We’re proud to announce the winners of the 2022 Force Majeure Flash Contest! (It’s been a year. We know. And we found some hopeful fires amidst the fog.) Our top flashes and honorable mentions:
1st Prize: “Et-Lingua-Ligatum” by Tessa Swackhammer — a perspectival periscope, a linguistic tour de force, an empathetic pipe bomb.
2nd Prize: “Assurance” by Mike Yunxuan Li — a still life, a wholesome breathing space, a threat delivered with a smile is a kind of hug.
2nd Prize: “A History of Timber in the Valley of Lanape Wihittuck, later Nassau, Prince Hendrick’s, Charles, South River, then de la Warr anglicized Delaware” by Julian Mithra — the hedge maze of ivy and strangling figs has become sentient, it wants your blood, why did you promise it blood?
Honorable Mention: “I Really Wasn’t Having the Time of My Life, but Apparently My Dance Card Has His Name on It” by Erica Sharlette — a joke inside a joke inside a sensational anecdote.
Honorable Mention: “‘Call Me Up Anytime, Bro’” by Mike Itaya — a one-act play at the El station, a battery-powered boombox with a burnt mixtape of George Michael hits jammed inside.
Honorable Mention: “Three Belts” by Jill Bronfman — now you see.
Honorable Mention: “Games” by Sara Fetherolf — a poem or a dream or a memory of a DALL-E exercise in self-knowledge all in one bucket.
All will appear in Storm Cellar vol. 11 no. 1, coming this winter.
This year’s contest was extra-exciting because of the hundreds of inventive, dynamic entries we received. Our entrants made it a really tough call. So thank you to all of them for participating! We couldn’t do it without them.
2021 FORCE MAJEURE FLASH CONTEST 1st Prize: Serrina Zou – Bái Chī 2nd Prize: Justine Teu – The Water Cycle 2nd Prize: Sherrel McLafferty – Can Elizabeth Bishop Relate? Honorable Mention: Jax Connelly – An Incomplete Inventory of What Once Belonged to My Mother Honorable Mention: Erica Frederick – Praisesong for Fornication Honorable Mention: S. Erin Batiste – Congratulations, You’re Approved! We Are Pleased to Welcome You to Your New Habitation!
FICTION Kevin Serrano Echevarría – א (Infinite Sets) Sophie Hoss – Coney Island Sphinx Vincent James Perrone – Moon, PA
FLASH Kate Garklavs – Letter S. S. Mandani – A Tentacle of Night Edward Columbia – Full-Service Station Luke Rolfes – Human Resources Capella Parrish – Point Reyes Station S.D.S. – Des Moines
POETRY Rebecca Pelky – Kikátohkáq Moira Walsh – Written in a thunderstorm Caroline Taylor – Winepress Kristi Maxwell – Totoaba Natasha Sharma – Broken Fronds Micah Daniel McCrotty – Finishing Mud Terry Belew – Detours Meg Johnson – Mostly, I’m a Menace Mira Martin-Parker – Ancestor.com
IMAGES CJ Nye – Cueva de la Pileta Martins Deep – Focus Lisa Monique Hauck – Wolf Dreams Arinze Ndieli – Ihe Elder Gideon – A River Flows Through Eden Sarah Kimmel – Detroit Ultraviolence Zhongwen Hu – Man with pigeons Rebecca Ledbetter – The World Is Too Quiet (cover) Scott Brennan – Waterfall, Brooklyn, New York, 2021 (back cover)
The mood might be S.A.D. or it might be bright with glad yule fires, it could be anything, really, if we put a sale sticker on it, but today we have that one true face to face up to, as perfectly captured by Bex Saunders’ [>>] That Sinking Feeling: