2021 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize Winners: Alex Cothren + Amber Blaesen-Wardzala

2021 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize Winners: Alex Cothren + Amber Blaesen-Wardzala

May 20, 2021

Ruminate Magazine is thrilled to share with you the winners of the 2021 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize! The winning pieces were selected by our final judge, Kelli Jo Ford, and will appear in our fall 2021 issue which releases mid-September! You can subscribe now to receive Issue 60.

 

First place: “The Florist” by Alex Cothren

Alex Cothren is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Flinders University. He is a winner of the Carmel Bird, William van Dyke and Peter Carey Awards for short fiction, and he has writing published or forthcoming in Meanjin, Island, The Griffith Review, Ruminate and Australian Book Review. He is the co-editor of Westerly’s South Australia Special Issue.

Photo by Maria Isabel Suarez Ospina

Kelli Jo Ford said: 

"'The Florist' is a story I won’t soon forget. Here, the writer has created a disturbing world of wonders that’s both familiar and entirely fresh and has done so with little in the way of explanation. Instead, they’ve trusted the depth of the characters and their relationships on the page. Instead, they've trusted a precision of language, sentences, and structure. This is a story that pulled at me long after I put it down."

 

Second place: “A Guide to Removal” by Amber Blaeser-Wardzala

Amber Blaeser-Wardzala, a recent graduate of Denison University, with a BA in English—Creative Writing, is Anishinaabe from the White Earth Nation and grew up in rural Wisconsin. Her poetry and photography have been included in regional publications, and she has received several awards for her short fiction. Blaeser-Wardzala was co-captain of her university's Varsity Fencing Team, and, before COVID-19, she volunteered at Licking County Humane Society in her free time. Currently, she is a fellow for the Authentic Voices Program. In the fall, she will begin an MFA program in Creative Writing at Arizona State University.

Kelli Jo Ford said:

At turns hilarious and heartbreaking, "A Guide to Removal" makes some kind of literary magic. I found more to love each time I read this story.

 

Honorable Mention: "Katingo Carried 15,980 Tons and a Gentleman" by George Choundas

George Choundas has work in over fifty publications. His story collection, The Making Sense of Things, won the Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Katherine Anne Porter Prize, the Robert C. Jones Prize, and the St. Lawrence Book Award. He is a former FBI agent and half Cuban/half Greek.

Kelli Jo Ford said:

I feel sure that I could pick a paragraph at random in "Katingo Carried 15,980 Tons and a Gentleman" and be swept away by the careful rhythm of the language, by the boldness of the story. A whole world is rendered in just 15 pages.

 

Finalists:

Nina Gaby, “Patricia’s Friends and Family React to Her Unusual Behavior After the Funeral”

Elizabeth Paley, “Beethoven’s Rhythm”

Lauren Loftis, “Glass Bloom”

Skye Anicca, “What She Didn’t Say”

Catherine Miller, “Sunday School”

Alberto Daniels, “Jaguar”

Suphil Lee Park, “Seance”

 

Thank you to all who entered our 2021 William Van Dyke Short Story Prize!



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up. We don't allow comments that are disrespectful or personally attack our blog writers.


Also in Ruminate News and Events

Announcing our New Fiction Editors - Ruminate Magazine
Announcing our New Fiction Editors

September 09, 2020

This week we want to introduce our new fiction editors, Joe Truscello and Emily Woodworth.

Read More

2020 JANET B. MCCABE POETRY PRIZE WINNERS: Laura Budofsky Wisniewski and Yvette Siegert - Ruminate Magazine
2020 JANET B. MCCABE POETRY PRIZE WINNERS: Laura Budofsky Wisniewski and Yvette Siegert

July 22, 2020

Ruminate Magazine is excited to share with you the winners of the 2020 Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize. The winning poems were selected by our final judge Katie Peterson.

Read More

Six Month Update - Ruminate Magazine
Six Month Update

May 19, 2020

Dear Friends of Ruminate,  Thank you for your faith and trust during this transition. We’re nearly six months into our journey toward the future of Ruminate Magazine and it’s been a privilege to watch our amazing community and staff step up to the plate as we navigated uncharted territory for the organization. I’m pleased to announce that we’ll all be a part of this community for a long time to come: Ruminate has decided to remain an independent literary arts magazine. 

Read More