2017 Contest Winners Are Here

We are thrilled to announce the results of our 2017 contests! With nearly 1,500 entries, we had a wonderful time reading and a hard time choosing our finalists. Thank you to everyone who entered. The winning pieces will be published this fall, right here in Hunger Mountain’s online companion.

Thank you to our talented assistant editors and dedicated readers.

2017 Contest Winners

2017 Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize

Judge: Matt Bell

First Place: Mike Alberti for “The Morning After the Hometown Diner Burned Down” 


  • Scott Alumbaugh for “Fire Illness”

Our Honorable Mention:

  • Eileen O’Connor for “The Magic Telescope”

The 2017 finalists:

  • Janey Moore for “Beatitudes”
  • Cady Vishniac for “Remainders”
  • Charlene Logan Burnett for “Creed”
  • Debka Colson for “A Proper Bargain”
  • Sean Marciniak for “Sanctuary”
  • Janet Fancher for “Martin”
  • Lesley Bannatyne for “Weight of a Soul”

2017 Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing

Judge: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Overall First Place: 

  • Mindy McGinnis for “Do Not Go Gently” (Young Adult)

Category Winners: 

  • Picture Book: “Bright Star: Vera Rubin’s Story” by Sandra Nickel
  • Middle Grade: “A Roundabout Way” by Patricia Jacaban Miranda
  • Young Adult: “The Carrying Beam” by S.M. Mack

Honorable Mentions:

  • Julie Hampton for “Betty Builds It” (Picture Book)
  • Trista Wilson for “The Color of Sad” (Middle Grade)

The 2017 finalists: 

  • Pamela Laskin for “Be-A-(Girl)” (Picture Book)
  • Jennifer Kam for “Send Drac Back” (Picture Book)
  • Julie Hampton for “Being Boris” (Picture Book)
  • Callie Miller for “The Elements of Magic” (Middle Grade)
  • Joe Saccany for “One Dusty Afternoon” (Middle Grade)
  • Jessica Mattson for “The Box-Maker’s Daughter” (Middle Grade)
  • Shayda Bakhshi for “Moon Kelp” (Young Adult)
  • Kathleen Bagley for “Elysium Girls” (Young Adult)
  • Estelle Laure for “He, Myselfie, and I” (Young Adult)

2017 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize

Judge: Major Jackson

First Place Winner:

  • Ezra Baeli-Wang for “Being of Islands”


  • Kathleen O’Toole for “Starlings”

The 2017 finalists:

  • Shuyu Cao for “Forgiveness”
  • Christopher Bursk for “December 5, 1969”
  • Julia C. Alter for “Ode to My Plum (12 Weeks)”
  • Jane Zwart for “Two Earths”
  • Karen Pittelman for “The Midtown Tunnel”
  • Lyall Harris for “Blink”
  • Emma Bolden for “The Blood and the Lamb”
  • John Sibley Williams for “The Crossing”
  • Jennifer Cullinane for “G. boreopacifica”
  • Nan Becker for “Verity”
  • Roberta Visser for “Dandelions”

2017 Creative Nonfiction Prize

Judge: Joni Tevis

First Place:

  • Richard Gilbert forAnimals Saved Me” 


  • Kate Marquez for “How Prostitution Saved My Life”

Honorable Mentions:

  • Saffron Marchant for “Baker’s Dozen”
  • Jeri Griffith for “Remembering Ethel”

2017 finalists:

  • Micah Bateman for “Family Romance”
  • Heidi LaMoreaux for “Final Interview”
  • Christine Hemp for “Passport”
  • Jane Marcellus for “Real Kid”

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By Miciah Bay Gault

Miciah Bay Gault is the editor of Hunger Mountain at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She's also a writer, and her fiction and essays have appeared in Tin House, The Sun Magazine, The Southern Review, and other fine journals. She lives in Montpelier, Vermont with her husband and children.