We’re pleased to announce the winner of our 2015 Zora Neale Hurston Fiction Writing Prize: Mason Broyles, for his story “Proud Mary.”
Here’s what judge Kate Wyer had to say about the selected work:
“Through rollicking prose, ‘Proud Mary’ immediately brings you into the head space of a tin-foil plant worker who lusts after a peanut tractor, because in Pender County, a peanut tractor means upward mobility. I don’t know if there is a Pender County, but I fully believe in the landscape Boyles has crafted. The narrator brings his unique point of view (Ireland and Scotland are turned into ‘peacoat wastelands’, the clouds are ‘pig-bellied’) to a story about the places we are born, the lives we feel forced to live, and the desire to be and do more. It is narrated by a funny, exhilarating, and expertly hatched voice.”
Other finalists were Emily Kiernan’s “Joan of Knoxville, 1945″ and Zack Graham’s “The Virtue of Kindness.”
Thank you again to all finalists, and to all who helped with making this contest possible, especially Kate Wyer, Rafe Posey, and Sara Henke. We look forward to publishing these works in the coming weeks.