Jill Talbot Wins the 2021 Leiby Chapbook Award

Jill Talbot

The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner of the 2020-2021 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award: Jill Talbot, for her short story collection, A Distant Town. 

Talbot’s chapbook will be released in Spring 2022. The contest was judged by Coyote Shook, whose chapbook Coyote the Beautiful was last year’s winner and is available for sale.

Shook had this to say about our winner:

“The stories in A Distant Town stayed with me long after I finished reading them. They felt like familiar songs that break your heart by reminding you of the lonely world they exist in, not unlike Crystal Gale or Johnny Cash playing on the radio as one drives over miles of open highway in a western state. I felt like I’d known the author long before I read their work, as though we’d been patrons of the same Christmas-light-decorated roadside bar for years and tipped our glasses to each other even though we weren’t formally introduced. The motif of music and jukeboxes was fitting for this collection, because when the last words evaporated into my mind, I was eager to fish some quarters out of my pocket and hit play again.”

Jill Talbot is the author of The Way We Weren’t: A Memoir and Loaded: Women and Addiction, the co-editor of The Art of Friction: Where (Non)Fictions Come Together, and the editor of Metawritings: Toward a Theory of Nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in journals such as AGNIBrevityColorado ReviewDiagramGulf Coast, Hotel Amerika, The Paris Review Daily, and The Rumpus and has been recognized four times in The Best American Essays. She is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Texas.

The Florida Review congratulates Jill and thanks all the amazing writers who submitted their work. The full list of finalists is below, and the 2021-2022 contest is now open!!


Cole Closser, “Too Many Rooms”

Lena Crown, “Dead Coloring”

Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, “Subnivean”

Eleanor Garran, “Against Appearance”

Amina Gautier, “Breathe”

Mark Keats, “Notes for the Afterlife”

Reyes Ramirez, “Brown Eyes, Silver Screens”

Katherine Seltzer, “Amelia”

Kara Vernor, “More Sex”