Our judges for Beecher’s 7:

Joy Castro, nonfiction


Born in Miami, raised in England and West Virginia, and educated in Texas, Joy Castro is the award-winning author of two literary thrillers set in post-Katrina New Orleans, two memoirs, and a collection of short fiction. Editor of the anthology Family Trouble, she lives and works in Lincoln, Nebraska.

C. S. Giscombe, poetry

csg on xenia ave 2016(Photo by Jane Blakelock)

C. S. Giscombe’s poetry books are Prairie StyleGiscome RoadHere, etc.; his book of linked essays (concerning Canada, race, and family) is Into and Out of Dislocation.  His recognitions include the 2010 Stephen Henderson Award, an American Book Award (for Prairie Style) and the Carl Sandburg Prize (for Giscome Road).  Ohio Railroads (a poem in essay form) was published in 2014 and Border Towns (essays on poetry, color, nature, television, etc.) appeared in September 2016.  He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.  He is a long-distance cyclist.

Carmen Maria Machado, fiction


Carmen Maria Machado’s debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2017. She is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Granta, Guernica, Electric Literature, The Paris Review, AGNI, NPR, Gulf Coast, Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, and elsewhere. Her stories have been reprinted in Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best Horror of the Year, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica.She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, the Speculative Literature Foundation, the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, the University of Iowa, the Yaddo Corporation, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She is the Artist in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and lives in Philadelphia with her partner.

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Past Contest Winners


2016 winner: Claire Meuschke, “Atrocious Horizon”

2015 WINNER: Laura Madeline Wiseman, “Roadside Kiddie Pools”

RUNNER-UP: Rachel Milligan, “In the Interest of Sanctity, the Subject Leaves”

2ND RUNNER-UP: Yosef Rosen, “Pillar”

3RD RUNNER-UP: Madeline Vardell, “In a drawl”


Roy Beckemeyer, “Tree Shadows”

Anne Royston, “Imprimer Imprimer”


2016 winner: Diana Xin, “My Sister and I”


WINNER: Cal Louise Phoenix, “Renovating Shabbat”


Anne Penniston Grunsted, The Art of Not Turning Away

Heather FreseBarrier Island


2016 winner: E. M. Villela, “Here I Am Sending Serpents among You”


WINNER: Evelyn Hampton, “From Documentary Filmmaker Jurgen Grossbinger’s Journal”


Penny Perkins, Car Ride Through Corn Fields (1975)

Christopher Lowe, Uncle Frank

Past Judges

NONFICTION: Lacy M. Johnson, Alyssa Nutting, Eula Biss, Dinty W. Moore

POETRY: CA Conrad, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, Frank X. Walker, Lyn Hejinian

FICTION: Karen Russell, Matt Bell, Manuel Muñoz, Kevin Moffett