2017 Short Story Prize Winners: April Vázquez + Andrew McCuaig

by Ruminate Magazine May 02, 2017

Ruminate Magazine is excited to share with you the winners of the 2017 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize. The winning story was selected by our final judge, LaToya Watkins.  

FIRST PLACE: April Vázquez, "Rebirth"

A native of the North Carolina foothills, 
April Vázquez currently lives in León, Guanajuato, Mexico, where she homeschools her daughters Daisy, Dani, and Dahlia. Her work has appeared in The Missing Slate, Windhover, Cleaver, The New Plains Review, and others.

Our final judge LaToya Watkins writes:

"'Rebirth' is a story about being human and hero. It’s a beautiful depiction of how each life, especially the innocent ones, deserves a chance—how each life makes a difference." 

SECOND PLACE: Andrew McCuaig, "The New World"

Andrew McCuaig is a public school English teacher from Madison, Wisconsin. He has won awards for his fiction from Hunger Mountain, Boulevard, Prairie Schooner, and now Ruminate. In 2009 he won a Pushcart Prize and in May of 2017 his short story "The Wallet" was performed as a "Flash Opera" on Broadway. Andrew is married and a father of two daughters and a yellow lab named Butter. "The New World" is a fictionalization of his immigrant mother's own story about the challenges of parenthood and adoption.

Our final judge LaToya Watkins writes:

"'The New World' is a carefully crafted story that deals with parenthood as a choice that can sometimes highlight virtues and flaws in character. And sometimes those flaws and virtues are the same thing."

HONORABLE MENTION: Monica Jimenez "The Curse"


Monica Jimenez
is a senior writer and editor at a university near Boston, an award-winning freelance local news reporter, and an MFA candidate at Stonecoast. She likes teaching piano, hanging out with her local Tibetan Buddhist lama and standing in line.





Our final judge LaToya Watkins writes:

"'The Curse' is story that addresses the delicate subject of growing up and the horror of it all. It does so beautifully."


Amanda Rose Adams

Chad Broughman

Joseph Cary

Laura Farnsworth

Rylie Frederick

Jeff Hayden

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

T. Moran

Rebecca Mullen

Bridget Muller

Jeb Parker

Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry

Peter Newall

Mary Katherine Spain

Thank you to all of you who entered the Short Story Prize!   

Ruminate Magazine hosts an annual contest for short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. You can read more about our writing contests and art contest here.

Ruminate Magazine
Ruminate Magazine


1 Response

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

May 13, 2017

Thank you for this honor. In accordance with the advice I give other writers in my multi award-winning book The Frugal Book Promoter, I will publish this “finalist” nod in my newsletter and list it on the awards pages of my website and my media kit. I am especially pleased to recommend the Ruminate contests because they give so much more to their honorees—especially those who don’t take the top prize. It’s those extras that build careers by giving authors more valuable reading and information and—of course—encouragement.
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

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