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!

Storm Cellar #10.1 Out Now!

It’s here and here it is — and merry darn turning of the calendar to you!

Storm Cellar Vol. X No. 1, winter 2021, nicknamed “Ruling Passion” → click for the delicious print and ebook editions. Pub date today 12/30/21.


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!

Kevin Serrano Echevarría – א (Infinite Sets)
Sophie Hoss – Coney Island Sphinx
Vincent James Perrone – Moon, PA

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

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 –

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)

PLUS Rejected: True Crime Documentaries  

Faiz Ahmad: The Apartment

Be observed, or don’t, but be aware of the space and the time of the clock, Reader, with this poem by Faiz Ahmad, “The Apartment“:

This poem originally appeared in SC #8.1, available in print and ebook formats at our storeRead on!

Daniel Uncapher: Logic Puzzles

Exam szn, kiddos, so let’s get in! And by that we mean help us get out of this maze. here are Daniel Uncapher’s excellent flash “Logic Puzzles“:

These flash originally appeared in SC #8.1, available in print and ebook formats at our storeRead on!

Bex Saunders: That Sinking Feeling

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:

This photo originally appeared in SC #8.1, available in print and ebook formats at our storeRead on!