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 Winner of the Editor’s Prize for Poetry

Congratulations to Caleb A.P. Parker, our 2023 winner for the Editor’s Prize in Poetry! His poem, “Palinode,” will be available to read in our Spring 2024 issue.

Caleb A.P. Parker, a writer and musician from the industrialized Gulf Coast of Texas, was raised by two Episcopal priests. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and currently lives in New York City.


Announcing the Winner of the Editor’s Prize for Creative Nonfiction

Congratulations to Faith Shearin, our 2023 winner for the Editor’s Prize in Creative Nonfiction! Her essay, “Going Home,” will be available to read in our Spring 2024 issue.

Faith Shearin’s seven books of poetry include: The Owl Question (May Swenson Award), Telling the Bees (SFA University Press), Orpheus, Turning (Dogfish Poetry Prize), Darwin’s Daughter (SFA University Press), and Lost Language (Press 53). Her poems have been read aloud on The Writer’s Almanac and included in American Life in Poetry. She has received awards from Yaddo, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her essays and short stories have won awards from New Ohio Review, The Missouri Review, and Literal Latte, among others. Two YA novels — Lost River, 1918 and My Sister Lives in the Sea — won The Global Fiction Prize, judged by Anthony McGowan, and have been published by Leapfrog Press.


Announcing the Winner of the Editor’s Prize for Fiction

Congratulations to Hannah Thurman, our 2023 winner for the Editor’s Prize in Fiction! Her story, “Beautiful F-ing Problems,” will be available to read in The Florida Review‘s Spring 2024 edition.

Hannah is a Brooklyn-based writer originally from Raleigh, NC whose short stories have been published or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Brooklyn Rail, The Southern Indiana Review, Meridian, and others. She received a Pushcart Prize nomination for her short story “A Snowball’s Chance” in 2016 and since then has been chosen for conferences/residencies at Bread Loaf, Vermont Studio Center, VCCA, and Yaddo. She lives at: https://www.hannahpenrosethurman.com/


Announcing the Winner of the 2023 Editor’s Prize for Poetry


We are delighted to announce our 2023 Editor’s Prize for Poetry Winner and Finalists! Congrats to: Caleb Parker, Bertha Crombet, Michael Weinstein, and Maggie Yang. All winners receive $1,000 and publication in The Florida Review 48.1, Spring, 2024.Our 2024 contest opens in January. Thank you for supporting The Florida Review!


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!


Call and Response

It is a hinge.

It is a flash splintering

the sky,

then a rumble.

Under ripe light,

it is pollen

furring the bees.

It is a wood thrush’s

song rising

from the backyard’s

green pulpit.

Over and over

one calls, insistent.

Then another

parses, flute-like

as the head

bobs. Tail flicks.

It is the link

embedded in us.

Think of

the old gospels

which require

a beating heart,

church hands

to answer.

No matter what

form it takes

it seems impossible

to disentangle.

And still the God-weld

split, despite my bows

and prayers

to save my son.

You were silent.



This poem originally appeared in our 46.2 issue, and was a runner-up for The Florida Review‘s 2022 Humboldt Poetry Prize.

Prize judge David Keplinger’s citation: “In this delicately achieved lyric, like the prayer it references, rife with “pollen/furring the bees,” and the “backyard’s/green pulpit,” the natural world is imbued with sacred qualities, though the speaker’s calls to save the unnamed son are not answered. Nevertheless, the poem honors the tangled music of this realm, offering the song of the wood-thrush, “flute-like,” as embodiment of this grief.”