Winners of the 2022 Force Majeure Flash Contest Announced!

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.
Next year’s contest opens January 1, 2023!