William Carlos Williams Summer 2017 Poetry Contest


Cassandra Rockwood-Rice’s insightful poem “THE SUN GASHES” wins RSR’s William Carlos Williams Summer 2017 Poetry Prize to appear in our fall issue (2017).

Entry judged by RSR Editors

Prize: $60


Cassandra Rockwood-Rice is a single mother, birth doula, activist, artist, and writer. Her poems have been published in The New Delta Review, Savannah Art and Literature Magazine (SALit), Understory, Cirque, Oakland Review, Arkana Mag, and Rip Rap. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from California Institute of Integral Studies and is an MFA Writing candidate at California College of the Arts. Cassandra self-publishes a small Art and Literary Zine called “Rag,” she is interested in borders, identity, diasporas, and confession. She lives in with her daughter and two cats on a street with a Berkeley postal code and Oakland man-holes.

  • Roy Bentley’s poem “He Spent a Year Hallucinating Peace” received Honorable Mention in RSR’s William Carlos Williams Summer 2017 Poetry Contest to appear in our fall issue (2017).

Loren Eiseley Creative Nonfiction Contest Prize

Chila Woychik’s lyric essay “Guesswork” wins RSR’s Loren Eiseley Creative Nonfiction Contest to appear in our spring issue (2017).

Entry judged by RSR Editors

Prize: $100


RSR Flash Fiction Contest Prize

Michael Twist’s Flash Fiction “Forest for the Trees” wins RSR’s first flash fiction contest to appear in our spring issue (2017)

Entry judged by RSR Editors

Prize: $75



Bio: Michael Twist’s work can be found in Cafe Aphra, Tethered by Letters, Pooled Ink 2015, F(r)iction, and Story Shack. Michael has won several fiction contests, including the 2011 William Faulkner Riverfest Literary Competition and the 2011 Quid Novi Festival Writing Contest as well as the Tethered by Letters 2015 Fall Flash Fiction Contest. Additionally, Hourglass Literary Journal awarded Michael its 2016 Special Jury award. Michael teaches literature in Portland and lives in Sandy, Oregon with his wife and two daughters.


The Denise Levertov Memorial Poetry Prize

Poem “Pacific” published in our spring issue (2016)

Entries judged by RSR Editors

Prize: $250



Elizabeth Savage is the author of Idylliad (2015) and Grammar (2012), both from Furniture Press Books. Dancing Girl Press will publishParallax,  a new chapbook, this spring. Her articles and reviews appear in Contemporary Women’s Writing, Journal of Modern Literature, Jacket2, and FIELD, among others. Since 2008, she has served as poetry editor for Kestrel: A Journal of Literature & Art.

Poet’s Statement:  “Having recently written a chapter for The Cambridge History of 20th Century Women’s Poetry volume on token women in 20th century poetry movements, I’ve had Levertov (and Guest) on my mind and rejoice in this opportunity to support her poetic legacy. Like me, I think, Levertov wrote between lyric categories. Studying women poets neglected in histories of the avant garde has reoriented my own poetry in ways that have led me to more courageous experiments.”


The 2015 Albert Camus Prize for Short Fiction

Stories published in our spring issue (2015)

Guest Editor: Khanh Ha

I felt honored to judge the first Albert Camus Fiction Prize contest. There were many surprises and pleasant moments from a number of stories written by a host of writers, both emerging as well as established.

I read all the submissions with no reference to the authors’ background, and I re-read those that impressed me in the first read. All of the shortlisted stories were read at least three times before the final list was drawn. The final six went through another careful read that culminated in the order that we list here, a proud list of accomplished writers for the first Albert Camus Prize.

Both first-place and second-place stories peak with characterization. In Dance Lessons and Guest Interview you hear the irresistible voice of the authors through the characters who exhibit such a human touch that is heartfelt. Jan Ramming and Arthur Plotnik write with great sensitivity and vulnerability, which makes their stories hard to put down.

With a gut-wrenching effect on a human life wasted from self-destructing, the third-place story stays with you long after you have read it. Mark Connelly’s Doing the Drill transports the reader into a dark place full of pity and sadness.

The three stories that garner Honorable Mention are equally impressive with their story line whose poignance is caused by human alienation, futility, and the desire to belong. Kathryn Watterson’s What Was I Saying? fascinates the reader with its narrative, both creative and penetrating about a human condition gripping and beautifully rendered; Carol Voit’s Rain Dogs is lean in prose, terse in narrative as it rachets up the tension and becomes charged with dark secrets of alienated souls even when they are together; Kerry Barner’s The Shoe Shine Boys  is vivid and atmospheric, offering a glimpse into a fragile world of kinship among the shoeshiners, boys bound by friendship and dreams.



  • 1stPlace: Dance Lessons by Jan Ramming
  • \jg rsrJan Ramming was a freelance journalist until she decided to write her own stories. Her work has appeared in Bohemia Journal, Foliate Oak Literary, Gravel Magazine, and Pithead Chapel. She lives in Geneva, Illinois.

 2ndPlace: Guest Interview by Arthur Plotnik

Arthur Plotnik is the author of eight books, among them Spunk & Bite: A Writer’s Guide to Bold, Contemporary Style and the Book-of-the-Month-Club selections Elements of Editing and Elements of Expression. Among his many publications are award-winning essays, biography, short fiction, poetry, and columns, including a long-running column for The Writer magazine. He studied under Philip Roth at the Iowa (Graduate) Writers Workshop and worked as a reporter, government editor, and, for the American Library Association and others, as magazine and book editor. His latest new title is Better Than Great: A Plenitudinous Compendium of Wallopingly Fresh Superlatives. He lives in Chicago with his wife, the artist Mary H. Phelan.

3rdPlace: Doing the Drill by Mark Connelly

Mark Connelly was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Jersey. He received a BA in English from Carroll College in Wisconsin and an MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His books include The Diminished Self: Orwell and the Loss of Freedom, Orwell and Gissing, Deadly Closets: The Fiction of Charles Jackson, and The IRA on Film and Television. His fiction has appeared in The Ledge, Indiana Review, Cream City Review, Milwaukee Magazine, Digital Papercut, and The Great American Literary Magazine. His novella Fifteen Minutes received the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in 2005. In 2014 he received an Editor’s Choice Award in Carve’s Raymond Carver Short Story Contest.

Honorable Mention:

  • What Was I Saying? by Kathryn Watterson
  • Rain Dogs by Carol Voit
  • The Shoe Shine Boys by Kerry Barner

All six stories are riveting, because they touch the heart. I am happy to say they are worthy to be here, a fiction reader’s dream come true. Read the stories in Volume 3 Issue 1.

About the Guest Editor

 Khanh Ha is the author of Flesh (2012, Black Heron Press) and The Demon Who Peddled Longing (2014,  Underground Voices). He is a five-time Pushcart nominee, a Best Indie Lit New England nominee, and the recipient of Greensboro Review’s 2014 Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction. His work,The Demon Who Peddled Longing, was honored by Shelf Unbound as a Notable Indie Book.





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