Shadow Award 2019 results!

20 Sep

The smoke has cleared on
the Shadow Award…


A very special thanks to the immensely talented Mary Lenoir Bond, who served as primary judge throughout this contest and made the tough calls on another impressive slate of dark and offbeat poetry. Selecting winners is never easy. You took us to strange and surreal places with these poems, and we hope that all these entries will find good homes. 

We had a particularly international Top 10, with poets from USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand making the grade.

But you didn’t come here for me to go on and on. Let’s get to the goods.


Below you’ll find our short list. The following poets submitted entries that made it through several rounds of cuts, but didn’t quite squeak into the Top 10. 

Close-but-no-cigar short list shout-outs go to:

Joanne Alfano
Melissa Andres
Andy Brown
William Brown
James Christy (2)
F.E. Clark
Ryan Dematteo
Ann DeVilbiss
Dan Diehn (2)
Stuart Forrest
Jordan Franklin (2)
Fredric Koeppel
Frances Koziar
December Lace
Richard Leis
Robert Libbey (2)
Dave Lull
Brett Milam
Janna Miller
Scott-Patrick Mitchell

Jeff Morgan
Charlotte Muse
Michael O’Ryan
Tony Peyser
Stephen Pollock
Caroline Randall
Michael Rumney
Ryan Scariano
Alex Sobel
Jeanne Stauffer
Svetlana Sterlin
Rae Stinger
David Tagnani
Faye Turner-Johnson

Mary Wallach
J. Summerisle Wilson
Joanne Withers
Scott Withiam
Elliott Zee (2)

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Shadow Award 2019 poetry mega-issue, which will run early next week. They will also be included in this winter’s fifth-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue. You can check out last year’s Prize Winners Anthology here.

10th Place – “Rebirth” by J V Birch
9th Place – “He Smelled Like Grass” by Amanda Chiado
8th Place – “Yard Sale” by Karen Mandell
7th Place – “The New Model” by Jennifer Lynn Krohn
6th Place – “My father, bored as a parrot” by Julia Webb
5th Place – “How did you die” by Erin Kirsh
4th Place – “If I Am Then I Must Be Now” by Andrew Romanelli


And now for those poems that really rocked us.

3rd Place

“Lily 19”
by Stuart Airey


2nd Place ($100)


by Fredric Koeppel


1st Place ($200)

“I Need That Ride”

by Amanda Chiado


Congrats to the winners, and a huge thanks to everyone who participated!
Check back early next week for the Shadow Award 2019 mega-issue.

2 Responses to “Shadow Award 2019 results!”


  1. Ghostwriter | Brett Milam - September 20, 2019

    […] I’ve been following, reading, and submitting to The Molotov Cocktail for years now. Today, the 2019 Shadow Awards for the lit mag were announced; it’s the poetry side of their incendiary contests. I’ve always submitted to the flash fiction ones, with a hope of some day submitting to the poetry one. This time, I actually did. And it’s the first time I’ve had a “close but no cigar” shout out. I feel pretty good about that. Here’s the full results. […]

  2. Shadow Award 2019 Short List – Richard Leis - September 23, 2019

    […] Once a year, The Molotov Cocktail dabble in dark poetry with the Shadow Award. I’ve been entering most of their contests for the past two years and this year I submitted two entries and a total of four poems to the Shadow Award. I didn’t place, but one of my entries landed me on the coveted “Close-but-no-cigar” short list! […]

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