We Are Pleased to Announce the Judges for Hunger Mountain’s 2016 Literary Prizes

The judges are:

  •  Janet Burroway- Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize

  • Robert Michael Pyle – Hunger Mountain Creative Nonfiction Prize

  • Lee Upton – Ruth Stone Poetry Prize

  • Rita Williams-Garcia – Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing

Janet Burroway, photo: Mary Stephan

photo by Mary Stephan

Janet Burroway, awarded the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award in Writing by the Florida Humanities Council, is the author of eight novels including The Buzzards, Raw Silk (recently re-released by Open Road Media), Opening Nights, Cutting Stone, and Bridge of Sand. Plays includeSweepstakes, Division of Property, and Media With Child (Sideshow, 2009), which have received readings and productions in New York, London, San Francisco, Hollywood, and Chicago; Parts of Speech, winner of the Brink! Development prize of Renaissance Theatreworks in Milwaukee; andBoomerang, winner of the Sideshow Theatre Company’s Freshness award in 2015. Her textbooks Writing Fiction (the most widely used creative writing textbook in America) and Imaginative Writing, are in 9th and 4th editions respectively. She is the editor of a 2014 collection of essays by older women authors, A Story Larger Than My Own, from University of Chicago Press, and her memoir Losing Timappeared in the spring of 2014 from Think Piece Publishers. She is Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor Emerita at the Florida State University.

Robert Michael Pyle (photo credit: Florence Sage)

photo credit: Florence Sage

Robert Michael Pyle dwells, writes, and studies natural history in rural Cascadia. An Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and a Guggenheim Fellow, he founded the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Pyle’s eighteen books include Wintergreen (winner of the John Burroughs Medal), Sky Time in Gray’s River, The Thunder Tree, Where Bigfoot Walks, Chasing Monarchs,Mariposa Road, Walking the High Ridge, The Tangled Bank, Evolution of the Genus Iris: Poems, and a flight of butterfly books. Pyle has taught place-based writing at Utah State University, as Kittredge Distinguished Writer at the University of Montana, and in many other venues from Alaska to Alabama, Tasmania to Tajikistan. He is currently making poems and music with his friend, neighbor, and Grange brother, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic.

Lee Upton photo
Lee Upton
‘s sixth collection of poetry, Bottle the Bottles the Bottles the Bottles, recipient of the Open Book Award, appeared in May 2015 from the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic, Poetry, Best American Poetry, and in numerous other journals and anthologies. Her collection of short stories, The Tao of Humiliation, received the BOA Short Fiction Award and was selected by Kirkus Reviews for their listing of “The Best Books of 2014.” She is the author of the novella The Guide to the Flying Island; the essay collection Swallowing the Sea: On Writing & Ambition Boredom Purity & Secrecy; and four books of literary criticism. She is the Francis A. March Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at Lafayette College.

Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia

Rita Williams-Garcia is the author of the novel One Crazy Summer, a Newbery Honor book of 2011, a winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, a National Book Award finalist, the recipient of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and a New York Times bestseller. The sequel, P.S. Be Eleven, was also a Coretta Scott King Award winner and an ALA Notable Children’s Book for Middle Readers. She is also the author of six distinguished novels for young adults: Jumped, a National Book Award finalist; No Laughter Here, Every Time a Rainbow Dies (a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book); Fast Talk on a Slow Track (ALA Best Books for Young Adults); Blue Tights; and Like Sisters on the Homefront, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. Williams-Garcia lives in Jamaica, New York, and is on the faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children & Young Adults Program.

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Hunger Mountain Announces Winners of the 2015 Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing

Winners, who hail from Missouri, Connecticut, California, and India, receive prize money, publication, and invitation to literary representation

Montpelier, Vt.—Hunger Mountain, the Vermont College of Fine Arts Journal of the Arts, today announced the winners of the 2015 Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult & Children’s Writing. The contest received nearly 200 entries and was judged by Ammi-Joan Paquette, children’s author and senior agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

“I very much enjoyed this opportunity to judge such worthy entries, and had a tough time choosing just one winner out of each batch of finalists,” said Paquette. “The kind of fresh, unique, and well-crafted writing for children and young adults that I saw in these contest entries are just the type of work I’m looking for in the publishing industry,” she said.

