The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017-2018 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award: Michael Chin, for his collection of flash fiction Autopsy and Everything After, which will be published early in 2019. As noted by final contest judge Juan Martinez:
There is so much pathos and beauty and good humor in these pieces. I loved spending time with these people, how they surprised me, how much I learned about the itinerant wrestling world and how that world contains all of ours—our dead fathers, our lost exes, our fears and hopes.
Michael Chin is an alumnus of the Oregon State University MFA program. He has previously published two hybrid chapbooks, Distance Traveled with Bent Window Books and The Leo Burke Finish with Gimmick Press, and is a contributing editor for Moss.
In addition, we would like to recognize two finalists whose work we hope to excerpt in The Florida Review next spring: Ahsa Dore for Disfigure Studies and Ethel Smith for We Ready.
As Martinez noted about these two submissions:
Disfigure Studies is a powerful and intricately constructed creative nonfiction piece that conjures resonances between art, violation, trauma, disability, and beauty. And The X-Men. The work never fails to surprise, even as it builds to an insightful meditation on gender.
The main threads in We Ready are the necessary ones of race in Alabama and the ways in which family and community can uplift us. But this collection of flash nonfiction pieces also skillfully explores the many valences of education: how it is needed, how it can be rewarding, and how its trajectory shifts. In addition, it’s a joy to spend time with some truly memorable people in these pages—Miss Pearl, the Prell sisters, and the undergrads popping up in the writer’s office.
We thank all of the many wonderful writers who submitted work last year and who made our decisions so difficult. This year’s contest is now open, and we hope to hear from many of you and many more writers again in support of the publication of prose and graphic narrative work of a certain length that doesn’t fit either bite-size or big-book size.