I feel that we have the best group of submissions thus far. I have received stories from the UK and poetry from Russia; the great majority has been a joy to read, making my job even more difficult for selecting. Here is the list of those included in the upcoming publication of Allasso:
Renee Carter Hall
Daniel and Mary E. Lowd
The decision for the awards has been even more difficult. Every piece in here has something that makes it stand out, and while I wish to award the writing that deeply moves me, no piece in this upcoming publication should be discounted.
Previously, I have had an onslaught of serious poetry, especially those digging down into dark lives and horrible pasts. However, as the winner of Best Poem, Renee Carter Hall’s “February 1: Groundhog Goes to the FoodMart” turns the cliche of a groundhog’s shadow into a humorous, every-day event. Hall’s vivid imagery of a supermarket invokes both the joy and the pressure that come with important social roles.
While the humor of a modern image make Hall’s poetry shine, the drama within the Scottish folklore of Sarina Dorie’s fiction invokes a painful, beautiful world. “Patchwork Selkie,” the winner of Best Fiction and Best Overall Submission, shows the cruelty of man, the fear of discovered secrets, and the love that community provides. The careful craftsmanship of narrative and imagery tie this into a seamless story.
I still wish to have this ready by the end of the year, if not before Christmas. Any updates will be posted here. If you know any of these writers, feel free to extend your congratulations — everyone deserves it.