2023-2024 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award Finalists

We are so excited to announce the finalists for our 2023-2024 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award!

Mary Kate Coleman, “Wednesday Trash Day”

Will Musgrove, “After Last Call”

Kate Osana Simonian, “The Screw”

Each year, The Florida Review honors former editor Jeanne Leiby with the publication of a prose or graphic narrative chapbook. To purchase one of our previous winners’ chapbooks, please see our Store, and for more information about Jeanne Leiby, the award in her honor, and previous chapbook winners and finalists, please see our Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Series page.


Announcing the winner of the 2022-2023 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award

Congratulations to CB Anderson, our 2022-2023 winner of the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award! Her winning chapbook, “Blue Lion Days,” will be published in April 2024.

Melanie Bishop, a judge of the contest, had this to say about the contest and Anderson’s work:

The seven finalists sent to me by series editor David James Poissant had so much range, I wanted to assign a host of awards: Most Moving, Most Brilliant, Most Rich, Most Inventive, Most Original, Most Surprising. Congratulations to all of the finalists; you are all worthy.

CB Anderson’s Blue Lion Days emerged as the clear winner. From the start, lines like “I was fifteen and getting in trouble for no real reason apart from puberty,” had me trusting Anderson to give it to me straight. But this was more than trust, or feeling I was in such capable hands; this cycle is impeccably well-crafted and unified, with a thumping heart at its center.

These linked stories build on one another, each deepening the portrait of this economically depressed mill town on a river in Maine. As we experience the town—its residents, the paper mill, the river—from the perspectives of several different characters, we are privy to the undercurrents driving each of them, forces seemingly as preordained and irreversible as the current of the river itself. And while some of these lives look bleak—their histories, struggles, disappointments, and defeats—what returns to the surface, again and again, is the notion of resurrection.

Sometimes, even the smell of bread baking lets you know you will survive.

CB Anderson’s work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Narrative, North American Review, Crazyhorse, and elsewhere. Her book Home Now was a 2019 LitHub Fall Preview pick, and a collection River Talk was a Kirkus Best Books of 2014. Awards include the 2022 Winning Writers Tom Howard prize and 2nd place in the Zoetrope: All-Story contest. She lives in Maine with her family.


Announcing the 2023-24 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award

Have a chapbook you’d like to see published? Submissions for our 2023-24 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award are now open through January 7, 2024!

Any combination of long or short stories, essays, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, or hybrid work–as well as graphic narrative–will be considered.

For more information, see our submission guidelines and submit here!


Announcing the Winner of the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award

We are thrilled to announce the Winner and Finalists of the 2022-2023 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award! This award celebrates the life and work of Jeanne Leiby (1967-2007) who served as Editor of The Florida Review from 2004 to 2007. The winning entry will be published as a standalone chapbook in April, 2024. To learn more about Jeanne’s legacy, visit our pages here and here. Thank you to all who submitted pieces for consideration.


Michael Chin Wins Leiby Chapbook Contest

The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017-2018 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award: Michael Chin, for his collection of flash fiction Autopsy and Everything After, which will be published early in 2019. As noted by final contest judge Juan Martinez:

There is so much pathos and beauty and good humor in these pieces. I loved spending time with these people, how they surprised me, how much I learned about the itinerant wrestling world and how that world contains all of ours—our dead fathers, our lost exes, our fears and hopes.

Michael Chin is an alumnus of the Oregon State University MFA program. He has previously published two hybrid chapbooks, Distance Traveled with Bent Window Books and The Leo Burke Finish with Gimmick Press, and is a contributing editor for Moss.

In addition, we would like to recognize two finalists whose work we hope to excerpt in The Florida Review next spring: Ahsa Dore for Disfigure Studies and Ethel Smith for We Ready.

As Martinez noted about these two submissions:

Disfigure Studies is a powerful and intricately constructed creative nonfiction piece that conjures resonances between art, violation, trauma, disability, and beauty. And The X-Men. The work never fails to surprise, even as it builds to an insightful meditation on gender.

The main threads in We Ready are the necessary ones of race in Alabama and the ways in which family and community can uplift us. But this collection of flash nonfiction pieces also skillfully explores the many valences of education: how it is needed, how it can be rewarding, and how its trajectory shifts. In addition, it’s a joy to spend time with some truly memorable people in these pages—Miss Pearl, the Prell sisters, and the undergrads popping up in the writer’s office.

We thank all of the many wonderful writers who submitted work last year and who made our decisions so difficult. This year’s contest is now open, and we hope to hear from many of you and many more writers again in support of the publication of prose and graphic narrative work of a certain length that doesn’t fit either bite-size or big-book size.