Vol. XIII Nonfiction Contest Winners


A very special announcement from assistant nonfiction editor Devin Kelly.


It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners of the nonfiction contest for the upcoming issue of LUMINA. This year, the contest was judged by Cheryl Strayed, the bestselling author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, and she took the time out of her busy schedule as an advisor on the set of the film based on her aforementioned book to offer her top 3 picks from a selection of finalists chosen with the help of our editors and senior readers. The finalists were narrowed down from a selection of almost 200 essays submitted for the contest. CherylStrayed

Cheryl’s choices were as follows:

First Place: “Four Crows” by Shawn Fawson
Second Place: “The Fontanelle” by Jessica Smith
Third Place: “Pizza Money” by Angela Sebastian

Cheryl had this to say about “Four Crows”:

“Four Crows” is a powerfully wise essay about loss and love and art, about complexity and simplicity, clarity and uncertainty. The prose is stunning–both poetic and direct–and it gorgeously evokes the landscape of the northern New Mexico, where this essay is set. I found myself slowing down as I read “Four Crows,” wanting to savor the language and absorb the intelligence that drives each sentence. I admired it very much and I hope to read more by this author.

Fawson will receive $500 as the first place winner, and the top two essays will be published in the upcoming issue of LUMINA, as well as two editor’s choices: “Mardon” by Robyn Lynn, and “Hello, O” by Jennifer Alise Drew. Angela Sebastian’s third place essay, “Pizza Money,” will be published on Lumina’s blog.

Personally, I’d like to say thank you to all those who submitted. We nonfiction editors had our hands full with some lovely work, and choosing a group of finalists wasn’t the easiest task. I’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of all LUMINA’s editors and readers, especially Geoff Bendeck, the head nonfiction editor, and Cheryl Strayed, who was kind and generous enough to give us her time.