Shadow Award 2017

17 Jul

Our second annual Shadow Award mega-issue is brimming with dark and offbeat poetry. We may not publish poetry often, but we don’t mess around when we do. Below you’ll find the 10 poems that rose to the top of a record-setting turnout, and primary judge Mary Lenoir Bond toiled long and hard to make sure we published the very best.

The poems you find here will also appear in our third-annual Prize Winners Anthology, due out this fall. Take a look at the results page to check out those poets who made it to the short list, but didn’t quite rise into the Top 10. And don’t forget that our Flash Worlds flash fiction is in full swing, with soft deadline fast approaching (July 31st). 

But enough yammering. Let’s get to the poems…

Shadow Award 2017 Winner

Ten Years Later

by Erin Kirsh

2nd Place

Elegy for Nuestra Señora la Reina

by Matilda Berke

3rd Place

Elements Lost and Found

by Mori Glaser


4th – The Message

by Susan Adler George

5th – Soft and Supple Flesh

by Nicholas De Genova

6th – Fingers for the Ferryman

by Dan Diehn

7th – Kitchen, Sinister

by Laura Potts

8th – Why the Coyote Doesn’t Just Order Chinese

by Phill Provance

9th – Disco Vertigo

by Sam Morris

10th – Unsacred Cow

by Christopher P. Mooney

2017 Shadow Award Results!

14 Jul

We were swept away…

…by the tremendous talent we witnessed in the
2017 Shadow Award poetry contest.

This contest yielded our highest turnout to date, making competition especially fierce. Once again, brilliant poet Mary Lenoir Bond did the heavy-lifting with the judging process. A huge thanks to Mary for all of her efforts, burning the midnight oil and giving each and every entry the thoughtful consideration it deserved. 

We were also thrilled, once again, to see so many international submissions. The contest included entries from the United States, U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Portugal, India, and Indonesia. A huge thanks to everyone who sent us dark and offbeat poems. While we obviously can’t recognize all of your quality work here, we truly appreciate reading it. If you didn’t place in our contest, keep sending that poetry out into the world. We’d love to see it pop up in another journal.

And now on to the short list. The following writers had poems that made it through several rounds of cuts, but didn’t quite squeak into the Top 10.
Close-but-no-cigar shout-outs go to:

Ross Allison

Matilda Berke (2)
Janet Bowdan

C.M. Clark
Jason Conner
Celia Daniels

Nicholas De Genova
Katherine DeBlassie
Karen Fabiane
M.K. Foster
Lex Gomez
Stephen Ground
Katherine Anderson Howell
Erin Kirsh (2)
Frances Klein
Jennifer Lynn Krohn
Laura Lucas
Jennifer Martelli
Olivia McGill
Tim Murphy
Shea Newton
Amanda Niehaus

Michael O’Ryan
Amanda Oosthuizen
Valeri Paxton-Steele

Marquis Peacock
Christian Perry
Jayme Russell
Noam Shpancer
Eva Skrande

Fiona Smith
Arthur Stone
Nicole Vento

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Shadow Award poetry mega-issue, which will run by Monday, July 17th. They will also be included in this fall’s third-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue, which will feature the Top 10 finishers from our quarterly flash fiction contests as well. You can check out last year’s Prize Winners Anthology here

10th Place – “Unsacred Cow” by Christopher P. Mooney
9th Place – “Disco Vertigo” by Sam Morris
8th Place – “Why the Coyote Doesn’t Just Order Chinese”
                      by Phillip Provance
7th Place – “Kitchen, Sinister” by Laura Potts
6th Place – “Fingers for the Ferryman” by Dan Diehn
5th Place – “Soft and Supple Flesh” by Nicholas De Genova
4th Place – “The Message” by Susan Adler George


And now for those poems that really hit the mark.


3rd Place ($50)

“Elements Lost and Found”
by Mori Glaser


2nd Place ($100)

Elegy for Nuestra Señora la Reina 
by Matilda Berke


1st Place ($200)

“Ten Years Later”
by Erin Kirsh

Volume 8, Issue 5

6 Jul

Issue 8.5 takes the road less traveled.

This issue will tap into your lizard brain, give you a whole new perspective on the ocean, and make you snuff out cigarette butts on your arm.

Get cracking on your Flash Worlds contest entries. That July 31st soft deadline will creep up on you. And as of this publication, there’s still a few precious hours left to get in on the action for our second-annual Shadow Award poetry contest with our Procrastinator’s Special.

Don’t ever feed him after midnight.” 

– The Editor

The Unfamiliar Face in the Mirror

by Jeremy Bronaugh


by Amelia Granger

That’s All It Ever Does

by Joshua Murray

Volume 8, Issue 4

16 Jun

You never know what might surface in issue 8.4. 

This issue features bejeweled facial prostheses, small but terrible changes, and hobnobbing corpses. 

Keep an eye on the calendar. You’ve got until the end of June to turn in dark and offbeat poetry for our 2nd annual Shadow Award poetry contest, and our next quarterly flash fiction contest, Flash Worlds, is underway and runs through July. 

…go to the Winchester, have a nice, cold pint, and wait for this all to blow over.

– The Editor

Chrome Face

by Troy Farah


by Angel Dionne

The Night the Lambs Came to Dinner

by Jack Somers

Volume 8, Issue 3

26 May


Issue 8.3 will do some weird things to your head.

This time around we’ve got a language of bee stings, post-apocalyptic coitus, and an old guy in the closet who likes to set hair on fire.

Our Shadow Award poetry contest is in full swing, with a little over a month left until our deadline. Three poems per submission, so get cracking. And we’ve just opened our next quarterly flash fiction contest. Push the limits of imagination in Flash Worlds. Top 10 from both contests will be featured in our third-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue, due out this fall. 

“That gum you like is going to come back in style.”

– The Editor


by Mark Cassidy

School Buses

by Mary Renzi

Clean Water

by Lesley C. Weston

Volume 8, Issue 2

8 May

You’ll stumble upon some unsettling discoveries in Issue 8.2.

We’re kicking off our first regular issue of our eighth year of existence with severed fingers, rodeo delusions, and parasite-riddled sand worms.

Our 2nd annual Shadow Award poetry contest is now open to submissions. Submit now to get your poems near the top of the pile (we read in order received) and to take advantage of the early-bird period. Our next quarterly flash fiction contest will be up within a week or so. Keep your eyes peeled for the deets.

Can you fly, you sucker?! Can you fly?

– The Editor


Emptying Passages

by David Golding


by Michael Carter

One Last Ride

by Pablo Dos Almas

Flash Rage

16 Apr

Resistance is in the air lately, and in the case of our Flash Rage contest, it’s made for some great art. This time around we asked for stories of rebellion, revolution, and revenge. You answered that call with one of our strongest contests to date, and the ten stories you’ll find below reflect the high quality of submissions that came from around the world, with entries received from the USA, U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain, Kenya, Israel, Thailand, and Korea.

Keep your eyes peeled for our second annual Shadow Award poetry contest, which will open within a few days. And our next quarterly flash fiction contest will be open shortly after that. 

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!

– The Editor

1st Place


by Christopher Stanley

2nd Place

Give Me the Gas

by Lazarus Gray

3rd Place

Indigenous Rising

by Philip Webb Gregg


Honorable Mentions:

4th – Healing Powers

by Timothy Gustafson

5th – The Memory of Elephants

by Christina Dalcher

6th – Illumination

by Jessica Granger

7th – Welcome to Europe

by S.K. Azoulay

8th Lydia and Jacob

by Fred Nolan

9th – Better This Way

by Christina Dalcher

10th – No Names Left to Say

by Lisa Mecham