Joanna Ruocco Selects Kristen Gleason’s “Monument” to Debut in Volume 6

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Pictured: Kristen Gleason, author of “Monument”

Joanna Ruocco, author of Dan (Dorothy, a publishing project, 2014), has selected Kristen Gleason’s “Monument” to win the Volume 6 Story Prize contest. As the grand champion, Gleason will receive $250, a printed copy of the issue, a lifetime digital subscription to HFR, and her manuscript will be published in HFR Volume 6 in fall 2016.

Gleason was born in California. Her writing has appeared in Fence, Fairy Tale Review, The Gettysburg Review, and elsewhere. She is a 2016 A Public Space Emerging Writer Fellow.

“Monument” joins past winners Jessica Q. Stark (The Liminal Parade, selected by Dorothea Lasky and published in Vol. 5), Leslie Parry (Kiddo, selected by Jac Jemc and published in 4.2), Flower Conroy (Facts about Snakes & Hearts, selected by Kristina Marie Darling and published in 4.1), Colin Winnette (Follow Through, selected by Lucy Corin and published in 3.3), Jim Redmond (Shirts or Skins, selected by Noah Eli Gordon and published in 3.2), and Ryder Collins (The way the sky was now, selected by Amber Sparks and published in 3.1).

About the manuscript, Ruocco said:

“A room in my apartment has windows all around (a box of glass), and the weird shining black-green of magnolia leaves presses up to the glass (a box in black-green). I read ‘Monument’ in that room and traveled from my own black-green world into another. When I finished reading the story, I read it again. I thought, this story guards a dangerous secret but the secret is the story itself.

‘Monument’ repeats its greens, overlaps its blacks, folds its fables in on themselves. I love the play of surfaces, the act of surfacing that makes the story flutter. I love the clarity and the mystery of the language. I imagine the author composing it by hand, in mirror writing. I imagine getting a hold of that handwritten manuscript and reading, in a room of windows, its reflection in the glass. What you imagine after reading ‘Monument’ is part of ‘Monument.’ You become the other half of its troubling heart.”

We are pleased to name a winner and to give this awesome manuscript a home. Unfortunately, page counts for the next issue revealed that there is not enough room to print finalists, but we loved the manuscripts that were sent to the judge, and are certain they will find great homes.

Finalists for the contest were:

Gabriel Blackwell of Portland, Oregon, with “Leson”
Robert Long Foreman of Kansas City, Missouri, with “Peanut Butter”
Sean Gill of Brooklyn, New York, with “The Wayward Lodgers at Stately Wyndham”
Nicole Hughes with “The Anatomy of a Second”
Samuel Smith with “This Is What I Am, This Is What I Will Always Be”
Alethea Magdalena Tusher of South Bend, Indiana, with “The Whale”

Per their achievement, each finalist is guaranteed to receive special mention in the issue as well as other prizes, including a lifetime digital subscription to the journal and a printed copy of the issue.

We are working hard to bring together the volume, which features a lot of exciting writing and art. The next issue should see release this fall, and will include champion Kristen Gleason’s “Monument.” Thank you for reading and submitting to HFR. It means the world.

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