Exploring the art of prose


CRAFT Short Fiction Prize 2020


2020 CRAFT Short Fiction Prize

Guest Judge: Alexander Chee


Thank you to all the writers who sent stories to the contest! We are delighted to publish the winning pieces in September 2020. Congratulations to the winners, finalists, longlisters, and honorable mentions!

We’ve decided to start naming our longlist alongside our honorable mentions, finalists, and winners. In the past, our honorable mention selections for our contests have included pieces from the longlist and from the second round that did not make the longlist. This year, with our full longlist named, we’ve chosen each of these honorable mention selections from among second-round pieces that did not make the longlist.


First Place—Jinwoo Chong: “Ariel
Second Place—Rachel Pollon: “Yo Te Veo
Third Place—Elie Piha: “Mule


Jane Baskin: “Caprice”
Andrea Eberly: “The Portrait of Venus”
Temim Fruchter: “Viduy”
Puloma Ghosh: “Natalya”
Alejandro Heredia: “_____”
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson: “Buying a House Ahead of the Apocalypse”
Michelle Go-un Lee: “jump!
K.C. Mead-Brewer: “The Angel Finger
Deborah Schupack: “Bird’s Eye View” (withdrawn)
Flávia Stefani: “The Division of Bad News”
Meg Todd: “My Father’s Wife”
Tian Yi: “Body Language

The Rest of the Longlist

Bridget Apfeld: “Take This”
Leslie Blanco: “My Wish for You in the Land of the Dead: A Cuban Sandwich”
Madeleine D’Arcy: “To Be a Dearborne”
Laura Herbst: “Child of the Mouth”
Alejandro Heredia: “then, beauty”
Tobey Hiller: “Blue, Wide, and Very Cold”
Pete Hsu: “Game Five”
Lucy Jones: “The Outing”
Jill Koenigsdorf: “Tell the Bees”
Virginia Marshall: “My Dearest”
Hadley Moore: “JFK, Malcolm X, MLK, Bobby”
Mamie Pound: “Butterscotch Yellow”
David Saltzman: “The Loneliest Whale”
Caroline M. Schmidt: “Particular Luck”
Wendla A. Schwartz: “Spaces”
S. Kennedy Sobol: “The Haircut”
Elizabeth Tran: “Twin”

Honorable Mention

Chelsy Diaz Amaya: “The Bird Rattle”
Robert Beasley: “The Missionary”
Eileen Chong: “The Rice Chest”
Sonali Fernando: “The Rose Garden”
David Gerow: “Comedy Minus Distance”
Stephanie Hamilton: “That Orchard Scene”
Marc Joan: “Swiss Watch”
LE Keyes: “Letters to Senegal”
Melissa Uyên-Thi Le: “Fuck You Texas”
Jessi Lewis: “Whatever Was Left”
Francisco McCurry: “Ecology”
Daven McQueen: “Tahanan”
Ry Molloy: “One Day, It Will All Make Sense”
EJ Pettinger: “Fairy Godmother”
Jesse Rasmussen: “Lone Star Park”
Nina Siegal: “Gallantry in a Cardboard Box”
Grace Yun: “The John from Jongmyo Park”
Mario Alberto Zambrano: “Los Gallos”
Annina Zheng-Hardy: “The Choice”

We’ll be back next spring for the 2021 CRAFT Short Fiction Prize!

photo by M. Sharkey

Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of the novels EdinburghThe Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How to Write an Autobiographical NovelHis essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, T Magazine, Harpers, Vulture, and Best American Essays 2016 and 2019, among others. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose, the AAWW Lit Award, the Publishing Triangle’s Randy Shilts Nonfiction Award, and a Lambda Literary Trustees Award. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, an editor at large at VQR, and teaches as an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College.