Exploring the art of prose


CRAFT Creative Nonfiction Award 2020

2020 CRAFT Creative Nonfiction Award

Judged by Joy Castro


Thank you to all writers who sent creative nonfiction to our inaugural CNF award! We are delighted to publish the winning pieces and editors’ choice selections in June, 2021. Congratulations to the winners, finalists, longlisters, and honorable mentions!


Tammy Delatorre: “The Ties That Bind
Clare Fielder: “What You Don’t Know
Liz Harmer: “Catalogue for a Coming of Age

Editors’ Choice Selections

Sara Davis: “The Untimely Collaborators
Marilyn Hope: “Face, Velvet, Church, Daisy, Red


Andrea Avery: “Father/Figure
Christina Campbell: “Indiana Jones and the Invisible Bruise”
Nathan Dixon: “There Was a Boy: Vermiform”
Sara Hills: “Heirloom Varieties”
Erika Howsare: “The First Thing a Plant Does Is Branch in Two”
Emad Jabini: “Max”
Meg LeDuc: “Blackbird Dreams
Keerthi Malladi: “After It’s All Over for Everyone Else”
Erin Pesut: “Groceries, for Her”
Laura Price Steele: “The Unknowing”

The Rest of the Longlist

Rachel Attias: “On Rachel Attias”
Exodus Oktavia Brownlow: “To my Gynecologist, and the Ghost Gloves Gone to the Garbage, and the Too Green Girls”
Jae Carey: “Am I to Blame”
Mark Cole: “Why Don’t You Tell It, Part One”
Kenny Fries: “Stumbling over History
Erin Granat: “Not a Ghost Town, But for Me It’s Haunted
Lesley Heiser: “Black Magic Marker”
Diana Helmuth: “If I Don’t Know How to Mourn You, Can I Make it Up?”
Allison Hong Merrill: “Salute 敬禮”
Brady Huggett: “The Portal”
Minna Jain: “It’s Loud Here”
Dakotah Jennifer: “Black, Loved”
Christina Lee: “Lo’i Kalo”
Meredith Maran: “Older”
Megan Moodie: “From a Crip to Her (Imaginary) Lover”
Angela Morales: “Summer of the Night Stalker”
Mariah Burton Nelson: “Escapologists”
Cynthia Adam Prochaska: “Buk”
Jill Talbot: “My Mother’s Dresses”
Brittany White: “Midnight in Trabzon”

Honorable Mentions

Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo: “How a Flower Sees Itself”
Evan Bode: “Remembrance in Pink”
KJ Cerankowski: “Of Wolves and Testosterone”
Chan Li Shan: “A Man and His Art”
Dion Costales: “Ecological Zones”
Kathleen Flann: “Middle Distance”
Kate Hammer: “I Wonder How Many People I’ve Kissed Just So They’d Go Away”
Rebecca James: “Out of the Woods”
Shir Kehila: “Out of the Blue”
Barbara Lock: “Insect Music”
Robin Lee Lovelace: “A Wild Region”
Alan McCormick: “Ghosts of Saint Francis”
Shareen K. Murayama: “Fig and Yield”
Sue Parman: “Shakespeare’s Pipe”
Thomas Pyun: “Becoming Patti”
Eliana Ramage: “Rum Tequila Vodka Whiskey”
Bridgette Shade: “One Night Stand”
Sivan Slapak: “Mid to High 40s, Montreal Summer 2020”
Julieta Vitullo: “The Pleated Skirt”

We’ll be back in the fall for the 2021 CRAFT Creative Nonfiction Award!


Photo credit: Shae Sackman

Born in Miami, raised in England and West Virginia, and educated in Texas, Joy Castro is the award-winning author of the memoir The Truth Book, two literary thrillers set in post-Katrina New Orleans: Hell or High Water and Nearer Home, the essay collection Island of Bones, and the short fiction collection How Winter Began. Her work has appeared in venues including Ploughshares, Senses of Cinema, Brevity, Fourth Genre, North American Review, SalonAfro-Hispanic ReviewGulf Coast, and the New York Times Magazine. Winner of the Nebraska Book Award and an International Latino Book Award, finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award, an alternate for the Berlin Prize, editor of the anthology Family Trouble, and a former Writer in Residence at Vanderbilt University, she’s the Willa Cather Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches creative writing, literature, and Latinx studies.


Graywolf Press is a nonprofit literary publisher of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and work in translation.

Their mission:

Graywolf Press is a leading independent publisher committed to the discovery and energetic publication of twenty-first century American and international literature. We champion outstanding writers at all stages of their careers to ensure that adventurous readers can find underrepresented and diverse voices in a crowded marketplace.

We believe works of literature nourish the reader’s spirit and enrich the broader culture, and that they must be supported by attentive editing, compelling design, and creative promotion.