We’ve finally reached a unanimous decision. Not only was this selection a favorite with all three judges, it was a reader favorite and the post with the highest number of views on our site.
The winner of The Flounce Non Fiction Writer’s Award 2015 is Catherine A. Brereton, for her essay “Writing on the Wall.”
$120 will be donated to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “in honor of Leigh Ann, Gloria Sue, and Kelsey.”
This creative non-fiction story was about a particularly tragic event, paced slowly and deliberately to replicate the abrupt and sudden nature of these kind of tragedies in our lives, leaving the reader feeling unprepared and subtly off kilter.
We received several very well written and gripping essays and articles. It was a difficult selection process. Runners up, or the most highly preferred/voted stories by the judges, are “The Fire Challenge” by Dina Peone and “You’re Supposed to Love Me More” by Vivienne Kaye and “On Death in America: A Nigerian Perspective” by Ebele Mogo. I will be following and reading their work — I’m really pleased to have discovered several new writers through this contest.
This was an incredibly difficult contest to judge – I had not expected to appreciate and relate to so many of the stories that were submitted on a gut level. Themes in this collection of true stories included various forms of abuse, addiction, mental illness, death, fear, homelessness, poverty, and all kinds of bad luck. In some way or another, we’ve all been down some rough roads. Yet in the most heartbreaking stories, we found themes of family, friendship, recovery, health and love. It’s nice to be reminded that we’re not all that different from one another.
I hope that some of you who submitted to this contest will submit again to our site, especially in next year’s contest. Throughout the year, we publish articles on issues and culture, opinions and personal experiences. We believe that there is still a demand for well-written, self-aware, critical and creative non-fiction writing, and that writers need all the support they can get when distributing their work online. Although we are a free site and do not profit from our published articles, our audience is growing every day thanks to the unlimited talent of our contributors.
— Rebecca Chance, co-publisher
Judging an essay can be so subjective, and at the end of the day it is. No matter how much effort I put into something to remain objective, it always comes down to what resonates with me, and what I want to read again and again.
Objective aspects can help determine that – spelling, punctuation, grammar – something written grammatically well can draw you in, but then, a well-crafted story goes beyond that. While we received many wonderful submissions, there could be only one winner.
My finalists were chosen based on the objective factors above, as well as the storytelling. I was looking for a fresh take on a story. Even a story told a thousand times can be new if it’s told in a unique way.
I hope that everyone who did enter keeps writing, and submitting (especially to TheFLOUNCE!). I’d be pleased to publish any of your work any day of the week.
— Al Miller, co-publisher
Thank you to Mickey Kerlegan for taking the time to read and consider all submissions and voting as a judge in this contest.