Winner Announced: 2018 Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction – Contest Update 3

Earlier this week, we announced the finalists of Hippocampus Magazine’s 2018 Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction. Our reading panel narrowed down all contest submissions to five finalists, and we shared those stories with our guest judge Krystal Sital.

After reviewing this year’s entries, Krystal wrote:

krystal sital“It was my honor to judge these works of art for this contest. The range of emotions I’ve been through after reading these stories has left me exhausted but I walk away from them changed. Your words and worlds are important and powerful. May all of our stories always be told.” – Krystal Sital, author of Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad


Today, we’re ready to share the final results — and the stories themselves — with you:

promo graphic with images and name of each finalist, with callouts for winner and runner-up



Congratulations to Linda Stead! Her story, “The Cyclops Child,” was selected from more than 360 submissions!


2018 contest winner, Linda Stead

This story of childhood resilience pulled at our heart-strings; here are just a few comments from our reading panel:

  • This story really wows me. It’s one I have never heard and is told with great authority in a way that makes me deeply empathetic for the narrator. LOVE.
  • Her style is so singular, and the story so terribly beautiful….
  • I love the way this story blends gentleness and beauty with horror and pain.

Linda Stead is a writer, artist, and art educator who has a love of creative nonfiction, particularly memoir and prose poetry. She previously lived in the UK and France, and now resides with her partner in Melbourne, Australia.

Congratulations once again, Linda!


We’d also like to congratulate Laura Gilkey; her heart-wrenching essay “Portraits of a Dying Day” was our 2018 runner-up.

A few words from our reading panel:

  • Outstanding! I believe I will remember this one for a long time.
  • Heartbreaking and beautiful. I’ve never read anything like it!
  • I’m gutted after reading it.
  • I love how this writer wove in the stories of all the healthcare workers who become so involved in the care of a dying child.

Laura Gilkey is the mother of two sons: Banyan, a book-loving, rugby-playing teenager, and Benjamin, his spicy, curious, kind little brother who died from leukemia at nine years old. Her work appears in Modern Loss, the Brevity Blog, Pulse Voices for Medicine, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and Mommy Magazine. Laura lives with her family on Florida’s Gulf Coast.


We’d also like to recognize the following writers, our three other finalists; their stories stuck with us as well, and you can read them in this issue:

And a few words about these stories from our reading panel:

“Beautifully done…Spare and odd and evocative.” — on “Sights of a Narrowleaf Milkweed”

“I love the story, the pace, the writing, the characters, the last line.” & “To be drawn into a world I know next to nothing about is something I admire in an essay.” — on “Nickel Men”

“I like the freshness of this story, the raw emotion of it. This author has skillfully told a coming of age story: how her youthful exuberance and innocence suddenly turned into adult awareness on a fateful Sunday morning.” – on “The Gospel Bus”

You can enjoy all five finalist stories in the November 2018 edition of Hippocampus Magazine!

Short list & semifinalists:

Our reading panel narrowed down submissions to about 25 stories, and then 10 semi-finalists; some of these stories will appear in future issues! See the full short list here.


Running an annual contest, one that draws several hundred entries, would not be possible without an outstanding and dedicated volunteer reading panel; so many members of our team ramped up their already-amazing efforts during the contest period. A sincere thank you to our staff and copy editors for their hard work on this (and every) issue.

We’d also like to especially thank our guest judge, Krystal Sital. We’re grateful for the time and careful consideration she gave to our five finalist stories.

To our readers, thank you for always being there for us. We hope you enjoy this year’s contest issue as much as we enjoyed building it.

Congratulations, once again, to all of our finalists!



Update for Dec. 1, 2018:

The Reader’s Choice Award goes to Linda Stead! Congratulations, Linda!

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