Hunger Mountain - Vermont College Journal of the arts

Contest News

The Winners of the 2014 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize

The winners of this year’s Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, selected by Robin Black:

  • First place: Lee Ann Dalton for “The Hierophant”
  • Runner-up: Terrance Manning Jr. for “Saturday Night Special”
  • Runner-up: Sara Schaff for “Faces at the Window”

Our finalists are:

  • Noelle Catherine Allen for “I-95 Blues”
  • Rolf Yngve for “Three Wishes”
  • Lones Seiber for “Polaris”
  • Carol Collins for “The Third Man”
  • Kate Hanson for “Soleil”
  • Amanda Emil Anderson for “365”

The winning pieces will be published at Hunger Mountain soon. Congratulations to the winners, runners-up, and finalists. These are some wild, weird, wondrous, thunderous, tender, terrifying, electrifying stories.

Rigoberto González Will Judge 2014 Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize

Photo Credit Marion Ettlinger Photo Credit Marion Ettlinger

Rigoberto González is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose in several genres, including three works of nonfiction. The memoir, Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. A second memoir, Autobiography of My Hungers, and a book of essays, Red-Inked Retablos, were both released in 2013. He edited the anthology, Camino Del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing, which won recognition in 2011 through the International Latino Book Awards and Independent Publishers Book Awards. He is the recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, The Poetry Center Book Award, The Shelley Memorial Award of The Poetry Society of America, ForeWord Magazine’s Fiction Book of the Year Award (for his novel, Crossing Vines), and a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and has twice been named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, for books of poetry and children’s literature. He is contributing editor for Poets & Writers Magazine, on the executive board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle, and is associate professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. He served for several years on the Core Faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at VCFA, mentoring students across all three genres.

2014 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize Winners

Here they are, everyone! The winners, runners-up, and finalists. Thank you to Michael Dickman, this year’s judge.

First Place: Dante Di Stefano for “Epithalamion Doused with Moonshine”

Runner-up: francine j. harris for “where you could sit up straight”

Runner-up: Eric Berlin for “Things Like These”

And our fine finalists:

  • “Kitchen Song” by Emily Casey
  • “The Foremost Terrestrial Biome of Unknowing” by Anna Coe
  • “An Ode to Halyomorpha Halys, the Stink Bug” by Lina Feuerstein
  • “Driving Route 95” by Laura Davies Foley
  • “The Hole I Dug” by Thomas March
  • “We Have Been Promised Something But Asked to Forget” by Hannah Oberman-Breindel
  • “Time on Earth” by Tess Taylor
  • “February, Snow” by Tess Taylor
  • “Carnivore” by Katrin Tschirgi

The winning poems will be published at in a special Prize Winners issue in the coming months.

Creative Nonfiction Prize at Hunger Mountain, 2013 Winners announced!

We’re happy to announce this year’s winner, runners-up, special mentions, and finalists, selected by our fabulous judge, Dinty W. Moore.

  • First Place. Goldie Goldbloom. “The Chevra.”
  •  Runner-up. Toni Mirosevich. “The Devil Wind.”
  •  Runner-up. Ruth Moritz. “The House of Swallows.”
  • Special Mention. Melissa Cronin. “Right Foot, Left Foot.”
  •  Special Mention. Aimee Valentine. “Bon Camino.”
  •  Finalists:

Rebecca Bald. “Cast.”
Shannon Guerreso. “The Sixth Wish.”
Rachel Kartz. “Temp to Hire.”
Jessica Hendry Nelson. “The Present.”
Maureen Vance. “How to Apply for your Korean Visa.”

Congratulations to all the winners! And thanks to all of our entrants!

Congratulations to the 2013 Katherine Paterson Winners!

This year’s judge, Rebecca Stead, has selected the winners for the 2013 Katherine Paterson Prize. We’re so happy to congratulate our first place winner:

  • Jackie Lea Sommers for her Young Adult short story “Covered Up Our Names.” You can read Jackie’s powerful story in Hunger Mountain 18. To order your copy, click here.

Congratulations to our category winners:

  • Maggie Lehrman for “The Bus.”  First place YA (young adult) category.
  • Christina Soontornvat for “The Mapmaker’s Boy.” First place MG (middle grade) category.
  • Erin Hagar for “There Was a War On.” First place PB (picture book or writing for younger children category)

Special mention goes to:

  • Caitlin Corless for her Middle Grade novel excerpt “In Like a Lion.”

This year’s finalists:

  • Evelyn Ehrlich for “The Chemistry of You and Me” (Young Adult)
  • Linda Oatman High for “A Cake for Abduction Day” (Young Adult)
  • Anna Craig for “Shooter” (Young Adult)
  • Val Howlett for “A Skeleton Story” (Young Adult)
  • Lillian Pluta for “Daisy Summer” (Middle Grade)
  • Sara Kocek for “Your Move, World” (Middle Grade)
  • Kristi Roberts for “Just a Car” (Middle Grade)
  • Martha Mellow for “Tashmoo” (Picture Book/Writing for Younger Children)
  • Caroline Nastro for “Emmeline” (Picture Book/Writing for Younger Children)
  • Debbie Yasaki for “To Cross” (Picture Book/Writing for Younger Children)

Congratulations to all.

2013 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize Winners!

