Nearly 100 people entered our Break Through Writing Contest in February and we are thrilled today to announce the results!
We selected the strongest entries in 3 different genres: Flash fiction, flash creative nonfiction (CNF), and poetry, within the contest theme of “break through”– from new beginnings, to breaking out of old patterns, or breaking free from whatever is holding you back. Thank you to everyone who sent in their great work.
Creative Non-fiction Winners
Isaac’s Blessing Bags
By Tanaǧidaŋ To Wiŋ ● March 22, 2022
When we left our quiet townhome in Inver Grove Heights to move to our first home on the Eastside, as a mother of two young men I was extremely nervous.
School of big and small
By Didi Koka ● March 22, 2022
It has been an occasional evening routine to watch a nature program. It is a nod to the bigness of world and a balm to how little seems to get
Gifts of the Superior Hiking Trail – The Dragonfly
By Mikkel Beckmen ● March 22, 2022
“Flora or Fauna, we are all shapeshifters and magical re-inventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.” – Diane Ackerman Mid-way along my thru hike of the
Flash Fiction Winners
By C.M. Finch ● March 22, 2022
Charlie’s enthusiasm was infectious as he showed me around his living space. My living space now, I supposed, as room had been made for me here. The entryway was bright
Interlude with Cadaver Seeking Dogs
By Isadora Gruye ● March 22, 2022
There was a villa in southern France where a billionaire went missing. He just disappeared one summer evening while out for a walk. His private jet missed him terribly. His
By Meckenna Holman ● March 22, 2022
CONTENT WARNING: Implications of domestic violence The bone had healed wrong, or so the doctor said. I’d squinted real hard at the x-ray and couldn’t see what he saw.
Art by Barbara Evan
Salvation of Bread
By Diane Jarvenpa ● March 22, 2022
Salvation of Bread Every time sorrow is a rock to the skull I chant up a stove it’s belly all fire bloom as I beg any ancestor
Between the Stations
By Benj Vardigan ● March 22, 2022
Between the Stations The presets are nonsense, directions to nowhere. Coaxing the dial across the notches we nuance, tune our ears to any clear scrap in the static. On
How I Became a Feminist
By KateLynn Hibbard ● March 22, 2022
How I Became A Feminist Because she could not bear to waste a thing, My mother always drank the coffee dregs Straight from the pot, and dribbled on her
By Leslie Thomas ● March 22, 2022
Restoring prairie June 24, 1854: Some of these flowers must be preserved—not that they can ever be made any more beautiful or arranged with any better taste than now.
Diagrammer of Sentences
By Mary Kay Rummel ● March 22, 2022
Diagrammer of Sentences In the corner of the living room, huddled over my pink wooden desk, brothers fighting, mother angry because I’m not peeling potatoes, I’m wandering in English
Saint Paul Almanac invites you to submit your original, unpublished work for our BREAK THROUGH writing contest this February!
We’ll be selecting the top 3 pieces in 3 different genres: Flash fiction, flash creative nonfiction (CNF), and poetry.
Winners will have their work published on the Almanac website and receive prizes/cash awards courtesy of contest sponsors (to be announced soon)!
The contest theme is “break through” — which we invite you to interpret creatively (e.g., new beginnings, breaking out of old patterns, breaking free from whatever is holding you back, etc.) Note: the theme is not in reference to breakthrough infections, but stories/poems about Covid are not off-limits.
- Contest opens Feb 1; deadline to submit is Feb 28, 11:59pm CT
- Submissions should be sent via email to email@example.com
- In the subject line, please indicate which genre you are entering (flash fiction, flash CNF, or poetry).
- You may only enter in one (1) genre.
- In your submission, include your contact information (name, address, phone number, email) and a brief bio.
- Work must be previously unpublished.
Guidelines/notes for each genre category:
- Fiction (judged by Jordan Hirsch): Up to 1,000 words; both literary and genre work will be considered, if it relates to the theme. If applicable, please add a content warning (e.g., grief, abusive relationship, etc.) at the top of your submission and/or in your email.
- Poetry (judged by Katie Vagnino): Submit 1-3 poems of any length; slight preference for formal poems although free verse is acceptable.
- CNF (judged by Wendy Brown-Baez): Up to 1000 words, please paginate your document and add CNF and word count under the title.