Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction

Faerl Marie Torres

Faerl Marie Torres

2018 Gertrude Stein Award Winner

Faerl Marie Torres holds an MFA with a concentration in fiction. Pieces of her short fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Medical Muse, Centum Press, and The Dr. T.J. Eckleburg Review. She is the winner of the Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction (2018), the Hillerman-McGarrity Creative Writing Endowment (2018), and the Dear Lucky Agent Prize (2016). She is a member of AWP and Pen Parentis and an AWP Writer-to-Writer mentee (2019).


All stories in English no more than 8,000 words are eligible. No minimum word count. Stories published previously in print or online venues are eligible if published after January 1, 2011. Stories can be submitted by authors, editors, publishers, and agents. Simultaneous and multiple submissions allowed. Each individual story must be submitted separately, with separate payment regardless of word count. Eckleburg editors, staff, interns and current students of The Johns Hopkins University are not eligible for entry


DO NOT include identifying information in your manuscript headers or anywhere else on the manuscript/narrative. Please include identifying information, bio (if you like), etcetera in the cover letter section of your submission, but this should not be uploaded as part of the manuscript submission. Blind submissions please. All submissions not following this policy will be deleted unread and without refund.

Stories must be submitted online and in manuscript form (please don’t upload entire anthologies or collections), double-spaced, Times New Roman, one-inch margins. Must be in English. Experimental to mainstream with punch aesthetics welcome. Intermedia (text that includes visual) welcome. No film or audio.


Award-winning manuscripts will be published by The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review. Finalists and Honorable Mentions will be listed with titles and author names. By submitting, submitters verify copyright holding and give Eckleburg rights to publish, republish and use the winning works in promotional efforts and anthology printing both print and online.


Announcement of the winners will be made September.


First Place Winner of The Gertrude Stein Award 2018
“Peeling Doves” by Faerl Marie Torres 

Second Place
“The Last Night at Gropius House” by Lindsay Hatton

Third Place
“Drill” by Cady Vishniac

Honorable mention
“Coffee in the Morning” Melissa Grunow


Michael Coene
Liz Egan
Enid Harlow
Kylie Hough
Billy Lombardo
Zachary Vickers
Ginna Wilkerson
Jennifer Yacovissi


First Place "Hue and Cry" by Jacob Appel

Second Place "The Importance of Dead Girls" by Nancy Scott Hanway

Third Place "Fissures/Fractures" by Kathleen Hansen

Honorable Mention "Forgotten" by Roberta Allen



Roberta Allen
Jacob Appel
R. Berg
Mason Boyles
Jane Breakell
Robert Busby
Jennifer Caloyeras
Jaimee Wriston Colbert
Ruby Cowling
Annie Dawid
Kathleen Hansen
Nancy Scott Hanway
Ingrid Jendrzejewski
Marjorie Maddox
Magus Magnus
Sean McCarthy
Jeni McFarland
Scott O’Connor
Craig O’Hara
B. Stufflebeam
Meg Tuite
Cady Vishniac
Tracey Weddle


2015 Contest Judges

Weston Cutter is from Minnesota. His work has been published in Ploughshares and The Rumpus. He is the author of You’d Be a Stranger, Too and All Black Everything. He's an assistant professor at the University of St Francis and runs the book review website Corduroy Books.

Mary Krienke grew up in the Midwest and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA from Columbia University’s Fiction Program and has been previously published by Midwestern Gothic, Two Hawks Quarterly, Joyland, and Underground Voices, with work forthcoming in Palooka. Now an associate literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic, she is currently writing her first novel.

Mary Stein lives in Minneapolis where she’s the assistant editor of Conduit literary magazine and works as a teaching artist. Her fiction has appeared in Caketrain, The Brooklyn Rail, and Spartan Lit. She received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has been nominated for New Stories from the Midwest.

Natanya Ann Pulley is half-Navajo (Kiiyaa’aanii and Tachiinii clans). She has a PhD in Fiction Writing from the University of Utah and is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota. A writer of primarily fiction and non-fiction with outbreaks in poetry, Natanya’s publications include Western Humanities Review, The Florida Review, Drunken Boat, and McSweeney’s Open Letters (among others).


1st Place: “A Song Died” by Andrew McLinden

Among the many ways to describe good fiction is the tried but true “simultaneous inevitability and surprise.” It’s an added pleasure when surprise comes wrapped in a package of what could or should be expected. Grief as conflict is not a stranger to fiction; the extents, extremes, depths, and varied quiet subtleties of grief have been effectively plumbed. It may not be an exhaustible topic. But in Andrew McLinden’s “A Song Died,” to see the daily vacuum of a brother grieving for his sister carried a surprising impact, in the who, the how, as well as the pitch and tone of the telling. If not for particulars in the character’s life, the details and sensibility of his grief could have created a genderless character experience, thus the somewhat off-the-beaten-path sibling grief ­— siblings of different genders and not twins — finds a freshly effective intensity. (Cris Mazza, Judge Gertrude Stein Award 2014)

2nd Place: “Insecticide” by Rachel Goldman

3rd Place: “Song of the Amputee’s Mother” by Shanee Stepakoff



Kirk Glasser
Chad Halliday
Robert Vaughan
Nicole Mullis
Hunter Liguore
Sophie Monatte
Sara Taylor
Alice Urchin
Terry Mergenthal
Linda McCullough
Robert Krantz
Luke Wiget
Sarah Gerard
Zana Previti
Sara Baker
Anabel Graff
Vernon Pua


2014 Contest Judge: Cris Mazza

Cris Mazza’s first novel, How to Leave a country, won the PEN/Nelson Algren Award for book-length fiction. Some of her other notable earlier titles include Your Name Here: ___, Dog People and Is It Sexual Harassment Yet? She was co-editor of Chick-Lit: Postfeminist Fiction (FC2, 1995), and Chick-Lit 2 (No Chick Vics) (FC2, 1996), anthologies of women’s fiction. Mazza’s fiction has been reviewed numerous times in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, MS Magazine, Chicago Tribune Books, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, The San Francisco Review of Books, and many other book review publications. Her book Something Wrong with Her: A Hybrid Memoir is coming soon from Jaded Ibis Productions. Read an excerpt in The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review.


1st Place: "Salvage" by Jill Birdsall

Jill Birdsall’s short stories can be read in literary journals including: Alaska Quarterly Review, Ascent, Crazyhorse, Emerson Review, Gargoyle, Iowa Review, Kansas Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, Southern Humanities Review, and Story Quarterly. She earned an MFA degree in fiction from Columbia University’s Writing Division where she was editor of the program’s literary journal. She has also been the recipient of a NJ State Council on the Arts grant for fiction. "Salvage" first published in The Emerson Review.

2nd Place: "In Defense of the Body" by Michael Shum

3rd Place: "Hello My New Friend, I Hope" by Bird Marathe



Chiara Barzini
Kate Hill Cantrill
Andres Carlstein
Sheldon Compton
Ruth Dandrea
John Domini
Teesha Noelle Murphy
Trevor Houser
Don Hucks
Caroline Lazar
Andrew McLinden
Natanya Pulley
Robert Vaughan
Philip Dean Walker
Lidia Yuknavitch


2013 Contest Judge: Rick Moody

Rick Moody is the author of the novels Garden State, which won the Pushcart Press Editors’ Book Award, The Ice Storm, Purple America, and The Diviners; two collections of stories, The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven and Demonology; a memoir, The Black Veil, winner of the PEN/ Martha Albrand Award, and The Four Fingers of Death. He has received the Addison Metcalf Award, the Paris Review’s Aga Khan Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Winners will be announced at AWP 2013 in Boston, MA.