This year’s judge, the ever-distinguished Michael Martone, has picked the winners. Congratulations to our 2013 first place winner:

  • Cody Walker for his story “Hallucinating Arkansas.”  You can read Cody’s fantastic story in Hunger Mountain 18. To order your copy, click here.
 Congratulations also to 2013 runners- up:
  • Kendall Klym for “Pavlova”
  • Andrew Payton for “The Going Things”
 Special Mentions go to:
  • Lam Pham for “Lovesaw”
  • Jacob Appel for “Next of Kith”
  • McKay McFadden for “In the Hammam”

This year’s finalists:

  • KM Saxby for “Burntime”
  • Jeffrey Bakkensen for “Wings”
  • A.A. Balaskovits for “Put Back Together Again”
  • Emily Sproch for “Memorial Day”

Dinty Moore will judge Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize for 2013

We’re happy to announce that the 2013 judge for Hunger Mountain’s Creative Nonfiction Prize is the stupendous Dinty W. Moore.
Dinty Moore is the author of several books, including The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life, The Accidental Buddhist, and Crafting the Personal Essay: A Guide to Writing and Publishing Creative Nonfiction. He is also the editor of the journal Brevity.

Congratulations to the 2013 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize Winners!

Congratulations to our winners, chosen by this year’s judge, Pulitzer Prize finalist David Wojahn.

First place goes to:

  • Russ Madison from Woodbridge, CT for “One Round Elegy for Benny ‘Kid’ Paret”

Runners-up are:

  • Rosemary Kitchen from Wallingford, PA for “Tea Ceremony”
  • Catherine Freeling from Berkeley, CA for “A short History of Ironing”

The finalists are:

  • Rafaella Del Bourgo from Berkeley, CA for “Black Lizard”
  • Dante Di Stefano from Binghamton, NY for “Chagall’s Bride on the Leroy Street Bus”
  • Catherine Freeling from Berkeley, CA for “Heart Attack”
  • Becca J.R. Lachman from Athens, OH for “When Life Offers You a Grand Piano”
  • Danusha Lameris from Santa Cruz, CA for “The God of Numbers”
  • Kathleen O’Toole from Takoma Park, MD for “Medium”
  • Beth Ruscio from  Mar Vista, CA for “Ladies Sketch Club On the Beach, Pacific Grove, California, 1890”
  • Marie Thurmer from Lincoln, NE for “Tennessee State Prison, 1977”
  • Cindy Washabaugh from Cleveland, OH for “ Song of Grief, Arranged for Woodwinds”


2012 Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize Winners!

I’m happy to announce the first place winner of the 2012 Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize, selected by Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead, and Christa Parravani, author of the forthcoming Her:

Our two runners-up are:

  • Lacy Paap from Seattle, WA for “Lucky Number Tuesday” AND
  • Robert Rebein from Indianapolis, Indiana for “A Fire on the Moon”

Our finalists:

  •  Liz Blood of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for “Bloodsport”
  •  S. J. Dunning of Moscow, Idaho for “En Route”
  • Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas of Iowa City, Iowa for “Where Things Aren’t Bad”
  •  Kitty Hoffman of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada for “Tango Argentino”
  • Allie Rowbottom of Houston, Texas for “World of Blue”
  • Deborah Thompson of Gainesville, Florida for “The Last Séance”

Congratulations to the winners and finalists! And our sincere thanks to all of you for supporting Hunger Mountain and independent publishing. Letters/emails will be going out to all entrants soon. But we wanted to post the news right away.

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2012 Howard Mosher Short Fiction Prize!

The first place winner of the Howard Mosher Prize is C.L. Patterson of Chicago, IL for “Red Line Stories.” Pam Houston, this year’s judge, had this to say about this uniquely structured piece of fiction:

I chose “Red Line Stories” because of the decision it makes about form, and the way it justifies those decisions with its ending.  This is a story about Chicago and about the unacknowledged community of passengers on the red line.  I liked the details in many of the mini chapters, and especially liked the decision regarding the final stop.  Here the writer successfully completed the form without violating the rules of it, made the form in a sense, transcend itself, and moved this reader all at the same time.

We’re also happy to announce two runners-up: Jennifer Dupree of Harrison, Maine for “Wolfish” AND  John Hough, Jr. of West Tisbury, Massachusetts for “The Evil Eye”

The finalists in this year’s prize are:

  • “All Through the Dark Night of Your Human Life”—Lisa K. Buchanan of San Francisco, California
  • “Nashville” Suzen Rita Chang of Oakland, California
  • “Climbers”—Jessica Forcier of Milford, Connecticut
  •  “Xirimiri”—Diana Friedman of Takoma Park, Maryland
  • “The Breaking Wheel”—Sarah Elizabeth Schantz of Boulder, Colorado
  • “The Odyssey”—Jia Tolentino of Houston, Texas

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, and thank you to all who entered for supporting Hunger Mountain and independent publishing.


Congratulations to the Winners of the Katherine Paterson Prize!

The big winner of the 2012 Katherine Paterson Prize is Sally Derby from Cincinnati, Ohio for her rollicking adventure/ghost story “Crabcake Charlie.” This is the first time a Middle Grade entry has claimed the prize. You can read “Crabcake Charlie” in Hunger Mountain 17: Labyrinths. (Subscribe here.) To pique your interest, here’s what our judge Kathi Appelt says about the winning story:

Here is one walloping tale. Smart, inventive, and surprising, “Crabcake Charlie” uses the art of story to illuminate the power of story.  Readers will feel enchanted and enriched by this story’s end.  They’ll want to sit on Charlie’s beach until the sun sets and beyond, just hoping for more of his wonderful tales, and especially for the turtle to return with the key.

