Announcing the Winners of The Gertrude Stein Award 2015

First Place Winner of The Gertrude Stein Award 2015
“Hue and Cry” by Jacob M. 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


Contest Judges

Weston_Cutter-Weston_CutterWeston 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 GothicTwo Hawks QuarterlyJoyland, and Underground Voices, with work forthcoming in Palooka. Now an associate literary agent at Sterling Lord Literistic, she is currently writing her first novel.
SteinMary 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_Pulley-Natanya_Ann_PulleyNatanya 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).

The Gertrude Stein Award in Fiction 2013 | First Place – Jill Birdsall

Judge | Rick Moody

Read the winning stories in Eckleburg No. 18


1ST | “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 | “In Defense of the Body” by MICHAEL SHUM

Michael Shum is currently a PhD student in Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrelhouse, Weave, The AWP Writer’s Chronicle, Defunct, and more. He was a finalist for the 2011 Annie Dillard Award in Creative Non-Fiction and his work has been nominated for Million Writers and Best of the Net awards.


3RD | “Hello My New Friend, I Hope” by BIRD MARATHE

Bird Marathe is an MFA candidate and an instructor of creative writing at the University of Colorado in Boulder.



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


We want to thank the winners, finalists and all the submitters for sending us such wonderful stories. Thank you, especially, to Mr. Moody for his careful attention and judging. 2014 contest submissions are now open. guest-judged by Cris Mazza, winner of the PEN/Nelson Algren Award.  We look forward to reading your work.

The Editors



The Makers

I thought I made those lips. You small and new to my arms. “She has your nose” everyone saying to your mother, and to me, “those lips. Those lips.” I thought I made those lips and the way they’d break your face free as you grew and gurgled and the laughs would spill out. You’d toddle around the yard and a tiny life found its footing. I found myself in a story, a dad. A daddy. And later those lips puckered as you worked your way through firsts: homeworks and backpacks and slumber parties and that first cell phone — for our benefit, so you would call and tell us where you were. You nodded and tried not to smile. And that pout, a little later. The years forming your face so the nose and lips of your parents came second to that pronounced brow and head tilt that seemed to say all the other parents in the world understood you better.

I thought I made those lips. Thought somehow we built you. Your mom warming and feeding you while you were inside her. The way we thought the music she’d listened to reached you, made you into something. And later when you were born of her, I was there holding you all the time and at all the ages and working my arms larger and stronger as you got heavier and squirmed. “Dad,” you’d say and inch yourself away from me, across from me all brow and head.

Your body turned away from me now. Your arms working like steel. Steel arms over a conveyer belt. Shirt. Shoes. Jeans. You shove the underwear and bras down into the corner of your bag quickly, begging me not to see. Your mother says you are old enough to decide for yourself. Says you have kept all the things we’ve told you inside you. She says you are your own and this I know. I know it like reading instructions in my head. The numbered steps and parenthetical notes and italics. It says you are your own.

But everywhere else, the way the room vibrates and each item in it speaks back to me of a certain time and a certain place and me always being there, helping you up and around and over. And the clothes and toys and gadgets as if I had hand-picked them though you’d never let me do such a thing. These things of you are all part of me, made of me. And this spell says it’s my money and my house and my rules and your world is in mine and when you turn around, bag on your shoulder, hand on hip and I see those lips, pulled taut as if to squeeze me out of them — “You have my lips!” I yell, because we made you and held you once, so small and new to this world. I held you and my only thought was to keep you alive.



Natanya Ann Pulley is half-Navajo, born to the Kiiyaa’aanii (Towering House) clan. She is currently working on her PhD in Fiction Writing at the University of Utah where she teaches Fiction Writing. She is the Assistant Editor of Quarterly West. She is the winner of the 2009 Utah Writer’s Contest for her story “With Teeth,” which included publication in Western Humanities Review. Her nonfiction prose piece “The Way of Wounds” will appear in The Florida Review’s Summer 2010 issue.