Mystery and Memory Winners

March 14, 2013 § 11 Comments

antWe are pleased to announce the winners of our 2013 Mystery and Memory Flash Essay Contest,  based on Philip Graham’s writing prompt in The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers (and reproduced in the January issue as a Craft Essay). Our winners are:

1st place: Candace Opper, “The Old Lady in the Ditch.”

2nd place: Mary Collins, “Leap.”

3rd place: Ryder Ziebarth, “Distilled Memory.”

Here is what our judge, Philip Graham, author, teacher, and nonfiction editor of the literary/arts journal Ninth Letter, had to say about the finalist (chosen from more than 200 entries):

“It was a pleasure reading the work of all eight finalists, and especially that of the first, second and third place winners.  The flash nonfiction essays of each contest winner share, along with beautifully wrought prose, an individual twist on the possibilities of memory.  Ryder Ziebarth, in “Distilled Memory,” recalls a family evening fraught with possible dangers that don’t come to pass and wonders if her daughter’s memory of that evening, later in life, will be different, more innocent than her own; Mary Collins, in “Leap,” remembers her role in her bother’s near-fatal accident in childhood, a memory haunted by that brother’s later troubled life; and Candace Opper, in “The Old Lady in the Ditch,” returns to her childhood stumbling upon a body that turns out not to be a corpse, and thinks of her life that wasn’t then altered by a deeper, more terrible discovery.  These three essays manage to capture a different shard of memory’s mirror, a shard that both reflects and cuts.”

We will begin posting the winning essays soon.

(And yes, we did announce this prematurely yesterday by hitting the wrong button — ‘publish’ instead of ‘save’ — in our WordPress screen.  Let that be a lesson to all of you  Slow down. Breathe.)

The Original Contest Call is here.


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