The winner of the Young Adult Category is ZP Heller of Philadelphia, PA for “In Your Head,” an excerpt from his coming-of-the-digital-age novel, which lampoons media-controlled politics while highlighting the horrors of hyper-connectivity, all in the context of timeless high-school drama. You can read it soon here at Hunger Mountain online. Kathi Appelt describes this excerpt this way:

Two very different high school boys hear a voice in their heads that comes to them as a news report.  Are they going crazy?  Should they each run for class president?  What’s up with all that?  Funny, fast-paced, intense, with a veneer of danger running throughout.  Mikey and Steve are dealing with the cards they’ve been dealt, but only barely, and it’ll take a lot of courage to get through the daily news.

The winner of the Middle Grade Category is Kathleen Forrester from Vancouver, BC for “The Flood,” which will soon be published here on Hunger Mountain online, and which Kathi describes this way:

Told from the alternating voices of a flood survivor and a boy who was drowned, this provocative story draws the reader in and won’t let go.  In stunningly beautiful prose, we are swept into the twining currents of hope and sorrow, until no breath is left on either side.

The winner of the Writing for Younger Children/Picture Book category is Barbara Lowell from Tulsa, OK for “Sybilla Under the Bones,” which will soon be published here at Hunger Mountain online. Kathi has this to say about it:

This lively story sheds light on a remarkable family, the Peales, who lived in the Philadelphia Museum in the early 1800’s.  Beyond it’s historical importance however, is the interaction between Sybilla and her brother Rembrandt. The author skillfully weaves fact with fiction to bring to life the fossil hunters, a mastodon, and a pair of siblings who must learn to give and take.

Two Special Mentions have also been awarded to Sarah Elizabeth Schantz of Boulder, CO for her YA story/chapter “The Breaking Wheel” and Rachel Furey of Lubbock, TX for her Middle Grade story “First Kiss.” Kathi describes the two stories here:

In “The Breaking Wheel,” outcast Fiona finds herself enrolled in a “Social Education” class; the class motto is “teaching the art of sense and civility.”  Ironically, the teacher and the participants are anything but sensitive or civil, especially toward Fiona who is tortured by Miss Pratt and Miss Avery no less than the medieval women who were strapped to the breaking wheel and left for the ravens.  Powerful and terse, with prose that makes the heart sing, this is a story so rich with innuendo and pathos that it changes with each re-reading.

Heartbreaking, sweet and full of yearning.  “First Kiss,” explores the intricacies of first love, family secrets, and justice in a story that tugs at all of our senses.  I wanted to wrap my arms around each and every character and give them all a bowl of warm soup and a soft blanket.  Really lovely.

The finalists for the 2012 Katherine Paterson Prize are:

  • Jeanne Dutton from Garrettsville, OH for “Would You Rather” (Young Adult)
  • Sharon Helberg from Kelowna, BC for “Piglets are Purple Like the Rain is Green” (Writing for Younger Children/ Picture Book)
  • Mari Hunt from Spokane, WA for “Unfaithful” (Young Adult)
  • Suzanne Kamata from Japan for “The Returnee” (Young Adult)
  • Ann Malaspina from Ridgewood, NJ for “The Bottle Tree” (Middle Grade)
  • Stephanie Parsley from Farmers Branch, TX for “Heart” (Young Adult)
  • Christina Soontornvat from Austin, TX for “Izzy Doyle and the Changelings of the Edgewood” (Middle Grade)
  • Elizabeth White from Houston, TX for “White Mountain” (Young Adult)
  • Janine Yordy from Huntersville, NC for “Sensi-sniffity” (Writing for Younger Children/ Picture Book)

Congratulations to all the winners and finalists. Thank you, Kathi Appelt, beloved judge. And thank you to all the entrants. We had so much fun reading your extraordinary stories.

Announcing TWO judges for the 2012 CNF prize at Hunger Mountain!

We’re excited to announce two judges for the CNF prize this year, husband/wife team Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead and the newly released Hotels, Hospitals, and Jails—and Christa Parravani, author of the forthcoming memoir Her.

Anthony Swofford is the author of the memoir Jarhead, the novel Exit A, and the newly released memoir Hotels, Hospitals and Jails. He served in a U.S. Marine Corps Surveillance and Target Acquisition/Scout-Sniper platoon during the Gulf War. After the war, he was educated at American River College; the University of California, Davis; and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Lewis and Clark College. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, Men’s Journal, The Iowa Review, and other publications; his memoir Jarhead was a major New York Times bestseller, and the basis for the movie of the same name. A Michener-Copernicus Fellowship recipient, he lives in the Brooklyn, in New York with his wife and daughter.

Christa Parravani is the author of the forthcoming memoir Her, to be published by Henry Holt (March 2013). Parravani is also an internationally exhibited photographer and two-time MacDowell fellow. With MFAs from both Rutgers Newark and Columbia University, she has taught at UMass Amherst, Dartmouth College, and SUNY Purchase.

Read guidelines and enter the contest here.

