2014 JUDGES:

NONFICTION: eula biss

The Balloonists Eula Biss holds a BA in nonfiction writing from Hampshire College and an MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa. Her second book, Notes from No Man’s Land, received the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism. Her work has also been recognized by a Pushcart Prize, a Jaffe Writers’ Award, and a 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library.  Her essays have recently appeared in The Best American Nonrequired ReadingThe Best Creative Nonfiction and the Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Nonfiction and many other journals. She teaches writing at Northwestern University.

POETRY: frank x. walker


Kentucky Poet Laureate and University of Kentucky Associate professor, Frank X Walker’s sixth collection of poetry, “Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers” is forthcoming in the spring from the University of Georgia Press. Voted one of the most creative professors in the south, he is the founding editor of the journal Pluck!

Fiction: manuel muñoz


Manuel Muñoz is the author of two collections of short stories, Zigzagger and The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue, which was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and a novel, What You See in the Dark. He has been recognized with a Whiting Writer’s Award, a PEN/O. Henry Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts. He is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of Arizona. Photo © Stuart Bernstein.


Our 2013 contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. Congratulations to the winners:



Anne Royston Imprimer Imprimer




Heather Frese Barrier Island




Christopher Lowe Uncle Frank

2013 Judges:

Poetry: Lyn Hejinian

Lyn Hejinian is the author of numerous books, including most recently The Book of a Thousand Eyes (Omnidawn Books, 2012) and The Wide Road, written in collaboration with Carla Harryman (Belladonna, 2010). In spring 2013, Wesleyan University Press will publish A Guide to Poetics Journal: Writing in the Expanded Field 1982-1998, co-edited by Hejinian and Barrett Watten, an anthology of works on key issues in poetics first published in Poetics Journal. And in fall 2013 Wesleyan will republish her best-known book, My Life, in an edition that will include the related My Life in the Nineties. In addition to literary writing, editing, and translating, Hejinian has in recent years been involved in anti-privatization activism at the University of California, Berkeley, where she teaches.

Nonfiction: Dinty W. Moore

Dinty W. Moore is author of The Mindful Writer: Noble Truths of the Writing Life, as well as the memoir Between Panic & Desire, winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. He also edited The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Nonfiction: Advice and Essential Exercises from Respected Writers, Editors, and Teachers. Moore has published essays and stories in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Harpers, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, Iron Horse Literary Review, and Crazyhorse, among numerous other venues. A professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University, Moore has won many awards for his writing, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction. He edits Brevity, an online journal of flash nonfiction, and lives in Athens, Ohio, where he grows heirloom tomatoes and edible dandelions.

Fiction: Kevin Moffett

Kevin Moffett is the author of two books, Permanent Visitors, which won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award, and Further Interpretations of Real-Life Events. He is a frequent contributor to McSweeney’s and his stories and essays have appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, the Believer, A Public Space, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere. He has received the National Magazine Award, the Nelson Algren Award, the Pushcart Prize, and a literature fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts. The Silent History, a collaborative multipart narrative he’s written with Matt Derby and Eli Horowitz, was released as an app for mobile devices in fall 2012.

Beecher’s 2012 contests:

Our first annual contest has now closed. We’d like to thank everyone who participated. A special thanks, again, to our guest judges, who donated their time and attention to Beecher’s entrants. And, of course, congratulations to the winners!


First Place:

Chris Garrecht-Williams Dear, and Anxiety of Chances


D. Gilson Gnostic Gospel, Soon We’ll Bury All Our Dead, and Call and Response



First Place:

Josie Sigler Sharks


Andrew Bales I am the Sea Captain, I am Lance Armstrong, I am Tonya Harding


2012 Judges:

Fiction: Deb Olin Unferth

Deb Olin Unferth is the author of Minor Robberies (McSweeney’s, 2007), Vacation (McSweeney’s, 2008), and Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War (Henry Holt, 2011). Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, Guernica, Fence, Gigantic, and other magazines, including Noon, to which she is a frequent contributor. She is the recipient of the Cabell First Novelist Award and a Pushcart Prize. She previously taught at the University of Kansas, where Beecher’s is based; she now teaches at Wesleyan University. Praise for Deb Olin Unferth’s Vacation: “Wonderful, addictive prose. Ms. Unferth sure knows how to turn a phrase and it’s a delight to follow her across the American landscape.” —Gary Shteyngart “Part mystery, part sonata. Unferth writes like a musician plays, weaving images and themes and melodies with these beautifully rhythmic, funny, heartbreaking sentences. The whole novel should be read aloud and relished.” —Aimee Bender “Deb Olin Unferth is, I believe, one of the crucial literary artists of her generation. Her fictions give evidence of an artist determined to speak about the remarkable, who manages with exactitude all elements necessary to produce the well-made, eccentric object. Her vision evokes high comedy and the violence of tragedy heard through voices exquisitely particular to her mind.” —Diane Williams .

Poetry: Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is the editor of Publishing Genius and Everyday Genius. He is the author of Adam Robison and Other Poems (Narrow House, 2010) and Say, Poem (Awesome Machine, 2010). You can read about him Publisher’s Weekly and in Poets & Writers. Praise for Adam Robison and Other Poems: [Adam Robinson's] mix of classical and mundane references imbues lines like “There would be a pronounced lack/ Of throwing Nerf balls to paralytics/ In the basement” with more meaning than they have any right to have. – Baltimore City Paper This book is marvelous, genius fun. – CA Conrad Not only my favorite title of the year, but this is also a book I have been waiting to hold in my hands with great anticipation for quite some time – as a friend, yes, but more so in language glee. Adam can truly speak it in a way I have never heard anyone else speak. This is going to be one to drink milk in bed with – Blake Butler, htmlgiant My happiest purchase of the year. And I just bought a really cool new bicycle. – Arthur Q. Bryan


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