American Fiction Short Story 2014 Finalists

Twenty-one authors and twenty-two stories will be published in American Fiction Volume 14, set for release in October 2015. Through blind review processing, more than four hundred stories were screened down to just twenty-two finalist titles, with one author having two stories make the cut. Our finalist judge, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout, will select three of those stories as 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place winners, with cash awards going to each. We expect to announce the place winners in late September.

THANK YOU to all who submitted great stories for this series, which New Rivers Press has been publishing since 1997, and which Booklist has described as "A must-read collection for all short-fiction enthusiasts."

Our American Fiction Short Story Award 2014 finalists are (in no particular order):

Cathy Cruise, for "Love, Faith"
Cathy Cruise lives in Fairfax, Virginia, and holds an MFA from George Mason University.Her fiction has appeared in the journals Blue Mesa Review, New Virginia Review, and Phoebe. Her story "Other People's Lives," which appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, received the 2001 Washington Independent Writers Award for Short Fiction. She is currently seeking representation for her first novel.

Murray Dunlap, for "Race Day"
Murray Dunlap's work has appeared in about fifty magazines and journals. His stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, as well as to Best New American Voices once. "Bastard Blue," was published on June 7th, 2011 (the three year anniversary of a car wreck that very nearly killed him...). The extraordinary individuals Pam Houston, Laura Dave, Michael Knight, and Fred Ashe taught him the art of writing.

Melissa Fraterrigo, for "Bait" Melissa Fraterrigo is the author the short story collection The Longest Pregnancy (Livingston Press). Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming from Shenandoah, Notre Dame Review, Southeast Review, and other publications. She is the director of the Lafayette Writers’ Studio in Lafayette, Indiana. Learn more at
Stuart Freyer, for "Fascination Hall"
Stuart Freyer’s stories have appeared in Timber Creek Review, Colere, and  Zahir, among others. He lives in Williamstown MA where his house is on a dirt road exactly two miles from the mailbox. “Fascination Hall” is a mixture born of early memories and what might have happened in an alternate universe.

Nancy Aalgaard Hanson, for "Arlo Doyon"
Nancy Aalgaard Hanson grew up on a farm in Minnesota. She writes poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and has just completed her first novel. She resides in Moorhead, MN, where she teaches English.

 Jenny Lentz, for "Fixer-Upper"
Jenny Lentz holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Louisiana State University and a BA in English and Creative Writing from Bryn Mawr College. She lives in Philadelphia, PA.

Missy Roback, for "Lady Moth" AND "The Woods" 
Missy Roback’s fiction has been published in Word Riot, Little Patuxent Review, and Stymie Magazine, and has been short-listed for the Poets & Writers’ California Writers Exchange Award. She has an MFA from the University of San Francisco and is a Ucross Foundation fellow. She’s currently completing her first novel, The Sky Ride. She lives in San Francisco.

Morgan Callan Rogers, for "Herding Cats"
Morgan Callan Rogers grew up in Bath, Maine, and currently divides her time between that beautiful place and the equally beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. Her debut novel, Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea, was published by Viking in 2012. Its sequel, Eisblaue See, Endloser Himmel (Cold Blue Sea, Endless Sky) was published in Germany in August 2014. She holds an MFA from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA in Creative Writing program.

Charmaine Valere, for "Cold Love"
Charmaine Valere's non-fiction writing has been published in The Caribbean Review of Books, Caribbean Beat Magazine, and Sx Salon Journal, and her poems have been published in St. Somewhere Journal. Valere lives in New Jersey, and is currently working on her first collection of short stories.

Wendy Wakeman, for "The Fall" 
Wendy Darwin Wakeman writes from Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Timothy Walsh, for "Duck Soup and my Mother's Double Death"
Timothy Walsh’s most recent poetry collection is When the World Was Rear-Wheel Drive: New Jersey Poems (Main Street Rag Publishing). His awards include the Kurt Vonnegut Fiction Prize, the Grand Prize in the Atlanta Review International Poetry Competition, and the Wisconsin Academy Fiction Prize. He is the author of The Dark Matter of Words: Absence, Unknowing, and Emptiness in Literature and two poetry collections, Wild Apples and Blue Lace Colander.

Tom Wells, for "Jesus in Right"
After surviving a career as a university professor, Tom Wells continues a late interest in his life – writing for the fun of it. He has completed three novels and several short stories. Wells enjoys reading and exercising, plus spending time with Lori, the love of his life, and his two dogs, Murphy and Molly. 

Kara Whelan, for "Homecoming"
Kara Whelan was born in Spokane, WA. She is a graduate of Western Washington University where she received her degree in English Literature. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband, two kids, and crazy dog. 

Douglas Wyant, for "Autumn Leaves"
Douglas Wyant was the recipient of the first SCWW Scott Lax Wildacres Scholarship. He has also received a first place Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Award for non-fiction and an honorable mention for fiction from South Carolina Writers' Workshop. His stories have been published in The Petigru Review and moonShine review.

Barbara Yost, for "Termination"
Barbara is a fiction writer who holds an English degree from the University of Iowa, a master’s in English from Arizona State University, and an MFA in creative writing from Arizona State. She has had fiction published in Valparaiso Review, Saturday Evening Post anthology and the upcoming Manifest West anthology.

Lucy Jane Bledsoe, for "Jackpot"
Lucy Jane Bledsoe’s fiction has won a Yaddo Fellowship, the 2013 Saturday Evening Post Fiction Award, the Arts & Letters Fiction Prize, a California Arts Council Fellowship, and two National Science Foundation Artists & Writers Fellowships. Her most recent book is a novel, The Big Bang Symphony.

William Burleson, for "Chasing Fire"
William Burleson is a life-long resident of Minneapolis. His short stories have appeared in several literary journals and anthologies, and a “flash novel,” Hunting in the Dark, is coming soon from Bartleby Snopes. He is perhaps most well-known for his book, Bi America (Rutledge Press, 2005). Visit his web site at   

Diane Byington, for "Armando's Revenge"
Diane Byington is a graduate of Stanford’s Certificate Program in Novel Writing. Her nonfiction and fiction have appeared in Wild Quarterly and Reflections, among other publications. She is putting the finishing touches (hopefully) on her first novel, Run Away Home.  She divides her time between Boulder, Colorado, and Central Florida.

Trudy Carpenter, for "An Extra Room"
Trudy Gordon Carpenter has published over a dozen pieces of fiction that range in style from Bambi to Deliverance.  She has been nominated for Pushcart twice and is crafting a collection of her short stories. She lives in a small green house on the rocky shore of Lake Michigan. 

Janine Donoho, for "Borderlands"
Janine Donoho lives in Oroville, WA, where fire has made it impossible for her to submit her photo and bio at this time. We will provide her information as it becomes available.

Jennifer Nguyen, for "A Re-Education"
Jennifer Nguyen lives in California. We will provide her photo and bio as it becomes available.