Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition Honors Emerging Writers

We are pleased to announce that Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts will be publishing the 2015 First-Place Winner of the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition: http://www.cutthroatmag.com/

2015 Winners


Honorable Mentions List

2015 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition First-Place Winner

Riba Taylor
Palm Springs, California

For her story "Between my Ribs"

I am a writer and a teacher, but I tend to reverse the order without meaning to, and I've come to accept that often I am indeed a teacher first, though more and more being a writer has come to permeate my days, to live in my cells. I earned my M.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from Sonoma State in 2001. I teach online for Mendocino College, having let go of other schools over the years to make more room for my writing. I began writing in earnest 17 years ago, thanks to a one-day writing workshop taught by Robin Beeman (through Sonoma State extension) that welcomed beginners and promised we would walk out of there having written a story. (And I did.) But aside from my first eager attempts to publish my work in The New Yorker (!!), I only began entering writing contests a handful of years ago.

Having "Between My Ribs" win first place in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition is my first real claim to fame. I feel heartened, excited, terrified and thankful. All together I've had six of my pieces make it to the final round in eleven contests. I was born in Germany and live in Palm Springs but am still a northern Californian at heart. I am in love with Mexico and dream of walking the camino de Santiago de Compostela one day (across northern Spain). I have a blog, No Holds Barred, where I commit every year to posting one post for each year of my age (https://noholdsbarredribataylor.wordpress.com/). I am honored to win this contest and grateful to Lorian Hemingway for being so generous with me when she called to tell me my story had won. Her kindness and warmth made winning all the sweeter. I plan to keep practicing my craft for the rest of my life and love picturing a good, messy pile of my published books sitting nearby when I reach the end of it.

When Lorian Hemingway judged Hemingway Days' first short story competition in 1981, she and her fellow judges sat in a Lower Keys cottage reading and evaluating the few dozen entries with care. They couldn't possibly imagine that the competition would grow into one of America's most prestigious literary contests.

img Director and Final Judge
Lorian Hemingway
Photograph by: Tom Corcoran
Now, more than a quarter-century later, the contest draws between 800 and 1,200 entries each year from around the U.S. and other countries as far-flung as India and Romania and Lorian and her small judging panel still give every one of them their complete attention and respect.

Since its beginnings, the competition has been dedicated to recognizing and supporting the work of emerging writers whose fiction has not yet achieved success. For some, this recognition is the first validation of their worth as writers.

Coordinating the competition is a pleasure and a passion for Lorian, author of three critically acclaimed books, Walking Into The River, Walk On Water and A World Turned Over. "Reading a story of talent and craft, and knowing that perhaps you can help further the career of a gifted writer, is truly one of the greatest joys," says Lorian. "I consider it my job to honor the talent of emerging writers--and if those who enter this competition are compelled to continue to write as a result of receiving the recognition they so deserve, then the world is enriched by their courage and their resounding words."

To date, the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition has awarded more than $70,000 to emerging writers of merit.

The longtime judging panel includes: Dr. Rob Merritt, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Bluefield College. Dr. Merritt is the author of The Language of Longing, Landscape Architects and the critical book Early Music and the Aesthetics of Ezra Pound. His poetry and essays have appeared in Kestrel, The Potomac Review, The Asheville Poetry Review and The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, among others.
Dr. Rob Merritt
Photo by: Jon Bolt

Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition
P.O. Box 993, Key West, FL, 33041