This June, we're excited to finally reveal the winner, runner-up, honorable mention, and finalists of the 2022 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize, judged by writer Morgan Talty.
FIRST PLACE: "The Bet" by Jemimah Wei
Jemimah Wei is a 2022-2024 Stegner Fellow, a 2020 De Alba Fellow, and a Francine Ringold Award for New Writers Honouree. Her fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, recognized by the Best of the Net Anthologies, and has appeared in Narrative, Nimrod, and CRAFT Literary, amongst others.
Judge Morgan Talty writes: "The Bet" is more than a story—it’s medicinal. With such evocative language, strong characterization, and a dazzling narrative precision, "The Bet" is a story you won’t forget. In fact, it’s a story you might call upon when you need to be reminded of how important it is to love the complex and difficult people in our lives.
RUNNER-UP: "Wooden Airship" by Rich Richardson
Rich Richardson wrote this story because there are no hot air balloons in Honolulu where he lives with his adorable wife and child in a little red house in a peaceful green jungle valley. He builds things with reclaimed wood and likes to make art and veggie chimichangas.
Judge Morgan Talty writes: An atmospheric and deeply lovable story, "Wooden Airship" is a contemplative story about returning and is one to remember.
HONORABLE MENTION: "Comfort" by Cristina Legarda
Cristina Legarda was born in the Philippines and spent her early childhood there before moving to Bethesda, Maryland. She is now a practicing physician in Boston. She enjoys writing about women's lived experience, cultural issues, and finding grace in a challenging world. Her work has appeared in America, Dappled Things, FOLIO, The Dewdrop, HeartWood, The Good Life Review, and others.
Judge Morgan Talty writes:
So many stories evoke trauma, but few of them ever try to reconcile it—to bring peace between characters. "Comfort" pulsates with a sweet and never cloying tenderness.
"The Edge of Portugal" by Joshua Levy
"Hunting an Octopus" by Lee Thomas
"The Replay Channel" by Juliana Rosati
"A Ruptured Beatitude" by Judith Hannan
"Simple Care" by Amina Gautier
"Warehouse Song" by Icarus Laurence
"YoYo Ma, with Octopus" by Eaton Hamilton
"The Bet,""Wooden Airship," and "Comfort" will be published alongside select finalists in our annual prize issue, forthcoming September 2022.
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