Announcing the Winners of the Bellingham Review’s 2017 Literary Contests

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Bellingham Review 2017 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 Robert Cording, Julie Marie Wade, and John Dufresne, respectively. The winners will each receive an award of $1,000 and will be published in the Spring 2018 print issue of Bellingham Review.

49th Parallel Award for Poetry

IMG_2179John Blair is the winner of the 2017 49th Parallel Award for Poetry for his poem “The Art of Forgetting.” Contest judge Robert Cording says of the piece, “The reader feels the complicated generative emotion of the poem: the speaker’s sense of the complicated past and present the ‘you’ and the you’s ‘son’ find themselves lost in; and their hunger for the ‘definitive’ in a world of what-ifs and what-might-have-beens. In short, ‘The Art of Forgetting’ became a poem I could not forget.”

John Blair has published three books of poetry, Playful Song Called Beautiful (winner of the Iowa Poetry Award, published Spring of 2016), The Occasions of Paradise (U. Tampa Press, 2012) and The Green Girls (LSU Press/Pleiades Press 2003). His short story collection, American Standard, was the 2002 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature prize and was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. He also has two novels from Ballantine/Del Rey & poems & stories in Poetry, The New York Quarterly, The Sewanee Review, The Antioch Review, New Letters, and elsewhere. He is a professor in the English Department at Texas State University, where he directs the undergraduate creative writing program.

Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction

Susan M. StabileSusan M. Stabile is the winner of the 2017 Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction for her essay “Mustard.” Contest judge Julie Marie Wade remarks “‘Mustard’ does what the best essays do: walks the reader through a series of narrative and contemplative moments, all hinged on a seemingly ordinary observation that–with repeated viewing and thoughtful probing–continues to reveal itself anew.”

Susan M. Stabile is the author of Memory’s Daughters: The Material Culture of Remembrance in Eighteenth-Century America. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in such journals as The Iowa ReviewThe Southwest Review, and Biography, and her essay, “Bestiary,” was selected as a “Notable Essay for 2014” by Best American Essays. Currently completing her essay collection, Salvage, she is an associate professor of English at Texas A&M University.

Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction

Janis HubschmanJanis Hubschman is the winner of the 2017 Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction for her story “Escape Artist.” Contest judge John Dufresne writes “the author of ‘Escape Artist’ is an enchanter who casts a spell with what Ford Madox Ford called the ‘fresh usual word,’ with impeccable sentences, and with unerring and exquisite details.”

Janis Hubschman’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Michigan Quarterly Review, Colorado Review, StoryQuarterly, Southern Humanities Review, Pleiades, Green Mountains Review, Ascent, and elsewhere. Her short story collection was recently a finalist in the Press 53 Award for Short Fiction. She was awarded the Bread Loaf-Rona Jaffe Fiction Scholarship, first place in Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open Contest, and a grant from the Vermont Studio Center. She teaches fiction writing at Montclair State University in New Jersey.


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
“Blue Didactic” by Michael Edman
“The Dyer’s Hands” by Mara Adamitz Scrupe
“Fire Study” by Amanda Hawkins
“I looked up the word” by Jennifer Barber
“In the Street Without My Glasses” by Harry Bauld
“It’s Brooklyn. It’s about time.” by Sarah Anderson
“Lascaux” by Nicole Johnson
“Ravenous” and “Spalted” by Julie Gonnering Lein
“Whoosh” by Francine Witte

Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction
“General Grant Wore a Pink Dress” by Alice Hatcher
“Gossypium” by Briana Loveall
“Mystic Trinities” by Kelly Bowen
“Rag and Bone” by Amy Paterson
“The World’s Debris” by Teresa Janssen

Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction
“All the Way to Earth” by Anne de Marcken
“The Eleventh Happiest Country” by Joan Leegant
“Modern Trade” by M Grasso
“White Flight” by James Hanes

All of the 2017 contest entrants will receive a subscription to Bellingham Review’s Spring 2018 print edition, Issue 76, which will include the 2017 contest winners.

Thank you, again, to all the entrants for giving us the opportunity to read your work. We had a record number of submissions this year, and we enjoyed reading them very much.

We welcome your work when our general submissions reading period re-opens on September 15, 2017.

Next year’s contests will open for submissions on December 1, 2017.

Bellingham Review accepts all submission via Submittable.


Featured Image: “Movement and Beauty” by Martin Snicer Photography