We’d like to thank everyone who submitted to our 2020 Summer Prize in Fiction and Poetry. Without you, this would not have been possible, and we are grateful for your participation and trust in our journal. Please join us in congratulating the winners, runner-ups, and finalists of the 2020 Summer Prize!

Winner of the 2020 Fiction Prize selected by Lucy Tan:

“The Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel” by Leah Fretwell

Lucy Tan says, “’The Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel,’ a story about the frailty of all we hold near in the face of death–whether it be religion, blood connection, or the stories we grow up telling ourselves. Here, horror is mixed with strange tenderness and humor, and the story’s fractured form captures truth about the human spirit and the way we grieve. This is the work of a writer with incredible heart and surprising range.”

Leah Fretwell’s fiction has appeared in Inscape and online at the Southern Humanities Review.

Runner-Up of the 2020 Fiction Prize selected by Lucy Tan:

“A Few Perfect Innings” by Ryan Lackey

Lucy Tan says, “‘A Few Perfect Innings’ is an inventive and powerful story about rage, obsession, and inheritance. I was drawn in by the intimacy and specificity with which this author crafts characters and their psychologies. I also admired the way suspense builds beneath carefully managed voice and tone.”

Ryan Lackey is a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley. His writing has appeared with Literary Hub, Los Angeles Review of Books, Public Books, Chicago Review, and elsewhere. He tweets @rlackey15.


“The Blackberry Flu” by Hailey Foglio

“Atargatis” by Banah Ghadbian

“Color Theory for the Currents at Night” by Claire Oleson

“Clean Slate” by Tara Ramirez

“Water Day” by Manisha Sharma

“The Lightning Jar” by Emily Woodworth


Winner of the 2020 Poetry Prize selected by E.J. Koh:

“For My Own 34th Birthday” by Maria Picone

E.J. Koh says, “‘For my own 34th birthday’ is a disentanglement of the politics of belonging and the everyday trauma of un-belonging. ‘No in-between,’ as in, the unbearable, generational suffering that divides women and countries and language. This winning poem translates the untranslatable; and it refuses any one answer.”

Maria S. Picone (she/her/hers) writes, paints, and teaches from her home in South Carolina. Her publications include flash fiction, CNF, poetry, translation, visual art, and hybrid work. Her writing has been published in Kissing Dynamite, Emerge Literary Journal, and *82 Review, among others. She has work forthcoming in Whale Road Review, Parentheses Journal, Moonchild Magazine, and others. A Korean adoptee, Maria often explores themes of identity, exile, and social issues facing Asian Americans. She received an MFA in fiction from Goddard College and holds degrees in philosophy and political science. You can find more on her website, mariaspicone.com, or Twitter @mspicone.

Runner-Up of the 2020 Poetry Prize selected by E.J. Koh:

“The Fire Consumes, The Fire Produces” by Caroline Chavatel

E.J. Koh says, “The Fire Consumes, The Fire Produces” begins: “I dig my own grave daily.” The ‘I’ is a mythology that guides the reader closer to themselves. There is magic here in the simultaneity of opposites, the reversal of perceived differences, and the ecosystem of everyday things and their inner lives.

Caroline Chavatel is the author of White Noises (Greentower Press, 2019), which won The Laurel Review’s 2018 Midwest Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared in Sixth Finch, Foundry, Poetry Northwest, AGNI, and Gulf Coast, among others. She is an editor at Madhouse Press and co-founding editor of The Shore. She is currently a PhD student at Georgia State University where she teaches and is Poetry Editor of New South.


“Consume (Mad Study IV)” by Rob Colgate

“Mother and Son as Oyakodon” by Michael Frazier

“Second Movement: The Boy y El Hombre Que Se Comió El Relámpago” by Saúl Hernández

“Rocket Ships” by Yuki Jackson

“River” by Cindy Juyoung Ok

“An American Self-Destructs into the American” by Jenifer Sang Eun Park

“Inlet” by Ilari Pass

“How to Resurrect a Chicken” by Danni Quintos

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Thank you all again for your wonderful work. Be sure to keep an eye out for our Winter Issue 44.2 to read these winning works! 

*Banner art:  from Gabriel Silva’s “Gold 1”, which appears in Issue 42.2 of Cream City Review.