Just in time for Halloween: We're announcing the winner, runner-up, and finalists of the 2022 Waking Flash Prose Prize, judged by Cherie Nelson.
FIRST PLACE: "On the Endangered List" by Bridget Muller-Sampson
Bridget Muller-Sampson earned her MFA in Fiction at the Bennington Writing
Seminars. She lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband and her rescue border
collie, Pearl. Her stories have appeared in Consequence, The Northern New England Review, and Dappled Things. She is the winner of the J.F. Powers Short Story Award.
Judge Cherie Nelson writes: "On the Endangered List" is quiet and strong, a piece I found so compelling that I had to read and reread it, feeling the way it grew in its weightiness each time. In it, Muller-Sampson has carefully layered details—about the American Burying Beetle, the protagonist's marriage—to put readers at a point of decision with a complex character approaching a moment of change.
RUNNER-UP: "The Naming" by Sarah Damoff
Sarah Damoff has written for Open Global Rights; contributed to A War on My Body (DiAngelo Publications, 2022); and co-authored The Gospel Advent Book (Lucid Books, 2018). Her debut novel, The Bright Letters, is forthcoming (She Writes Press, 2024).
Judge Cherie Nelson writes: I really loved the way "The Naming" builds. The narrator writes into the blank spaces of her own memory with beautifully-crafted and emotionally-weighty images, trying to make sense of a year that has been named for her. An investigation into who has the power to name others, the final turn in the essay is as important as it is impactful—at the end of a list of incorrect names, the narrator is finally able to give a true name to the violence she has experienced.
"A Girl Becomes a Diamond" by Ruth Joffre
"The Baby Cure" by Emma Bolden
"Chrysalis" by Danielle Joffe
"Terrifying. Wonderful." by Chelsey Hillyer
"Violinist" by Candice May
"What's in a Name" by Fiyola Hoosen-Steele
"The Year of the Flood" by Sudha Balagopal
"On the Endangered List" and "The Naming" will be published in our forthcoming double issue Regeneration (63/64).
Cherie Nelson Senie is a writer, editor, and educator from Kansas. She earned her MFA in Creative Nonfiction and MA in Literature from Colorado State University and is a former editor of Ruminate Magazine. Her critical and creative work has been published in Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, Hobart, Ecotheo Review, Speculative Nonfiction, Assay: A Journal of Nonfiction Studies, and elsewhere. She currently lives in Colorado with her partner.
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