Announcing the Winners of the Bellingham Review’s 2015 Literary Contests

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Bellingham Review 2015 literary awards— the 49th Parallel Award for Poetry, the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction, and the Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction—selected by contest judges Bruce Beasley, Suzanne Paola Antonetta, and Kristiana Kahakauwila, respectively. The winners will each receive an award of $1,000 and will be published in the Spring 2016 print issue of Bellingham Review.

Holden Author Headshot49th Parallel Award for Poetry

Ming Holden is the winner of the 2015 49th Parallel Award for Poetry for her poem “For My Aspirated.” Contest judge Bruce Beasley said, “‘For My Aspirated'” stunned me every time I reread it for its collision of mystery and absolute clarity: emotional urgency, imagistic precision, sonic exuberance combined with syntactic slipperiness, its insistent repetitions and piled-on rhetorical questions pounding against the unplumbable mysteries of loss.”

Winner of Chattahoochee Review‘s Lamar York Nonfiction Prize and Glimmer Train‘s Family Matters Fiction Prize, Ming Holden was invited by the United States Embassy to Suriname on a diplomatic speaking engagement under the U.S. Speakers Program for Women’s History Month in 2014. Her work has also appeared in AlchemyArts & Letters, Cerise Press, Crab Orchard Review, The Best American Poetry Blog, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Huffington Post, Passages North, and others.

Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction

Schmidli (1)Leigh Claire Schmidli is the winner of the 2015 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction for her essay “This Sonata, into the third movement.” Contest judge Suzanne Paola Antonetta said, “Piercingly lyric, haunting in its details, “This Sonata, into the third movement” demonstrates how beautifully a skilled writer can unite in a few pages all of the things that stay with us.”

From Bangkok to Den Haag, from the Midwestern U.S. to the South, Leigh Claire Schmidli thinks of many places as home. She writes fiction and essays, loves braided narratives, and lives with a man who calls her Lucy.

Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction

Eric Roe is the winner of the 2015 Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction for his story “Notes from Lazarus.” Contest judge Kristiana Kahakauwila called it a “lovely meditation on love, devotion, and hope.”E Roe

Eric Roe worked and wrote at the Oscar Mayer packing plant in Madison, WI, for most of the 1990s. After that, he went back to school, eventually earning his MFA in creative writing at North Carolina State University, where he now teaches in the First-Year Writing Program and directs NCSU’s Young & Teen Writers’ Workshops. His work has appeared in the Best American Fantasy anthology, as well as Barrelhouse, Redivider, The Santa Fe Literary Review, Midway Journal, and others, and it has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.



The entries for this year’s literary awards were outstanding and we wish to congratulate the finalists in each category:

49th Parallel Award for Poetry
Runner-Up: “Paschal Triptych” by Kim Garcia
“Angelus” by Allison Adair
“Sestina for Travelers” by Sarah Black
“Heap’d stones, elder, mullein and poke-weed” by Erin Hollowell
“Culture and Anarchy” by Anna Leahy
“The Cow’s Eye” and “Grackles” by Jennie Malboeuf
​“An Admonishment of Boys” by Berwyn Moore
“Tremble Island” by John Nieves
“Chiaroscuro” by Stella Reed
“Song of the Jet” by Ralph Sneeden

Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction
Runner-Up: “The View from the Crowd” by Amy Anderson Guerra
“Sandhill Cranes and Wine” by Thomas Conlan
“On Redemption” by Steve Fellner
“Walking the Tortoise” by Judith Hannan
“​Inside the Labyrinth” by Kristin Leclaire
“Under Silent Moon” by Gregory Ormson

Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction
Runner-Up: “Heliciculture” by Lisa Nikolidakis
“An Offer of Hari-Kari” by Elaine Crauder
“Nature” by Karen Ford
“Can’t Even Superman Lift That” by Barb Johnson
“The Naked Mole Rat Experiment” by Nicole Idar

All of the 2015 contest entrants will receive a subscription to Bellingham Review’s Spring 2016 print edition, Issue 72, which will include the 2015 contest winners.

Thank you, again, to all the entrants for giving us the opportunity to read their work. The contest submissions were especially strong this year, and we enjoyed reading them very much.

We welcome your work when our general submissions reading period re-opens on September 15, 2015.

Next year’s contests will open for submissions on December 1, 2015.

Bellingham Review accepts all submission via Submittable.