Announcing the 2017 Emerging Writer’s Contest Winners

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After receiving thousands of submissions from talented writers, we’re proud to announce the three winners of the 2017 Emerging Writer’s Contest, judged by Garth Greenwell (fiction), Natalie Diaz (poetry), and Meghan Daum (nonfiction).


In fiction, our winner is Rowan Beaird for her story “Perennial.” Of her story, fiction judge Garth Greenwell said, “The subject of this delicate, psychologically penetrating story is the derangement of grief, which it dramatizes with deftness and patience. It demands a similar patience from the reader; its quiet discloses startling depths. Best of all is the ending, in which a disenchanted metamorphosis is entirely magical.”

Rowan Beaird’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Literary Review, Puerto del Sol, and Compose, among others. Her story, “Cassiopeia,” which appeared in Little Fiction, was nominated for a Pushcart. She received her B.A. from Kenyon College, and currently works in the nonprofit field in Chicago. You can find more of her work at rowanbeaird.com.

Fiction Honorable Mention: “Ping Times” by Yasin Abdul-Muqit


In poetry, our winner is Andrew Eaton for his poems “The Chime,” “Luthier,” “Aubade to Replace the Sounds of Morning,” “Draining the Lake,” and “After the shipwreck.” Poetry judge Natalie Diaz said, “The energy in the poems is quiet yet palpable, as if writing them down was a risk, a danger—as poems should be, maybe—a danger to see, to feel, to return to in memory or imagination.”

Andy Eaton is an American poet currently living in Belfast where he studied at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. He has received awards from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. His poems appear in or are forthcoming from the American Literary Review, Copper Nickel, Narrative, Poetry Ireland Review and Yale Review. He lectures at Oxford Brookes University and is at work on his first collection.

Poetry Honorable Mention: “Confessions of a Teenage Linebacker,” “Table Manners,” “The Parade,” and “From Ex Voto Anatomico” by Noah Baldino


In nonfiction, our winner is Ellen Adams for her essay “The Something I Am Telling You.” Nonfiction judge Meghan Daum said the following about the winning piece: “It left me more feeling more alive than when I started, jolted into attention at the strangeness and fleetingness of life.”

Ellen Adams writes essays and fiction. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review OnlineBlack Warrior ReviewCrazyhorseThe Southwest Review, The Carolina Quarterly, and Singapore Art Museum, among others. Hedgebrook, University of Lethbridge, and Drop Forge & Tool have awarded her residencies. Previously, she was a Fulbright grantee, a McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Fiction recipient, and a college instructor of writing and literature. She graduated from Princeton University and holds an MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College. Adams also composes and performs music as a singer-songwriter and is in the process of recording a new album. She now lives and works in Seattle, where she is revising a novel and developing a book-length work of nonfiction. Please see www.EllenAdams.net for more information.

Nonfiction Honorable Mention: “Cole’s Black Hole” by Miles Fuller.


The winning work will be featured in the Winter 2017-2018 issue of Ploughshares.

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