Philadelphia Stories Chooses 2019 Winner of Short Fiction Contest

Roger_Hart_2019 MCGLINN WINNERSeptember 2019, Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Stories, a non-profit literary magazine serving the Delaware Valley and beyond, has named Iowa author Roger Hart as this year’s winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction for his story, “Mysteries of the Universe.”

Board members read through hundreds of submissions to narrow the list to ten finalists, which were then reviewed by the 2019 judge, award-winning author and Associate Professor of English, Susan Muaddi Darraj. Darraj described “Mysteries of the Universe” as “an utterly compelling story of the faltering relationship between two people who seem incompatible on the surface. The language is moving in its specificity.” She went on to say, “The dialogue is riveting, and the comparisons between logic and gut instinct are often startling.”

This year’s second place goes to Huntsville, AL author Patricia Sammon for her story, “Clay.” About this story Darraj says, “[‘Clay’ is] a psychologically intense and suspenseful story. It captures the imagination completely as it promptly drops the reader into the horrors of World War I.”

Third place goes to Knoxville, TN author Joe Dornich for “Camp Vampire Kids.” Darraj writes, “A brilliantly imagined story about a camp of children who suffer from a rare sun allergy. The angst of teenage love, magnified by an unusual affliction, is portrayed powerfully here. ”

2019 Finalists:

“Sargasso Sea” by Carol Dines – Minneapolis, MN
“Alice Bickerstaff vs. Helen Keller” by Sarah Ulicny – Ferndale, MI
“The Fair” by Will Hearn – Gulf Shores, AL
“King Solomon’s Sword” by Alice Hatcher – Tucson, AZ
“Soiling the Tree of Knowledge” by Aaron Tillman – West Roxbury, MA
“Litter Entries” by Dog Cavanaugh – Philadelphia, PA
“Incidentaloma” by Jared Hanson – New York, NY

Roger Hart will be honored at an awards dinner to be held at Rosemont College on Friday, October 11, 2019 followed by Philadelphia Stories’ Push to Publish conference on Saturday, October 12th where judge Susan Muaddi Darraj will keynote. The annual conference is held on campus at Rosemont, which offers an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in Publishing, and has actively supported the writing community through such literary events.