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CRAFT Short Fiction Prize

The CRAFT Short Fiction Prize is our signature contest for unpublished short fiction up to 5,000 words, and is open to entries every March and April and awarded each September. Three winners are selected by a guest judge, with $2,800 and publication awarded.

Judges:

2018: Jim Shepard
2019: Elizabeth McCracken
2020: Alexander Chee
2021: Kirstin Valdez Quade

Night Air by Willa Zhang

October 22, 2021

  One night in college, my roommate Anna and I walked home together from the bus stop. We’d gone downtown to watch a movie, which turned out to be pretty good, and then eaten at a taco truck, which turned…

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Ugly by Leesa Fenderson

October 15, 2021

  Ugly, ain’t it? The whole fuck of it. The way the doctor’s fingers patted the rim of skin on Mummy’s concave chest. The twin rims where she, Doctor Small Tits, had cut off Mummy’s two breasts, golden brown to…

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Just the Thing For a Day Like This by Cyn Nooney

October 8, 2021

  Marshall is in his office, and he says to please get the wretched dogs to stop barking. He’s preparing for a call, an important call. It’s hot, above ninety, margarita-with-salt weather but I’m nursing so you know what that…

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Ariel by Jinwoo Chong

September 25, 2020

  At nine years old you pin him to the soil, knees around ribs, center your two fingers together between his eyes and shout bang, bang, you’re dead, you’re fucking dead. He is writhing, trying to escape you; your sounds…

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Yo Te Veo by Rachel Pollon

September 18, 2020

  It’s hard to make out what language they’re speaking. At first glance I think they might be Italian. But as I eavesdrop further, take them in from behind my hopefully opaque-enough sunglasses, I realize I’m mistaken. None of the…

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Mule by Elie Piha

September 11, 2020

  Nobody had ever given me anything before, so I didn’t care that the car was a piece of shit. I didn’t care that it was a two-timer, twice handed down, first from me and Davis’s old squad leader to…

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Winters by Marilyn Hope

September 27, 2019

  “You’re a spring now,” says Hee-Bon, wintering Soo-Na’s complexion with a chilly setting powder. “Pink undertones, freckles—lot of sun in you. And I love your hair. Mom’s going to hate it. Why’d you dye it so bright?” Because her…

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Every Bird a Rival by Jacqui Reiko Teruya

September 20, 2019

  The heron stands on wet sand and picks at a still-live crab. It drags it through the surf, shakes it under water. It tosses the shell into the air and catches it in the middle of its waxy jaws.…

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Assassin, Alchemist by Robert Ren

September 13, 2019

  For weeks now, the police have been looking for a man. Thin build, five-foot-six, black hair. Sketches make him look like a scrawny, scruffy, Asian Robert Downey Jr., though even in black and white, graphite on smooth grain paper,…

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Beyond Love by James Winter

September 21, 2018

I A week ago, in downtown Amman, Jordan, suicide bombers entered the public park near the American embassy. The blasts shattered windows along the ground floors of the looming, gated government buildings on Umawyeen Street, which dead-ended at Qaherah to…

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