Winners of Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize and Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing will be announced in September!

The Hunger Mountain Prize for Young Writers is cancelled for 2012.

Please check back with us in 2013. If you’ve already sent us a manuscript and an entry fee, we will refund you.

2012 Howard Mosher Prize Judge is Pam Houston

The judge for the 2012 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize is Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness, Waltzing the Cat, and the newly published Contents May Have Shifted. Read her Hunger Mountain piece “Corn Maze.”


Hunger Mountain prize winner chosen for anthology

Elizabeth Gonzalez

“The Speed of Sound” by Elizabeth Gonzalez has been selected for inclusion in New Stories from the Midwest 2012 (Indiana University Press), guest edited by Rosellen Brown. “The Speed of Sound” was the winner of the 2011 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize. Gish Jen judged. Read the story HERE.

New Stories from the Midwest 2012 presents twenty of the best published short stories set in or inspired by the Midwestern United States: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The goals of the New Stories from the Midwest series are to celebrate an American region that is often ignored in discussions about distinctive regional literature and to demonstrate how the quality of fiction from and about the Midwest rivals that of any other region.

New Stories from the Midwest 2011 (Indiana University Press) is forthcoming in Spring/Summer 2012. It was guest edited by John McNally, author of After the Workshop, and showcases award-winning authors, including Charles Baxter, Christine Sneed, Dan Chaon, Rebecca Makkai, Anthony Doerr, Lee Martin, Brenda K. Marshall, and others.

New Stories from the Midwest 2010 (Ohio University Press) is available for purchase now. It includes an introduction by Lee Martin and showcases award-winning authors, including Gregory Blake Smith, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Rosellen Brown, David Allan Cates, Christie Hodgen, Benjamin Percy, and others.

Hunger Mountain Ruth Stone Poetry Prize!

Ellen LaFleche

We are thrilled to announce the winner of the 2012 Hunger Mountain Ruth Stone Poetry Prize: Ellen LaFleche, from Northampton, MA, for her poem “Mirror, Mirror!” Ellen was selected from many excellent contenders by our guest judge Dorianne Laux. Our two runners-up are Emily Pulfer-Terino from Pittsfield, MA, for “Prayer for What Disappears,” and Sandra Stone from Portland, OR, for “Reading the Flamingo’s Smile.” Finally, a special mention goes to Wendy Miles from Lynchburg, VA, for “Divination, Sky.”

The finalists for this year’s Hunger Mountain Ruth Stone Poetry Prize are:

  • Paul Carroll for “Salvia”
  • Peter Cooley for “Past the Sexual Rapture Which Isn’t Sex”
  • Shelley Johnson for “Desire Looking Down”
  • Jennifer Luebbers for “Hunger was a blade, a fire”
  • Kerrin McCadden for “Portrait of the Family as a Definition”
  • Wendy Miles for “On a Monday, What You May Have Known”
  • Hilary Poremski-Beitzel for “Bird Triptych”
  • Jendi Rieter for “Robot Deer Shot 1,000 Times”

The poetry of the winner, the runners up, and the special mention for this year’s Ruth Stone Poetry Prize will appear on Hunger Mountain online at Congratulations to them, and to all of our finalists! Many thanks to you for being part of this year’s Hunger Mountain Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. Your support means so much to Hunger Mountain and to independent publishing!

CNF Prize Winners!

Congratulations to Dani Bojanski, the winner of the 2011 Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize, for “South Omaha From The F Street Exit, JFK Freeway.”  Sue William Silverman judged.

This year’s runners-up are Daisy Hernandez for “Blackout” and David LeGault for “I Got So Much Love I Don’t Know Where to Put It.” Congratulations, Daisy and David.

The finalists are:

  • Aimee Baker, “A Family Medical History in Five Parts”
  • Amy Boesky, “What We Talk about When We Talk about Risk”
  • Amy Butcher, “The Places I Come From”
  • Michael Gracey, “Treasure”
  • Daisy Hernandez, “Stories She Tells Us”
  • Julie Jeanell Leung, “Inscription”
  • Daisy Pitkin, “An Algorithm”
  • Diana Spechler, “The Matchmaker’s Mouth”
  • Meredith Stricker, “The Theater of Memory”

Look for the winning pieces at in January 2012.  Our sincere thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s Creative Nonfiction Prize. Your support means so much to Hunger Mountain and to independent publishing.

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2011 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize

I’m excited to announce that the winner of the 2011 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize, selected by Gish Jen, is Elizabeth Gonzalez from Lancaster, Pennsylvania for “The Speed of Sound.” The winning piece will be published in the Hunger Mountain Menagerie, due out this fall. Here’s what Gish Jen has to say about Elizabeth’s story:

“The details!—from the insider’s view of the F-89 to the base at Thule to the smell of Fels nap soap to way the daytime sky looked from the observatory—”daffy, even”—this story wowed me. But even better were the emotions—the father wondering about his son’s cryptic statement; wondering if he’d inspired his son to follow him skyward; and wondering, now, if he was coming back. The author broke my heart with the end—so beautifully elliptically handled.”

Congratulations to runner up, Donald Quist from Hartsville, South Carolina for “The Ghosts of Takahiro Okyo,” a story Gish Jen calls “convincing, gripping, atmospheric, and shattering—a truly creepy, original, ambitious story that moves with great agility and touches on something profound.”