Paquette invited some of the prizewinning authors to submit writing to be considered for literary representation at EMLA, making this contest a doorway into the publishing world for new and emerging authors.

“This is exactly the kind of connection we hope to see for emerging artists who publish and win prizes at Hunger Mountain,” said Editor Miciah Gault. “I’m thrilled that our judge this year found such quality work in our contestants, and even more thrilled to help our prizewinners gain the audience they deserve,” she said.

First place in the Katherine Paterson Prize was awarded to Rachel Furey, of Jefferson City, Missouri, for her young adult fiction story “Tilt-a-Whirl,” about a teenage girl who, after losing her dog, is afraid to open up to possibilities of human love and friendship. One of Hunger Mountain’s first readers called the writing “powerful.”

“Over the past seven years, the Katherine Paterson Prize has been awarded to some of the most accomplished and interesting new voices in children’s literature,” said Hunger Mountain Children’s Literature Editor Caroline Carlson. “This isn’t the first time Rachel Furey has caught our guest judge’s eye—she received a special mention from judge Katherine Applegate in last year’s contest—and we’re so pleased to bring her exceptional work to a wider audience,” she said.

The winner receives $1,000 and publication in a special prizewinner issue of Hunger Mountain.

Three category winners were also selected: Elaine Alexander, of Colchester, Conn., for her picture book, “Angler Fish: Black Devil of the Deep;” Mathangi Subramanian, of New Delhi, India, for her middle grade manuscript, “Banu the Builder;” and Sharry Wright, of San Francisco, Calif., for her young adult novel excerpt, “The Lies and Illusions of Lucy Sparrow.” Category winners receive $100 and publication in Hunger Mountain.

The full list of finalists and special mentions are listed on the Hunger Mountain website at


About Rachel Furey
Rachel Furey completed her doctorate at Texas Tech and now teaches at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. She won Sycamore Review’s Wabash Prize for Fiction and her work has also appeared in journals such as One Teen Story, Crab Orchard Review, Cicada, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Women’s Basketball Magazine, and Chautauqua.

About Ammi-Joan Paquette
Ammi-Joan Paquette is a senior agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing all types of children’s and YA literature. She is also the author of the middle-grade novel Princess Juniper of the Hourglass (Philomel, 2015), and other books including Rules for Ghosting (Walker, 2013), Nowhere Girl (Walker, 2011), and Ghost in the House (Candlewick, 2013). In her agent acquisitions, Joan is particularly drawn to richly voiced, unforgettable characters and settings, as well as tightly-paced, well-plotted stories with twists and turns that keep you guessing right until the end. Visit her on the web at

About the Katherine Paterson Prize
Named after award-winning author Katherine Paterson, author of more than 30 books for young people, including Bridge to Terabithia and The Great Gilly Hopkins, The Katherine Paterson Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing began at Hunger Mountain in 2009, to recognize outstanding writing for young audiences. The inaugural contest, judged by the eponymous Paterson, was awarded to Liz Cook, a graduate of VCFA’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children & Young Adults program. The prize is open to all writers who wish to submit work in the picture book, middle grade, or young adult category. The deadline for the 2016 Katherine Paterson Prize is March 1, 2016, with judge TBD.

About Hunger Mountain
Founded in 2002 by Caroline Mercurio, Hunger Mountain is a print and online journal of the arts publishing fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, visual art, young adult and children’s writing, and literary miscellany. The mission is to cultivate engagement with and conversation about the arts by publishing high-quality, innovative literary and visual art by both established and emerging artists, offering opportunities for interactivity and discourse. Its editorial offices are located at the Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) in historic Montpelier, Vt. The print issue comes out annually in the spring, and online content changes on a regular basis. Learn more at