We Have Winners

Congratulations to the winners of Streetlight’s 2018 Essay/Memoir contest! But first, a little whining.

Judging a contest is a lot of hard work (whine, whine). I hasten to say I don’t mean the reading of the entries. That’s really fun. It’s the making of decisions. I had good help, but we had some very tough contenders. Everyone (perhaps with not quite as much whining as myself) agreed it was hard to make these decisions. We saw excellent writing, acute observation, heartfelt disclosure. Only three winners could prevail. I’m hoping that those who didn’t win will find it in their hearts to try us again next year. There was much fine work.

Now it’s time to celebrate the winners.

Bright fireworks in sky
Fireworks by Littlestar 19 (flickr.com). CC license.

First Prize this year goes to Heather Bartlett for her amazing narrative, 24 Hours, a glimpse into the life of being an Emergency Medical Technician. This essay/memoir not only takes one, almost breathlessly, into its milieu, but it also shows a narrator in the process of learning about reality, dealing with the past, and becoming a stronger human being. That essay will appear in Streetlight this coming Friday, July 27th.

Second Prize was taken by Anne Carson, a splendid writer whose work has appeared on this site previously. Her essay/memoir, Hot Toddies, tells a story from childhood, full of sadness and the honest perceptions of that time of life. Heartbreak without pathos. It’s full of richness. That essay is set for August 19th.

And Third Prize this year was taken by Ashley Stimpson’s brief and racketing excursion into the chaos of breakup, A Road Trip Through Texas After We Stopped Loving Each Other. It’s an essay that shows brilliantly how the gift of art can transform bitter experience into stunning awareness. That publication is scheduled for August, 24.

All whining aside, it’s been a pleasure and a privilege to be part of making this contest happen. It made me aware, once again, what a great world of writers we here at Streetlight have connected ourselves to.

Ever since reading Spriggan Radfae’s intriguing blog last week about what I think of as the synergy of cooperation, I’ve been thinking how it applies to the making of a magazine…by which I mean the almost random process that causes writers who have never met us to find themselves part of this amazing (we hope!) collaboration. As Rod Serling used to say, submitted for your approval…

—Susan Shafarzek

 Susan Shafarzek
Susan Shafarzek lives in Charlottesville, Va. Besides editing essays for Streetlight, she is a poet and photographer, blogging occasionally at Whaddyameanrosebuds.com.

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