Southeast Missouri State University Press

Southeast Missouri State University

News and Events

Announcing the Winners of Big Muddy’s Might River Short Story Contest and the Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest

We are excited to announce the winners of Big Muddy’s annual Mighty River Short Story Contest and the Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest. See the winners and finalists below!

Mighty River Short Story Contest


“Halloween, 2001” by Giovanna Varela

Giovanna Varela’s work is severely influenced by her hometown of Central Florida. She is pursuing an MFA in creative writing at The New School, and an MFA in film production at Emerson College. Her pilot script, “Flamingo City,” won 2nd place in Nevada International Film Festival’s 2017 TV screenplay competition. Her flash fiction has been published in Folio, Literary Juice, Rock & Sling, and the Owen Wister Review, and is forthcoming in Southern Indiana Review and Moon City Review


“Nature Programs” by Richard Bartel
“Lunar Hymns” by Ryan Boyle
“Love Me Through a Hurricane” by Amina Gautier
“Many Other Ways to Die” by Lisa McKenzie

Wilda Hearne Flash Fiction Contest


“Story, Baby” by Kate Simonian

Kate Osana Simonian is an Armenian-Australian writer of fiction and essays. She attends the English PhD program at Texas Tech as a Presidential Fellow. In 2017, she received the Nelson Algren Award and a Tennessee Williams Scholarship to the Sewanee Writers Conference. Her work has been published by, or is forthcoming in, Ninth Letter, The Kenyon Review Online, The Chicago Tribune, and The Best Australian Stories.


“Lies” by Andi Boyd
“Hearts & Spades” by Ryan Boyle
“What a Drag it is Getting Old (M. Jagger) by Yvonne Fein
“El Pobrecito on Catolico Street” by Mario Padilla

Congratulations to the winners and finalists!

Next year’s contests are open for submissions. For more information, see our events and contests page.


Avalialble Now: Writing By American Warriors, Volume 6

Proud to Be: Writing By American Warriors, vol. 6 will be out soon and we have a pre-order page up for it. Have a look for a list of contest winners and included pieces:

Proud to Be: Writing By American Warriors, Volume 6

2017 Big Muddy Pushcart Prize Nominees

Big Muddy would like to congratulate our Pushcart Prize nominees for 2017, chosen from issues 17.1 and 17.2 (the latter of which will be back from the printers any day now!)

Here are the nominees:

“Hangman’s Game” by Sam Martone (17.2)
“One Trick Pony” by J. Bowers (17.2)
“Missouri is a Ghost Shaped Thing” by John Dorsey (17.2)
“Speaking in Rivers” by Keith Donnell Jr. (17.1)
“Midway” by Jessica Fokken (17.1)
“older” by Charlotte Covey (17.1)

Best of luck to all of you!

Also, sheesh, was it hard to narrow the list down to just six! Thanks for all the great reading you keep sending our way. We look forward to all of the submissions to come!

Congratulations to the winner and finalists of the 2017 Cowles Poetry Book Prize

Southeast Missouri State University Press is pleased to announce that Emma Bolden’s manuscript House is an Enigma is the winner of the 2017 Cowles Poetry Prize, judged by Susan Swartwout. The prize includes $2,000 and publication of the winning manuscript by the University Press. Ms. Bolden’s book will be published in October 2018.

House is an Enigma is an investigation of the language used to house descriptions of the body, which so often seek to define and determine the boundaries and behaviors of the spirit that lives within. Written after Bolden’s radical hysterectomy, during which she noted her doctors’ use of house metaphors to describe her body and discuss her inability to have children, these stunning poems set out to expose the fissures in the foundations of the language we use to define human bodies and their behaviors, using these cracks as a lens through which she can see her own body, at last, as her own flawed but beautiful home.

Emma Bolden is the author of two books, Malificae and medi(t)ations, and several chapbooks. Her poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in Colorado Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Salamander, National Poetry Review, Nimrod, Triquarterly, Fairy Tale Review, Prairie Schooner, Cimarron Review, StoryQuarterly, Bellingham Review, DIAGRAM, Monkeybicycle, and Gulf Coast among other venues. Bolden received a 2017 Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment of the Arts.



House is an Enigma by Emma Bolden


Reverse Migration by Leah Angstman
Days Since a Lost Time Accident by Steve Bellin-Oka
Rare, Wondrous Things by Alyse Bensel
You, Them, Her by Allison Blevins
If Not This Then What by J.L. Conrad
Cut Words and Other Trimmings by Kathryn Gessner Calkins
Glass is Glass Water is Water by Rae Gouirand
Temple of Bureaucratic Kindness by Brad Johnson
Inside Ball Lightning by Jacob Oet
Repeater by Michael C. Peterson
History of Gone by Lynn Schmeidler

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New Releases

Proud to Be: Writing By American Warriors, Volume 6

By Edited by James Brubaker

Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, Volume 5 presents essays, fiction, poetry, interviews, and photography by military-service personnel, veterans, and their families.

Read More

My Life With Faulkner and Brodsky

By Robert Hamblin

Read More

Bound for the Midwest

By Joni M. Hand

Read More

Pie Man

By John Surowiecki

2015 Nilsen Prize Winner

Read More

Featured Author

Brad Aaron Modlin

Everyone at This Party Has Two Names

Brad Aaron Modlin earned his MFA from Bowling Green State and his PhD from Ohio University. His poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have appeared in Denver Quarterly, The Florida Review, Indiana Review, DIAGRAMRiver TeethFourth Genre, and others.  Everyone at This Party has Two Names is the winner of the Cowles Poetry Book Prize.

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