The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021-2022 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award: Melanie Bishop, for Home for Wayward Girls.
Bishop’s chapbook will be released in Spring 2023. The contest was judged by Jill Talbot, whose chapbook A Distant Town: Stories was last year’s winner and is available for sale.
Talbot had this to say about the prize-winning entry:
“It’s after Noreen leaves that my father starts calling our house The Home for Wayward Girls, and we start collecting girls with problems. It’s New Orleans, 1970, and thirteen-year-old Amelia Snyder keeps the secrets of the wayward girls around her and an eye on her father’s drinking. In this beautiful, at times heartbreaking fiction, a family opens their home, already brimming with four daughters and a son, to a girl on the run and a girl in a bad marriage. The young, wise narrator learns about life from the older girls around her—girls who want, but don’t get what they’re after, girls who don’t realize what they deserve. A captivating, tender story that shows how some people rush into our lives as quickly as they rush out, leaving us to wait for the next thing to happen.”
Melanie Bishop is Faculty Emeritus at Prescott College in Arizona, where for 22 years she taught creative writing, and was Founding Editor, and Fiction/Nonfiction Editor of Alligator Juniper, a national literary magazine, three-time winner of the AWP Directors’ Prize. Her young adult novel, My So-Called Ruined Life (2014) was a top-five finalist for both the John Gardner Award in Fiction and CLMP’s Firecracker Awards. Bishop has published fiction and nonfiction in The New York Times, Glimmer Train, Georgetown Review, Greensboro Review, Florida Review, Vela, Essay Daily, Next Avenue, Carmel Magazine, Huffington Post, New York Journal of Books, and Family Circle. Currently, Bishop teaches occasional classes for Stanford Continuing Studies, and offers instruction, guidance and editing through her business, Lexi Services. “Home for Wayward Girls” is the title story of her short story cycle. For more, visit: www.melaniebishopwriter.com
Thank you to the many writers who submitted their strong work for consideration. The full list of finalists is below, and the 2022-2023 contest is now open!
David Preizler, Racetrackers
Jenna Abrams, Mama Shark
Laura Biagi, The Fair Day
Michael Colbert, Sea Monsters
Sharon Hashimoto, Containment and Other Stories
DS Levy, American Fare
David Schwartz, Sleight
Joan Sidney, I Married a Mathematician
Julie Marie Wade and Denise Duhamel, 50 States