And congratulations to runner up Greta Schuler from St. Louis, Missouri for “Watch,” which Gish Jen calls “wonderfully terrible in its ironies: in the relationship between the protagonist and employer—in her reading of him, in his misreading of her; and who’s the “tricky one” here? I loved, too, how fraught every line was—as if the author could no more afford waste than the protagonist. A strong, dramatic story, it really brought Zimbabwe alive.”

The finalists for this year’s Howard Frank Mosher Prize are:

  • Stephanie Dickinson from New York City for “JadeDragon_77″
  • Sarah Elizabeth Schantz from Boulder, Colorado for “Electric Shock Therapy”
  • Duy Nguyen from Quincy, Massachusetts for “Where Will You Be When You Are Reading This”
  • Paulette Livers from Chicago, Illinois for “Soldier’s Joy”
  • Ashleigh Eisinger from Houston, Texas for “Weight”
  • Carmel Mawle from Fort Collins, Colorado for “Jamila”
  • Susan Sharpe from Hume, Virginia for “Obit Guy”

We’re thrilled to announce the winners of the 2011 Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adults and Children’s Writing, selected by Kimberly Wills Holt!

Congratulations to our first place winner, Heather Smith Meloche from Rochester Hills, Michigan for her YA story “Him.” Look for the winning piece in Hunger Mountain’s print issue due out this fall: the Hunger Mountain Menagerie. Kimberly Willis Holt has this to say about the winning piece:

“My only disappointment with that entry was I couldn’t read beyond what was submitted. From the start, Him, took me to a different world. The writer is one of those rare talents who can create a realistic setting and characters with few words. Aside from those attributes, I felt an instant compassion for the flawed main character, despite her bad choices. That is no easy task. Bravo!”

Congratulations also to our category winners: Sarah Tregay for her YA story “I Love You, Man”; Christy Lenzi for her Middle Grade novel excerpt “Forty Thieves and a Green-Eyed Girl”; and Betty Yee for her  story for younger children “Cesar.”

Kimberly Willis Holt also named two Special Mentions in this year’s prize: Betty Yee for her Young Adult novel excerpt “Gold Mountain Sojourn”; and Anna Craig for her Middle Grade novel excerpt “North of Hell’s Canyon.”

The very talented finalists for this year’s Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adults and Children’s Writing are:
Caroline Misner for “The Popinjays Die Lightly” (Young Adult Short Story)
Anna Dowdall for “The Haro Branch: Toola City” (Young Adult Novel Excerpt)
Jennifer Kam for both “The Tall Grass” and “The White House” (Middle Grade Short Stories)
Sandra Nickel for “The Saving of Saint Martha’s” (Middle Grade Novel Excerpt)
Kristen Lenz for “The Power of Butterflies” (Writing for Younger Children/ Picture Book)
Robin Heald for “Whistling for Angela” (Writing for Younger Children/ Picture Book)
Emma Jane Silver for “Snow Trouble” (Writing for Younger Children/ Picture Book)
Anne Bowen for “Lawn Mower Guy” (Writing for Younger Children/ Picture Book)

2011 CNF Prize Judge is Sue William Silverman

We’re so pleased to announce the Sue William Silverman will be judging this year’s CNF prize at Hunger Mountain. Sue William Silverman is the author of Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, and Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 Hunger Mountain Prize for Young Writers

The first place winners’ work will be published here at Hunger Mountain Online soon. Listed below are the winners, runners-up, finalists, and one special mention selected by New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith.

Lin King is the first place winner in fiction for her short story “Rumor Has it in Winthrop.” Cynthia Leitich Smith offers this praise for the story: “Alternating first person point of view works well for the setting and subject matter.  The characters are well built with intriguing back-stories, machinations, and parallel constructs. The ending surprises the reader. It’s well rounded overall with some effective dark humor.”

Delali Ayivorwins first place in poetry for both “Threshold” and “The Office.” “The Office” is “an intriguing concept—stories/media commingling. Use of imagery is evocative. The last about dreaming in poetry is simply lovely.” “Threshold” “pulls in the reader with its strong sensory detail and setting. It offers emotional resonance, a reversal. The juxtaposition of pride/identity versus mainstream images of beauty/selling out leave us with much to think about.”

Sophie Haigney takes first place in creative nonfiction for her essay “What You Can Tell From My Childhood Heroes: Feminism and Other Things.” Cynthia Leitich Smith calls this an “excellent essay on gender empowerment, conflicting expectations and the natural adolescent preoccupation with fitting in. The diary to heroes would be an intriguing device to develop into a novel or larger collection of essays. ”

The Runner-up in fiction is Alexandria Juliet Lenzi for her short story “The Lost and Found Tale of Tod’s Invisible Jacket.” The Runner-up in poetry is Cara Dorris for “Spring Cleaning.” The Runner-up in creative nonfiction is Danny Rothschild for “Unrooted.” And a special Mention in poetry goes to Annalee Kwochka for her poem “Period.”

