Announcing the 2015 Emerging Writer’s Contest Winners

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From left to right: Emily Strasser, Emily Yoon, Lucy Tan

After receiving thousands of submissions from talented writers, we’re proud to announce the three winners of the 2015 Emerging Writer’s Contest, judged by Megan Mayhew Bergman (fiction), Jabari Asim (nonfiction), and Matthew Lippman (poetry).

In nonfiction, our winner is Emily Strasser for her essay “Homeplace.” Emily Strasser will complete her MFA at the University of Minnesota in May of 2016. Her work has appeared in Guernica and The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. She is working on a book about the intersection of family and national secrets in the nuclear city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

In fiction, our winner is Lucy Tan for her story “Safety of Numbers.” Lucy was raised in New Jersey and has since split her time between New York and Shanghai. Her fiction has appeared in Asia Literary Review, Sixfold, and elsewhere. She is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is currently at work on a novel. You can find her at

In poetry, our winner is Emily Yoon for two poems entitled “An Ordinary Misfortune.” Emily is a poet and translator. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rattle, The Offing, Catch & Release, Best of the Net 2014, and elsewhere. She is the winner AWP’s WC&C Scholarship Competition 2015. She received her MFA at New York University, where she served as a Starworks Fellow and as the Washington Square Review’s Award Editor. She is currently the Poetry Editor for The Margins, the literary magazine of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She will begin her PhD in East Asian Languages & Civilizations at the University of Chicago in fall 2015.

Look out for the winning work in the Winter 2015-2016 issue of Ploughshares. If you aren’t a subscriber yet, subscribe now to make sure you get a copy!

For more information on the Emerging Writer’s Contest, see the guidelines.