We are excited to announce the winner and finalists of our 2020 Cowles Poetry Book Prize. The winning book will be published, and the winning poet will receive $2,000. We saw so many amazing manuscripts this year, and it was difficult to narrow down a list to send to our final judge, Emma Bolden. Thank you all for your interest in this contest! Without further ado, then, here is the winner, and then the finalists:
Winner: Hospice Plastics by Rachel Hinton
Originally from Vermont, Rachel Hinton holds an MFA in poetry from the University of California, Irvine, and a BA from Kenyon College. Her poems have appeared in The Boiler, Cimarron Review, the Denver Quarterly, SOFTBLOW, the Tahoma Literary Review, and other journals. She has previously taught courses at DePaul University, and currently works as an editor and content development manager in Chicago. Of Hinton’s manuscript, final judge Emma Bolden writes “This book absolutely hums and it’s so powerful, every line of it, and the way the author uses language astounds and amazes me.”
Thief by Jennifer Miller
Thunderhead by Emily Cole
Eveningful by Jennifer Whalen
Tell This to the Universe by Katie Prince
Bad Prayer by Katie Berta
Hands Pull You Apart by Emily Jaeger
Ode to the Earth in Translation by George Looney
This Smile Is Starting to Hurt by Dylan Loring
“Every Slow Thing” by Daniel Lusk
Eject City by Jason Morphew
Night Swimming by Liz Robbins
Sentence by Rebecca Schumejda
The Water Bear by Margaret Young
Portrait Miniatures by James K. Zimmerman
We are excited to announce the winner and finalists of the 2019 Nilsen Prize for a First Novel. The winning manuscript will be published, and the author will receive $2,000. Thank you to everyone who entered! It was an honor and a pleasure to read your words. The 2020 contest is open (at a lower price!) at: https://smsupress.submittable.com/submit/145301/dorothy-and-wedel-nilsen-literary-prize-for-a-first-novel-2020
Elizabeth Engelman – The Way of the Saints
Polly Buckingham – Long White Robe
Kevin Frey – A Walking Tour of Antananarivo with the Ghost of Jean-Joseph
Jeremy Griffin – Odessa
Kate McIntyre – Mad Prairie
Matthew Pitt – The Be–Everything! Brothers
Just a quick note to let you know that, while campus is slowly reopening, we’ll still be slower to ship orders than usual over the summer. You’re welcome to continue ordering from us, and please know that we’ll be fulfilling them as quickly as we can, but we won’t be on campus quite as much for the time being.
We appreciate your understanding at this time and we’ll see you on the flipside. Until then, be safe and keep social distancing.
We are excited to announce the winner and finalists for the Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest. The winner will be published in the upcoming issue of Big Muddy, and will receive $500. Picking a winner this year was quite difficult due to the many, many, many excellent stories we received.
This year’s winner is:
“I Haven’t Forgotten You” by Leslie Blanco
And this year’s finalists were:
“Shades of Tippi Hedren Headed For a Phone Booth” by Pamela
“Eli” by Elizabeth Enochs
“Bitten” by Barney Haney
“On the Fly” by Daryl Scroggins
Now, this is usually the part where I’d encourage everyone to submit again for this year’s contest. Unfortunately, we won’t be running the contest in 2020. Reading contest submissions on top of non-contest submissions, and keeping up with other work for Big Muddy and Southeast Missouri State University Press is…a lot. This isn’t a financial decision at all, as these contests pay for themselves. Once we’ve had a bit of a breather, the contest will likely come back, but for the time being, we need a break! Thank you all for sharing your wonderful words with us, and I hope to read more from you all in the future.
The Big Muddy Editorial Team
Joshua Cross's debut story collection, set in the mining town of Black Bear Creek, where characters struggle to survive against rampant poverty while their drinking water is poisoned and the mountains around them are stripped away.
The volume also sponsored a veterans’ writing competition. The winners and finalists are spotlighted in the front of the book.
The anthology is the eighth in an annual series published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in cooperation with the Missouri Humanities Council’s Veterans Projects. See submissions guidelines here.
"If you let it, Look Alive can be the guardian inoculation that pierces you with a little taste of the big grief and the big joy so you can survive them when they come." - Alicia Mountain, author of High Ground Coward