Congratulations to the Winner of the 2009 Wabash Prize in Fiction

BY MEHDI OKASI, Editor-in-Chief

Thank you to everyone who submitted to the 2009 Wabash Prize in Fiction.  This has been by far one of our most successful contests with close to six hundred entries.  Our final judge, Tobias Wolff, was very excited by the stories and had a difficult time choosing our winner.  Look for our new issue due out this summer for the winner and finalists.  Stay tuned for information about the 2009 Wabash prize in poetry.

1st place: In our winning story, Rachel Elizabeth Furey’s complex and ethereal story “Birth Act,” a young girl attempts various methods of communicating with her deceased mother on Mother’s Day weekend, ranging from re-enacting her birth in class to stealing from her grandmother.

2nd place: In Paula Treick DeBoard’s formally experimental short story “Casualties,” an extended family of immigrants come to terms after a father accidentally runs over his infant son.

3rd place: Astrid Duffy’s historical short story “The Well of Yang Village” chronicles the struggles of a “family of geniuses” that come to affluence in a small Chinese village after the discovery of Terracotta Warriors.


In Kathryn Atwood’s wonderfully strange short story “O-bone,” a hair stylist attempts to make sense of the world after the death of her airplane pilot boyfriend.

In Ali Salerno’s funny and raw story “With Rue My Heart Is Laden”, a college student comes home in disgrace after being caught in his dorm room with weed and is offered redemption by way of helping his neighbors design a website memorial for their son, a dead marine.

In “Report from an Independent Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America,” Lauren Alwan writes an engaging voice-driven piece in which a young girl forms an unlikely friendship with a boy from her school after meeting him at an Embroidery Guild meeting.