2016 Contest Winners


Lauren Alwan, "The Foreign Cinema"

Lauren Alwan

Winner, Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, 2016 (Selected by Paul Harding)

Lauren Alwan lives in Northern California and holds degrees from the San Francisco Art Institute and the Warren Wilson Program for Writers. Her fiction and essays appear in StoryQuarterly, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Sycamore Review, The Rumpus, The Millions, Northwest Review of Books, and Zyzzyva. She a staff contributor at LitStack, a literary news and reviews site, and a prose editor at the museum of americana, an online literary review.

Read an interview with Lauren.


Meridian Johnson, "The Problem With Anatomical Thinking—"

Meridian Johnson

Winner, Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry, 2016 (Selected by Ada Limon)

Meridian Johnson is the author of Kinesthesia, a full-length poetry collection (New Rivers Press 2010). Her poems and essays have appeared in AGNI, Borderlands, Beloit Poetry Journal, Dislocate, Gettysburg Review, Massachusetts’s Review, NPR’s On Being and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota with a graduate minor in Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM), and a BA in English from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. She is a writer, dancer, and biodynamic craniosacral therapist. She lives in northern New Mexico with her two children. Her websites are www.meridianjohnson.com and www.biopoetics.com.

Read an interview with Meridian.


Esther K. Willison, "Askew"

Esther Willison

Winner, Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction, 2016 (Selected by Mark Vonnegut)

Esther K. Willison grew up in the Bronx and now lives in Schenectady, New York, where she was one of the founders of an alternative ungraded public school. She was also the assistant director of a teen theater bringing AIDS education into the public schools. Her work has appeared in The Stories We Hold Secret, Small Town Gay; and 13th Moon, and was awarded second place, for memoir, from the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association. Currently she is on the staff of the Open Door Bookstore, in Schenectady where her two cats, Pix and Grace, allow her to live with them.

Read an interview with Esther.