troester, David, Salt Lake City, UT, “Disciples”
Turner, Victoria Sayo, Singapore, excerpt of novel, Isaant
Worsham, Sandra, Milledgeville, GA, “Blank Spaces”
Younger, Paula, Denver, CO, “Resurrecting Grandma”

Finalists

Allen, River, Green Bay, Wisconsin, excerpt “Weather the Storm” from The Long Walk Home
Beals, Ellen Wade, Glenview, IL, excerpt, The Good and the Bad of It
Brady, Carmen, Lebanon, NH, excerpt, Call of the Song Sparrow
Conde, Kathy, Superior, CO, “Faith Healing”
Corpora, James, Bishop, CA “The Valley Called Death”
Cusick, Greg, Durham, NC, “A Sensitive Dependence on Initial Conditions”
Emerson, John, Schenectady, NY, excerpt, God Naked and the Devil in Rags
Farrar, S.P., Los Angeles, CA, excerpt, Touch the Pacific
Franklin, Emily, Newton, MA, “Mathematics in the Age of Anxiety”
Greer, Larkin Edwin, New York, New York, “Blindfold”
Hanger, Kaitlin, North Miami Beach, FL, “The Depths of Superior Alchemy”
Harlow, Enid, New York, New York, “The Nanny”
Johnson, Chandra, Salt Lake City, Utah, “The One You Feed”
Kelly, April, Lynchburg, TN “Mobius Script”
Lee, Aaron, North Point, Hong Kong, excerpt The Unfortunate Three
Luvaas, William, Los Angeles, CA, excerpt Beneath the Coyote Hills
Malicka, Phillippa, New Delhi, India, excerpt, Call Me Fishmael
Mayer, Jack, Middlebury, VT, excerpt, Before the Court in Heaven
McGuire, Michael, Jalisco, Mexico, “Waiting for the Word”
Morton, Maris, New South Wales, Australia, “O Fortuna”
Pack, Jimmy, Jr., Philadelphia, PA, “A Phenomenon of No Natural Process”
Quinn, Jim, Philadelphia, PA “All Old Dead Days”
Reed, Mary Hutchins, Chicago, IL, “Before the Fall”
Reitano, Gail, Bolinas, CA, excerpt, Headfire
Sadler, Lynn Beach, Pittsboro, NC, “The Rub of the Green”
Schultz, Anneliese, Richmond, Canada, “Back in Line”
Seiber, Lones, Morristown, TN, “Goodbye, God; I’m Going to California”
Shankman, Jim, New York, New York, excerpt, Tales of the Patriarchs
Soros, Erin, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, “Fallen”
Turner, Victoria Sayo, Singapore, excerpt, Isaant
Younger, Paula, Denver, CO, “Resurrecting Grandma”

First Place

Turner, Victoria Sayo, Singapore, excerpt, Isaant

Congratulations, again, to all our wonderful writers and thanks to all who submitted their work!  Hang in there with us, and we’ll get out next round of announcements out soon!

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Winner of William Van Wert Award in Fiction

Winner of William Van Wert Award in Fiction

Hidden River is pleased to announce Mark Wagstaff as the William Van Wert Fiction Award winner for his short story, “Some Secret Space.”

Mark tells us that he was born by the sea, and now lives in London. His stories have been published in journals and anthologies in the US and UK. Recent publications have appeared in Cobalt Review, Tethered by Letters and Prick of the Spindle. In 2012 Mark won the Machigonne Fiction Contest, hosted by The New Guard of Portland, Maine. In 2011 he won two UK first prizes, the Aesthetica Creative Writing prize and The Big Issue in the North short story contest. Mark has published four novels and a story collection. His second collection of short stories will be published by InkTears later in 2014. More information about Mark and his work can be found at his website: http://www.markwagstaff.com

Check back soon for a more complete interview with Mark.

The William Van Wert Prize in Fiction offers $1000 to the winning manuscript. Our next cycle ends soon – the submission deadline is June 30. See our guidelines for full submission requirements.

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Basch, Rachel photo Wm. Van Wert 2011 winner

Rachel Basch, our most recent winner of the William Van Wert Fiction Award at Hidden River Arts, for an excerpt from her novel, The Listener, offers up answers about her winning manuscript, and about her writing practice.

1.  Rachel, can you talk a little bit about The Listener — your inspiration, the entirety of the novel, and where the project is, currently?

The inspiration for The Listener came while I was finishing up my last novel, The Passion of Reverend Nash. That book was about a Congregational minister, and while I was working on it, I attended Sunday church services as a way of steeping myself in that world, that culture. One Sunday morning I spent nearly the entire service watching a young person in the row in front of me. He was no more than 16, and he was dressed in what most of us would consider feminine attire. He did not appear to be with his family, and basically I was fascinated at the courage it took for him to be himself in that place. There was something provocative about his stance, his appearance, even his facial expression. I wondered at the challenge his parents had in embracing him. And this phrase started spinning around in my head, “loving what’s hard to love.” Often in the course of our lives we’re asked to keep ourselves open to giving and receiving love when it’s not our initial inclination, when it’s not easy.

Right now the novel is with my agent who is sending it out to editors. I’ve never spent so long writing and rewriting a book before. The book has been something of a difficult child.

2.  Can you talk a bit about your writing in a larger sense?  What are your fascinations, your focus, what kind of writing are you most attracted to?

I do think that most writers have one, if they’re lucky, two, central obsessions. My books are almost always, in some way, about the nature and extent of our responsibilities to one another. I’m fascinated by the psychodynamics of families, of couples, of friends. I’m drawn to exploring the elasticity, the expansiveness and the limits of human love. And I’m extremely interested in the ways in which we can transcend what we consider to be our limits. I’m curious about the ways in which our souls can grab the reigns from our egos.

Jonathan Franzen recently said in an interview that he was most interested in writers who had “skin in the game.” I love that. Writing that matters, that really makes a difference is writing that I’m attracted to. I want to be pushed past where I am, always. I want to be made to think deeply and feel greatly.

3.  Do you have any advice to aspiring writers?  What should they be doing to move their craft forward?….to support themselves as writers?

I think the most important advice, advice I still need to give to myself, is to take the long view. Stamina and patience, perseverance and faith are essential qualities if you want to write. You need to sustain yourself over a lifetime of writing, and you need, early on, to lose your desire for external validation. It seldom comes and when it does it’s fleeting. Enjoy the process, the making of the art – that’s the part you can control, that’s the aspect of it all that belongs to you. Surround yourself with other artists and with other kinds of art – drama, music, painting. Art begets art. Always remember that you are doing something that, at its best, will be ignored by the larger society in which we live. You will need to invent your own measure of success, something very different from the yardstick that’s used by the prevailing capitalist culture. Making art is hard, and you need to actively respect your own efforts. As for practical advice, I’m well past the middle of my life, and I’ve still not figured out an adequate way to support my habit.

The next round of submissions for The William Van Wert Fiction Award, which provides $1000 to the winning manuscript, deadlines June 30, 2013 at midnight. Please see our guidelines on this site for further details.

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