Shadow Award 2018

16 Jul

“I thought the most beautiful thing
in the world must be shadow.”

– Sylvia Plath


Lake Wife

by Mary Haidri


The Madwoman Who Called on My Wedding Day

by Con Chapman


Immersion Learning at the Museum

by Laura J. Bobrow




The Face in the Sea

by Liz Nakazawa



by December Lace



by Jennifer Wilson


Crow Girl

by Erinn Batykefer


All These Little Remonstrations

by Aurore Sibley



by Alexander Dove Lempke


Instructions for Finding a Lover

by David Gustavsen

Shadow Award 2018 Results

14 Jul

Time to see who made the cut.

After an arduous judging process, we’ve got out Top 10 locked in. A very special thanks to the brilliant Mary Lenoir Bond who served as primary judge and made the tough calls. With such an impressive crop 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 the entries that didn’t make it into the Top 10 will find good homes. 

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:

Stuart Airey
Kyrie Amos
Jonathan Bennett

Henri Bensussen
Zoe Canner
Alan Catlin

Jacob Chapman
F.E. Clark

John Cornelius
Rachel Creager Ireland
Mary D’Alleva
Dan Diehn
Ann DeVilbiss
Stephanie Ellis
Chris Fox
Susan Adler George

Erich Gerner
Christopher Goldsmith
Donna Greenwood
Anastasia Hinojosa
Russell Jackson
Shawn Klimek
J. J. Krill
Egon Lass

Gayle Lauradunn
Laura Lucas
Jen OConnor

Ken Poyner
Brett Roth
Allen Shadow (2)
Roni Slye
Dana Stamps, II

Corinne Stanley
Andrew Sutherland

Lazar Trubman
Kaleb Tutt
Lisa Werhan

The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Shadow Award 2018 poetry mega-issue, which will run within the next couple of days. They will also be included in this fall’s fourth-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 – “Instructions for Finding a Lover” by David Gustavsen
9th Place – “Pond” by Alexander Lempke
8th Place – “All These Little Remonstrations” by Aurore Sibley
7th Place – “Crow Girl” by Erinn Batykefer
6th Place – “Necromancy” by Jennifer Wilson
5th Place – “Scarecrow” by December Lace
4th Place – “The Face in the Sea” by Liz Nakazawa


And now for those poems that really made us happy.


3rd Place

“Immersion Learning at the Museum”
by Laura J. Bobrow


2nd Place ($100)

“The Madwoman Who Called on My Wedding Day”

by Con Chapman


1st Place ($200)

“Lake Wife”

by Mary Haidri

Congrats to the winners, and a huge thanks to everyone who participated!
Check back soon for the Shadow Award 2018 mega-issue.

Volume 9, Issue 4

7 Jul

Issue 9.4 isn’t something you see every day.

This go-round stalks disoriented prey, pulls horror from the briny deep, and beds down for a twilit apocalypse. 

These three stories also serve as some fine inspiration for our Flash Beast contest; less than a month left until the soft deadline for those animal-themed entries.

Two Legs

by Aeryn Rudel

The Trench

by Dwight Livingstone Curtis

Downstairs Without Oscar

by Ernest Gordon Taulbee

Volume 9, Issue 3

17 Jun

Issue 9.3 will put a spring in your step.

This issue features festering roadkill, hardscrabble troubadours, and impatient specters of death.

The deadline is creeping up for our 3rd annual Shadow Award poetry contest. Get those dark and offbeat poems turned in. And we’ve also got our animal-themed Flash Beast contest in full swing. 

The Technician

by Caroline Porter

Traveling Riverside

by Henry Hietala


by K.B. Carle

Volume 9, Issue 2

25 May

Issue 9.2 is a real gem.

This issue lurks in tunnels, stashes secrets in ancient texts, and drinks the Kool-Aid.

Our third-annual Shadow Award poetry contest is now in full swing, and we’ve just kick-started our new quarterly contest, Flash Beast. Get crackin’ on your entries.


by Brendan Gillen

The Blind

by Corey Farrenkopf

The Last Sunny Day in November

by Gaynor Jones

Killer Flash

4 May

Kill your darlings.


What We Find in the Guts of the Bodies
that the River Gives Us

by Philip Webb Gregg


What I Am Now

by Alex Sobel


Animal Control

by S.E. Casey



Grief and Gravity

by Barlow Adams


Bird’s Eye View

by Kathryn Burkett


Philosophy of Black Holes and Time Warps

by R.Gene Turchin


Mama Always Said

by Roni Slye


Baa Baa Black Sheep

by Tyler Dunning



by Tom Weller


This House a Home

by Levi Krain

Killer Flash results

1 May

Apparently, you folks are a little morbid. We were thrilled to see so many unique angles taken on this contest’s death theme. Although, with such a strong turnout and such compelling writing, that made for cutthroat competition.

We saw entries pour in from 40 states here in the U.S. (get your act together, Wyoming, et al.) as well as from writers living in Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and Wales.

With such fierce competition, just making the shortlist required clearing quite a few hurdles. The following writers had stories 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:

Christopher Allen
Kristopher Armstrong
K.B. Carle
Spencer Chou
Nathan Coley
Joan Cooper
John Cornelius
Dwight Curtis
Tracy Davidson
Alex Ebel
Myles Ehrlich
Jeremy Goun
Ann Graham
Wiebo Grobler
June Guralnick
Timothy Johnson
Gaynor Jones
Sam Jowett
Robert Kaye
Raki Kopernik
Rick Krizman
Jose Medina
MJ McGinn
Chris Milam
Lawrence Morgan
James Murphy
Matt Paczkowski
Robert Penner
Erin Perry Willis
Jon Ross
R.A. Roth
Aeryn Rudel
Ryan Stone
Kaleb Tutt


The Top 10 that you’ll find below will be published in our forthcoming Killer Flash mega-issue, which will drop on Friday. They will also be included in our fourth-annual Prize Winners Anthology print issue, to be published in Fall 2018. 

Now check this out:

10th Place – “This House a Home” by Levi Krain
9th Place – “Incandescence” by Tom Weller
8th Place – “Baa Baa Black Sheep” by Tyler Dunning
7th Place – “Mama Always Said” by Roni Slye
6th Place – “Philosophy of Black Holes and Time Warps” by R.Gene Turchin
5th Place – “Bird’s Eye View” by Kathryn Burkett
4th Place – “Grief and Gravity” by Barlow Adams


And now on to those stories that really took our breath away.



3rd Place ($50)

“Animal Control”
by S.E. Casey


2nd Place ($100)

“What I Am Now”
by Alex Sobel


1st Place ($200)

“What We Find in the Guts of the Bodies
that the River Gives Us”

by Philip Webb Gregg


Congrats to the winners and a huge thanks to everyone who participated in our Killer Flash contest! It was a joy to read your work, and we couldn’t host these contests without you. Check back soon for the Killer Flash mega-issue.