After much reading and deliberation, the editors of Dappled Things are proud to announce our selections for the third annual J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction. We sifted through hundreds of stories, looking for fiction with “one foot in this world and one in the next,” which is the way J.F. Powers himself described the Midwestern priests he wrote about. The contest’s description puts it thus:
Having one foot in another world can be awkward, and Powers’ characters are known not for their graceful mysticism, but for the humiliating and mordantly entertaining stumbles they make while trying to live their faith. We’re looking for carefully crafted short stories with vivid characters who encounter grace in everyday settings—we want to see who, in the age we live in, might have one foot in this world and one in the next.
The stories in our list of winners certainly fit the bill, beginning with And Upon Awakening by Linda McCoullough Moore (first place), and Imagining Veronica by Susan Meyers (runner up), both of which poignantly tackle questions and experiences central to what it means to be human: from the internal struggle between faith and unbelief in the face of suffering and death, to the search for beauty and meaning in the face of our often ambiguous existence. We are looking forward to sharing them with you in the upcoming issues of the magazine, beginning with the winner and runner up in the Easter edition.
The 2016 J.F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction – Winners
First Place: And Upon Awakening, Linda McCullough Moore
Runner-up: Imagining Veronica, Susan Meyers
Mando’s Crossing, Mike Bonifas
Coming to Terms, Catherine Grow
Phantom Limb, Chris Hazell
The Reliquary of Charles Spears, Fred McGavran