Last week we announced the finalists in Hippocampus Magazine’s 2019 Remember in November Contest for Creative Nonfiction. Today, with the launch for our November issue, we share with you the results — and all five finalist stories.
The grand prize is $1,000, plus registration and the invitation to read at our annual conference for creative nonfiction writers, HippoCamp. Our runner-up receives $250. Additionally, one story will earn the Reader’s Choice award, which will be awarded in December.
Our reading panel narrowed down 200+ pieces to a shortlist, and then to five finalists. From there, we turned things over to our guest judge Sam Chiarelli (Dig: A Personal Prehistoric Journey). After reading these five stories, Sam wrote:
Today, we’re pleased to share the final results — and the stories themselves — with you.
Grand Prize Winner: Jen Minarik
“Cold Fusion and the Poochie Overnighter: An Essay About Infertility”
What our judge had to say:
“The interweaving elements of this story and their recurrent use are absolutely exquisite. The author uses time exceptionally well, even extending the piece far into future and continuing the themes of the essay. This is really resonant. There is also a lot of science and history here, along with personal elements that draw the reader into a very painful (yet hopeful) story. It’s obvious why this essay deserves to be among the cream of the crop.”
Runner-up: Simchi Cohen
What our judge had to say:
“This is a very gripping essay. It has so many interweaving elements and a narrative tension that is expertly written. The language wanders, mirroring the author’s wandering. The reader is transfixed by the duality of the situation — yearning to belong and not to belong, a universal conundrum. I was hooked from start to finish and I think this is a fantastic piece.”
Congratulations to our three additional finalists:
And a few words from our reading panel about these three stories:
- I found it vivid and evocative of a unique situation…” – The Death of Sonny
- I love the command of imagery in this piece. – “The Whale”
- Poignant. Beautifully well-crafted…. The characters and scenes feel real — it’s a slice of life with all its complexities. – “Salt”
- Rich details, well-told, and does not spoon-feed meaning to the reader. – “Salt”
Our reading panel narrowed down submissions to about a dozen stories before arriving at our five finalists. Some of these short-listed stories will appear in Hippocampus in 2020. See the full shortlist here.
Running an annual contest, one that draws several hundred entries, would not be possible without the assistance of our outstanding and dedicated volunteer reading panel; we’re grateful for your time and energy. We’d also like to thank our guest judge, Sam, for his thoughtful consideration of our five finalist stories. To our readers, thank you for being there for us. We hope you enjoy this year’s contest issue.
Congratulations, once again, to Jen, Simchi, and all of our finalists!