Prize for Young Writers Finalists:

  • Delali Ayivor “The Depths” (fiction)
  • Alyssa Clark “Silent Revolution” (fiction)
  • Naomi Day “The Prettiest Face” (fiction)
  • Edyt Dickstein for a sestina “The Color Blind” and a villanelle “National outcry” (poetry)
  • Cara Dorris “And my arm went up and waved back” and “how camels land” (poetry)
  • Sarah Dukes “Defining Rose” (fiction)
  • Emily Hittner-Cunningham “After Looking-Glass” (fiction)
  • Karina McCorkle “Seven Minutes in Junior High” (poetry)
  • Colette Parry “Morning Fog” (poetry)
  • Jackson Rollings “Tinnitus” and “Alaine Imitates Charlie Chaplin’s Great Dictator” (poetry)
  • Trevin Smith “zero” (fiction)
  • Olivia Valdes “Exhortations to a Young Abstraction” and “Otherwisers” and “Joy from West Africa” (poetry)

Congratulations to all the young writers who we honor with this prize. What a talented, creative, and hard working group!

The Hunger Mountain Ruth Stone Poetry Prize Winners Announced!

The winner of Hunger Mountain’s 2011 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize is Rochelle Hurt from Wilmington, North Carolina, for “Third Surgery.” Here’s what Pulitzer prize winning poet Claudia Emerson, this year’s judge, has to say about the winning poem:

The voice in “Third Surgery” manages to be firmly insistent and heartbreakingly vulnerable. The poet sets the body’s trauma and its resilience against the workings of the natural world, the familiar and the unknowable—a beautifully balanced achievement.

Runner-up is Emily Pulfer-Terino from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, for “Firstborn,” about which CLaudia Emerson writes:

“Firstborn” expresses with lyric intensity a particular anxiety, reforming the experience of the only child’s displacement to “firstborn” and sibling—and in the process delightfully pairing the architecture of the “world” and its rooms with that of the mother.

And another runner-up is April Goldman from Houston, Texas, for “Girls On Lake Pewaukee Consider The Future.” Claudia Emerson writes:

The collective voice of the “girls” masterfully rendered, the reader lingers as well on the threshold between the body’s awareness—reluctant, still submerged—and that of the intellect, fiercely forming.

Special mentions include Emily Pulfer-Terino from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, for “The Best Ideas,” and Austen Rosenfeld from New York, New York for “Snow.” The finalists for this year’s Hunger Mountain Ruth Stone Poetry Prize are:

  • Rochelle Hurt from Wilmington, North Carolina for “Elsewhere”
  • Caroline Carlson from Baltimore, Maryland for “Field Guide to Northern Trees”
  • Holly Virginia Clark from San Francisco, California for “West 3rd Street” and “Museum of Natural History”
  • Sara Michas-Martin from San Francisco, California for “Overlay” and “Missing the Illusion of One”
  • Angelo Nikolopoulos from New York, New York for “Letter” and “Her Summer Dress”
  • April Goldman from Houston, Texas for “That She Not Be Mistaken For The Wind, God Made Eve Twice”

Congratulations to Rochelle, Emily, April, Austen and all of our finalists! Look for the winning poem, two runners-up and two special mentions on Hunger Mountain online soon!

The Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize Winners Announced!

The winner of Hunger Mountain’s 2010 Creative Nonfiction Prize is Meredith Anton from West Dover, Vermont, for “Breathing Room on Judgment Day.” Runners-up are Joshua Doležal from Pella, Iowa, for “Uruguay,” and Cecilia Woloch from Los Angeles, California, for “Skin.” Melissa Febos was this year’s judge.

The finalists for this year’s Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize are:

  • Sabine Bergmann of Mill Valley, California, for “Death Road”
  • Vickie Fernandez of Philadelphia for “La Santera”
  • Christine Ritenis of Suffern, New York, for “Masked Bandit”
  • Catherine Taylor of Ithaca, New York, for “Three Planes”
  • Brittany Young of Coconut Creek, Florida, for “Our Phantom Limbs”

Congratulations to Meredith, Joshua, Cecilia, and all of our finalists!

Katherine Paterson Prize Winners Announced!

The winner of Hunger Mountain’s 2010 Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing is Jaramy Conners from West Chazy, New York, for “Steve,” a short story for young adults. Runners-up are Jane Kohuth from Holliston, New York, for her picture book “Something at the Hill,” Marcia Popp from Edwardsville, Illinois, for her middle grade short story “The Ugliest Dog in the World,” and S. E. Sinkhorn from Santa Rosa, California, for “Chasing Shadows,” a short story for young adults. Holly Black was this year’s judge.

The finalists for this year’s Katherine Paterson Prize are:

  • Elizabeth Coburn from Buffalo, New York, for “Clever Madchen” (Picture Book)
  • Helen Hemphill from Nashville, Tennessee, for “The Direction of Fit” (YA, novel excerpt)
  • Jennifer Kam from Syosset, New York, for “In a Flash” (Middle Grade, short story)
  • Judy Irvin Kuns from Sandusky, Ohio, for “Exiled” (Middle Grade, short story)
  • Hope Lindsay from Williston, Vermont, for “Two Grandmas Came to Play Today” (Picture Book)
  • Annemarie O’Brien from Piedmont, California, for “Dance with Borzois” (Middle Grade, novel excerpt)
  • Wendy Oleson from Lincoln, Nebraska, for “The Bean Summer” (Middle Grade, novel excerpt)
  • Diane Stevens from Cambria, California, for “Don’t Tell Texas” (YA, novel excerpt)
  • Mima Tipper from Burlington, Vermont, for “A Cut-Out Face” (YA, short story)
  • Barbara Younger from Hillsborough, North Carolina, for “Christabel and Mr. Reader” (Picture Book)

Congratulations to Jaramy, Jane, Marcia, S. E. Sinkhorn, and all of our finalists!

Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize Winners Announced!

Winner: Mojie Crigler

The winner of the 2010 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize at Hunger Mountain is Mojie Crigler from Turners Falls, Massachusetts, for her story “How the Film Flint Distorts the Truth.” Runners-up are Josie Sigler from Bar Harbor, Maine, for “A Man is Not a Star” and Duy Nguyen from Quincy, Massachusetts, for “My Lover Is a Former Fat Kid.” Steve Almond was this year’s judge. “How the Film Flint Distorts the Truth” and “A Man Is Not a Star” will appear in Hunger Mountain print issue #15: The Thing at the Top of the Stairs, due out this fall. Click here to order your copy.

The finalists for this year’s Howard Mosher Prize are:

  • Colette Sartor from Los Angeles for “Dress Shoes”
  • Jan Priddy from Cannon Beach, Oregon, for “Shooting Range”
  • Eileen Sutton from New York City for “Hidden Heavens”
  • Vanessa Blakeslee from Maitland, Florida, for “Welcome Lost Dogs”
  • Jacqueline Guidry from Kansas City, Missouri, for “Who Are the Children”
  • Julian Gonzales from Brooklyn, New York, for “The Last Dance”
  • Jesse Goolsby from Colorado Springs, Colorado, for “Benevolence”

Congratulations to Mojie, Josie, Duy, and all the finalists!

Young Writers’ Prize Winners!

June 19th, 2010. We’re so pleased to announce the winners, runners-up, and finalists for the first-ever Hunger Mountain Young Writers’ Prize!

First place winner in fiction:Rachel Thomas from Springdale, Arizona for “Ninjaboy”
First place winner in poetry: Mishka Hoosen from Johannesburg, South Africa for “Some Last Things to Arrange”
First place winner in creative nonfiction: Delali Ayivor from Houston, Texas for “Fefe Naa Efe”

Runner-up in fiction: Mishka Hoosen from Johannesburg, South Africa for “Any Regrets? Tell Us What Happened”
Runner-up in poetry: Jaclyn Porfilio from West Roxbury, Massachusetts for “Reckoning”
Runner-up in creative nonfiction: Dan Zhao from Elmhurst, NY for “A Wintry Requiem”

Fiction finalists:
Karina McCorkle from Cary, North Carolina for “The Banality of Butterflies”
Bronwyn Anne Harper from Crystal Lake, Illinois for “Shadows of Stone”
Isabella Mascheroni from New York, New York for “Phone Call in the Mid-Atlantic”

Poetry Finalists:
Meg Lincoln from North Haven, Connecticut for “Pillar of Salt”
Nicola Goldberg from Portola Valley, California for “Elegy”
Hannah Miller from Tenafly, New Jersey for “Morning Miracle”

Creative nonfiction finalists:
Emma Broder from Hamden, Connecticut for “Vectors”
McKenzie Lee Will from Shoreline, Washington for “Laugh it Out”
Lena Shefelman from Irvington, New York for “Grandmother Will Be Fine”

Rachel Thomas

The first place winner for each genre will receive $250 and publication here on Hunger Mountain online. Runners-up will receive $100. We received over 150 entries of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, and we were honestly blown away by the talent we saw on those pages. Choosing the winners and runners-up was difficult! Here’s what our judge, National Book Award winner M.T. Anderson, best-selling author of Feed and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, says about the winners:

Mishka Hoosen

“In a contest with so many wonderful entries, a final decision about which piece is “best” is, to a great extent, nonsensical. Across the board, I was delighted with the tonal sophistication and the fluidity of the writing. In particular, it’s great that so many of these young authors are not afraid of style – that they are clearly conscious of the unique qualities of their own voices and aren’t shying away from their own eccentricities, but rather embracing them. This, to me, is what sets literary writing apart from everything else. The entries I finally chose – regretting all of those equally deserving authors who I could not choose – are each great examples of that confidant deployment of stylistic particularity.

“In the Poetry category, I have picked Mishka Hoosen’s poem “Some Last Things to Arrange,” a half-glimpsed narration of ominous events we only can barely perceive before the images scatter in a burst of gunshot and a flurry of startled birds. In the nonfiction category, Delali Ayivor’s memoir “Fefe Naa Efe” also relies on incredibly concrete details worked into a half-seen scenario – in this case, a childhood divided between Africa and the States. In both these cases, the authors allude to things we can’t quite see, but anchor their narratives in specifics (the hair of a brother; the grease in a cooking-pit; footsteps in Michigan snow).

“The fiction winner, Rachel Thomas’s “Ninjaboy” is much more straightforward in its narrative, but acquires its force through a beautifully-modulated distance from the character (referred to only as “Ninjaboy”). This narrator walks the line between irony and compassion. His/Her voice is stylistically distinctive, flatly insisting on repetitions of words and phrases which produce a dry, faintly mocking tone – but which also allow him/her to gradually draw a portrait of a boy for whom we feel tremendous sympathy.

