Announcing the 2013 Vella Chapbook Winners!
September 12, 2013
We received 125 entries this year, nearly double that of our 68 entries from last year’s contest. As the judge of this contest, I had a tremendous task. I don’t mean the reading and re-reading of all these manuscripts, but the very difficult decision of selecting just one. The choice was too hard, and given the success of this year’s contest, I decided on two manuscripts to publish this year; the entry fee gave us enough money to afford undertaking an additional work, and it seemed the right thing to do with the funds in the face of so much excellent writing.
This year’s winners are:
“Mother, Less Child” by Jason McCall
“From the New World,” by Oriana Ivy
Semifinalists include, in no particular order:
“No Sound of Water,” Jake Jenkins
“A Room Full of Trees,” Robert Walicki
“Questing Beasts,” Emily Kiernan
“Crumblehead,” Jamey Gallagher
“What the Moon Sees,” Kathryn Kulpa
“The Skeletons are Coming,” Lauren Shimulunas
“Errors and Omissions,” Aaron Anstett
“nearby and whole,” Laurin Macios
“Acts of Living,” Marvin Shackelford
“Excerpts from My Grocery List,” Susan Calvillo
“Mel Bay’s Book of the Dead,” Harold Williams
“The Dream and Other Poems,” Sarah Nichols
Beyond these 12 semifinalists, I had at least another two dozen entries flagged as serious contenders. These semifinalists comprise only 10% of the entries we received, with nearly every manuscript deft, moving, inventive, and thoroughly complete. I was not prepared to feel so conflicted at the excitement of knowing that this contest garnered so much impressive work, but also knowing that so much of it would need to be turned away.
As a writer myself, this was a serious process for me, and it was an amazing experience. I want all of you to know how deeply grateful I am for your support of Paper Nautilus, and for the opportunity to read the collections you worked so hard over.
With Deepest Thanks,