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Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 BLR Prizes

November 28, 2017

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Bellevue Literary Review Prizes!

Goldenberg Prize for Fiction, selected by Geraldine Brooks
Winner: “Atrophy” by Lauren Erin O’Brien (photo above)
Honorable Mention: “Full Buck Moon” by Sheryl Louise Rivett
Honorable Mention: “Bamboo Forest” by Faith Shearin

Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction, selected by Rivka Galchen
Winner: “Cancer, So Far” by Elizabeth Crowell
Honorable Mention: “Drawing Blood” by Laura Johnsrude
Honorable Mention: “The Reluctant Sexton” by Martha Wolfe

Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry, selected by Rachel Hadas
Winner: “Throat” by Gabriel Spera
Honorable Mention: “The Game of Catch” by Noah Stetzer

These selections will appear in the Spring 2018 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, 2018.

Goldenberg Prize for Fiction


Winner: Lauren Erin O’Brien for “Atrophy”

Lauren Erin O’Brien is from Auburn, Massachusetts. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she received her BA in English and currently works at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Lauren’s works in progress include a short story collection as well as a novella. “Atrophy” is her first publication.


Honorable Mention: Sheryl Louise Rivett for “Full Buck Moon”

Sheryl Louise Rivett is an essayist, fiction writer, and educator. She holds an MA in writing from Johns Hopkins University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. Currently, she works as a writer at the Congressional Research Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC and serves as editor at Youshare, an international storytelling platform. Her fiction has appeared in Quail Bell Magazine. "Full Buck Moon" is her second published story. Find more about her writing at sheryllouiserivett.com.


Honorable Mention: Faith Shearin for “Bamboo Forest”

Faith Shearin's books of poetry include: The Owl Question (May Swenson Award), Telling the Bees (SFA University Press), and Orpheus, Turning (Broadkill River Press). She has received awards from the NEA and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poetry has been read aloud on The Writer's Almanac and included in American Life in Poetry. Shearin's short stories have appeared in The Missouri Review, Frigg, Meridian, and The Atticus Review. She lives with her husband, her daughter, and two dogs, in a cabin on top of a mountain in West Virginia.

Felice Buckvar Prize for Nonfiction


Winner: Elizabeth Crowell for “Cancer, So Far”

Elizabeth Crowell received her A.B. in English literature from Smith College in 1986 and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Columbia University in 1991. She has spent most of her professional life teaching English literature and writing to high schoolers. Currently, she is a stay-at-home mom and cancer fighter. She has been published recently The Saranac Review, The Timberline Review, and The Sewanee Review.


Honorable Mention: Laura Johnsrude for “Drawing Blood”

After completing her pediatric residency, Laura Johnsrude worked as a general pediatrician before settling in the Louisville area. Once in Kentucky, Laura began writing picture book manuscripts, short stories, and creative nonfiction. She was published in the 2016 summer issue of Today’s Transitions and received an “Entry of Note” Distinction from The Big Brick Review in 2016. In March of 2017, she was published in the online literary journal, Hippocampus Magazine.


Honorable Mention: Martha Wolfe for “The Reluctant Sexton”

Martha Wolfe has an MFA from The Writing Seminars at Bennington College. Author of The Great Hound Match of 1905; Alexander Henry Higginson, Harry Worcester Smith and the Rise of Virginia Hunt Country (Lyons Press, 2015), nominated for the Library of Virginia’s 2016 People’s Choice Literary Award, Martha has published in The Boston Globe, Science News, Science Digest, and The Bennington Review. She is working on a biography of author Mary Lee Settle.

Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry


Winner: Gabriel Spera for " Throat"

Gabriel Spera's first book of poems, The Standing Wave, was a National Poetry Series selection and also received the Literary Book Award for Poetry from PEN USA-West. His second book, The Rigid Body, received the Richard Snyder prize. Other honors include an NEA Fellowship and a COLA grant from the City of Los Angeles.


Honorable Mention:Noah Stetzer for "The Game of Catch"

Noah Stetzer is the author of Because I Can See Needing A Knife (Red Bird, 2016), a Bread Loaf Writer's Conference work-scholar, & poetry editor at A&U: America's AIDS Magazine. Nominated for the Pushcart, Noah's work has appeared at NER, Nimrod, and as part of the HIV: Here & Now Project (Indolent Books). Noah lives in the Washington DC area and can be found at www.noahstetzer.com