“This kind of stylistic bravery was a feature, as I’ve said, of so many of these pieces: from a fragmented memoir about a dying grandmother, told almost entirely in brief, broken images, to a robustly feisty description of one girl’s struggle with a syndrome that makes her – and everyone else in her family – pee when they laugh too hard. From a story about a character studying vectors in physics, written, as it were, entirely in tangential vectors which gradually push the character around, to a bleak account of one boy’s attempt to recover from the death of a childhood friend, a piece steeped in memory and shifts in time. … I wish there were space to write about the clever devices used by each of these authors – but instead, I’ll just close by saying that writers as sure-footed as those I read in the course of judging this contest have a bright future before them. Good luck to all of you!”

–M. T. Anderson

Ashley Seitz Kramer wins 2010 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize!

We’re happy to announce that Ashley Seitz Kramer of Lakewood, Ohio has been awarded first place in the 2010 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize for her poem “Between Land and Water.” This year’s judge, Matthew Dickman, author of All American Poem says:

It’s easy to praise this wonderful love poem. Like love itself it is full of the thingness of relationships, both the light and the dark and the meaningful moments in-between. As the title suggests there is so much happening between land and water where, if we are lucky, we are called “down to the floor/ like a starfish” our lover “loved once/ for too many arms”.

We’re also happy to announce two runners-up in the 2010 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. Congratulations to runner-up Nancy Pearson of Welfleet, Massachusetts for two poems, “Blackwater” and “Opening Day” about which, Mr. Dickman says:

“Political” poems can sometimes feel reactionary, distanced, and fearful. This is not the case with “Blackwater.”  This is a poem of the deepest kind of politic: the politic of the human dealing with an often times inhuman world. Here sincerity is being utilized as the muscle it is. The strange world of “Opening Day” might, in the hands of another poet, distance the reader. But here one feels anchored in this lyric world. Anchored and thankful to be in it.

Congratulations also to runner-up Samantha Kolber of Montpelier, Vermont for “Jewel Tones,” a  Pantoum (in which the second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third lines of the following stanza.) “One of the many difficulties of writing in strict form is the pitfall of allowing the form of the poem to take over the content or the intention of the poet,” writes Matthew Dickman. “In “Jewel Tones” we see the opposite: A poet utilizing the form to carry the very human desire of the person writing it.”

The finalists for the 2010 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize are:

  • Helen Stevens Chinitz of Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York for “Estuarine”
  • Sarah Eggers of Brooklyn, New York for “In which the young nun learns to prepare a stew”
  • Stacy K. Heiney of Portland, Oregon for “Alone After Death”
  • W. F.  Lantry of Silver Spring, Maryland for “Four Handed Lute”
  • Kerrin McCadden of Plainfield, Vermont for “Definition” and “Becca”
  • Leslie Anne Mcilroy of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for “Red Dog”
  • Alison D. Moncrief of Burlington, Vermont for “Lock” and “Profusion”
  • Renee Rossi of Dallas, Texas for “Tough Little Beauty”

Congratulations to Ashley, Nancy, Samantha, and all the finalists!

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

debra arter October 22, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Please add me to email list about dates and deadlines. THanks!


Shannnon Lemley-Neal November 11, 2009 at 12:59 am

what is the entry fee for poetry?


Miciah November 11, 2009 at 8:23 am

Shannon, the entry fee is $20. You can pay by check or using Paypal. Thanks for your interest!
–Miciah Bay Gault, managing editor


Mary December 3, 2009 at 2:09 pm

What is the timeframe for notifcation of winners following the Dec 10 deadline for submissions to the Ruth Stone Poetry Prize contest?


Miciah December 3, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Mary, we hope to notify Ruth Stone Poetry Prize winners by early February. Thanks for asking!


Ron Herron February 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Do you have a date set in February to announce the Ruth Stone poetry contest winners?


gladys goldberg March 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I’ll look forward to reading poems of this year’s winners. And trying again next year.


Miciah March 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Gladys, look for the winning poems in our next online “issue” this spring (April/May). And thanks for being part of our contest! It’s so much fun, isn’t it?
–Miciah Bay Gault, managing editor


Teresa S-J August 4, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Does your magazine offer any payment and/or copies of the issue for pieces submitted through standard entry (not contests) and accepted for publication?
Thank you!


Jessica August 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Hi – When do you plan to notify winners of the 2010 Katherine Paterson prize? Thank you!


valerie October 14, 2010 at 5:52 pm

would like some info. on poetry contests,guidelines thanks!


Miciah October 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

Hi Valerie,

Sure thing. Check out this page:

And for general poetry guidelines, go here:

Good luck!


liz December 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Hi, Hunger Mountain. I was wondering when the Creative Nonfiction contest winners would be announced…. soon, I hope? :)


claire December 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

Hi Liz! Sorry for the delays on this–in fact we’re in the process of writing up the announcement right now. Should be up by the end of the day. Thanks for your interest.


Pilar December 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

I would like to have a copy of Vickie Fernandez’s “La Santera”


Miciah June 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

Hi Bev, the Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize deadline is coming right up: June 30th. That’s a postmark deadline. Make sure to check out all the guidelines:
–Miciah Bay Gault, Managing Editor


Miciah December 6, 2011 at 9:53 am

Alicia, I’m hoping to announce the winners of the CNF contest in the next two weeks. Finalists are with Sue Silverman, our judge, right now!
–Miciah Bay Gault, Editor


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