Contest: 2017 Prize Winners


Congratulations to the winners of the 2017 Bellevue Literary Review Prizes!


Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, selected by Ha Jin
Winner: “Do I Look Sick to You? (Notes on How to Make Love to a Cancer Patient)” by C.J. Hribal
Honorable Mention: “And It Is No Joke” by Conor Kelley

Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction, selected by Ariel Levy
Winner: “Of Mothers and Monkeys: A Case Study” by Caitlin Kuehn
Honorable Mention: “Jacket” by Jennifer Hildebrandt

Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry, selected by Kazim Ali
Winner: “Poem For A Friend Growing Lighter and Lighter” by Abe Louise Young
Honorable Mention: “In the absence of birdsong” by Michaela Coplen


These selections will appear in the Spring 2017 issue of the Bellevue Literary Review. The annual BLR Prizes award outstanding writing related to themes of health, healing, illness, the mind, and the body. The next contest will open on March 1, 2017.




Goldenberg Prize for Fiction

CJ Hribal

Winner: C.J. Hribal for “Do I Look Sick to You? (Notes on How to Make Love to a Cancer Patient)”

C.J. Hribal is the author of the novels The Company Car and American Beauty and the short fiction collections Matty’s Heart and The Clouds in Memphis, which won the AWP Award for Short Fiction. He also edited The Boundaries of Twilight: Czecho-Slovak Writing from the New World. He has held Fellowships from the NEA, the Bush, and from the Guggenheim Foundations. He is the Louise Edna Goeden Professor of English at Marquette University, and is a member of the fiction faculty at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers.

Conor Kelley

Honorable Mention: Conor Kelley for “And It Is No Joke”

Conor Kelley is from Seattle, Washington. His short stories and essays have been featured in Word Riot, Hippocampus Magazine, Tenth Muse, and more. His first book, a baseball instructional book titled The Catcher’s Handbook, was published by McFarland Books in 2014. Since graduating from the New York University MFA program, Conor has been at work on his first novel and a short story collection.


Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction

Caitlin Kuehn

Winner: Caitlin Kuehn for “Of Mothers and Monkeys: A Case Study”

Caitlin Kuehn is from small town Wisconsin, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology, and, for one whole year, attended medical school. Now residing in New York City, she is advancing towards an MFA at City College. “Of Mothers and Monkeys: A Case Study” is her first published work and draws on the intersection of her previous lab work and personal experience.

Jennifer Hildebrandt

Honorable Mention: Jennifer Hildebrandt for “Jacket”

Jennifer Hildebrandt lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a former hairdresser-turned-Pilates teacher and writer following the death of her husband from cancer in 2011. She is also a graduate student in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Hamline University in St. Paul, where she served on the creative nonfiction editorial board in 2016 for Hamline’s literary journal, Water~Stone Review, and was recently appointed assistant creative nonfiction editor for 2017. Her nonfiction stories weave together themes of love, life, death, nature, science (anatomy and biomechanics, in particular) and redefining life after loss, and she blogs at www.realigningred.com. “Jacket” is Jennifer’s first published piece.


Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry

Abe Louise Young

Winner: Abe Louise Young for "Poem For A Friend Growing Lighter and Lighter"

Abe Louise Young champions socially-engaged writing, art and oral history projects as co-director of Prizer Arts & Letters in Austin, Texas. She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers and a BA from Smith College. She’s the author of two poetry chapbooks, Heaven to Me and Ammonite, as well as the free nonfiction guide, Queer Youth Advice for Educators. Visit her at abelouiseyoung.com.

Michaela Coplen

Honorable Mention: Michaela Coplen for "In the absence of birdsong"

Michaela Coplen is a student at Vassar College in New York, where she studies International Relations, Arabic, and Poetry, and serves as Poetry editor for the Vassar Review. In 2013, she was appointed National Student Poet. Her work is published online with the Academy of American Poets and The Atlantic.