The winners of City Paper 's 15th annual fiction and 14th annual poetry contests are testaments to the city's arts scene. The first-place prize in poetry, awarded to Sarah Weissman (who works with Glass Mind Theatre) for "Peter Pan in the Catacombs," was written for an EMP Collective workshop. And both the second- and third-place winners for fiction-Lola Pierson and Timmy Reed, respectively-have been reviewed by the paper in the last year, with Pierson winning 2013's "Best New Playwright" award.
But perhaps the biggest indication of the city's literary strengths comes from Matthew Zingg, someone we've never heard of before, who won first place for fiction and third place for poetry; we suspect we'll be writing a lot more about him in the coming years. And finally, Jeremy Chase-Israel reminded us of the poetry in everyday life with his second-place winner, "Dead Animal Pickup," which was a "found poem" taken from the city's 311 system. (Chase-Israel is donating his prize to charity.)
In addition to the winners, we'd like to congratulate D.R. Belz and Gibran Hadj-Chikh for winning honorable mentions in fiction, and Carling Adele-Wyncoll Elder and Elizabeth Howe for honorable mentions in poetry.
The judges were: Maura Callahan, Edward Ericson Jr., H. Dean Freeman, J.M. Giordano, Rebekah Kirkman, Jenn Ladd, Rebecca Scott Lord, Joe MacLeod, Evan Serpick, Van Smith, Brandon Weigel, and Baynard Woods. Illustrations by Daniel Fishel, Mike Freiheit, and Natalie Clapp.