Philadelphia Stories Selects 2022 Winner of Annual Short Fiction Contest

September 2022, Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Stories, a non-profit literary magazine that publishes Philadelphia-area writers and artists, names emerging writer Robert Sorrell Bynum as this year’s winner of the Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction for his story, “Here is as Good a Place as Any.”

Contest screeners reviewed hundreds of submissions, doing the difficult job of selecting ten stories, which were then reviewed by the 2022 author and Fulbright scholar, Camile Acker. Acker noted that Philadelphia-raised Sorrell-Bynum’s “Here is as Good a Place as Any” deftly re-imagines apocalypse” and that his story “plays with form and language to create a beautifully strange and poignant world.”

This year’s second place goes to Philadelphia author Gina Angelone for her story “Portrait of a Stranger.” Acker writes that this “story is told with heart, ending on a loving note while still acknowledging how complicated love between a parent and child can be.”

The third place winner is Philadelphia author Lincoln Mitchell for his story, “Smiling at Needles.” Of this story, Acker commented that the “dialogue pops and punctures and what seems a minor detail about a syrup brand at the start becomes a pivotal and heart-breaking reckoning by the end.”  

Philadelphia Stories Fiction Editor Trish Rodriguez says “entries were submitted from around the country and the fact that our top three selections have ties to Philadelphia, while a coincidence, also demonstrates the city’s contribution to the literary community. We would like to thank everyone who submitted. Congratulations to our winners and the finalists.”

Winners will be published in the Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 issues.

2022 Finalists

“A Touch of Harlem Gold” by Hunter Liguore

“Underwater” by AJ Nolan, Norfolk, VA

“Out for Delivery” by Robert Isaacs, Ithaca, NY

“Summer Marmalade” by Ariana Tucker, Sicklerville, NY

“Trails End” by Joshua Sastre, Rutherford, NJ

“Tryst” by Holly Woodward, Hoboken, NJ

“A Mother Makes a Death” by Elizabeth Brus, Brooklyn, NY

The winners will be honored at an awards celebration on Friday, October 7, 2022, followed by Philadelphia Stories’ Push to Publish conference, taking place on Saturday, October 8, 2022, at Drexel Univeristy, where judge Camille Acker will keynote.

The Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction accepts previously unpublished works of fiction up to 8,000 words, annually from January- June. The contest honors the late Marguerite McGlinn, Philadelphia Stories essay editor and beloved friend. The Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction is made possible by the generous support of the McGlinn and Hansma families.

About Philadelphia Stories

Philadelphia Stories Magazine is a non-profit that has been serving the writing, reading, and art community of the Greater Delaware Valley since 2003. Read more at

About the 2022 Winners:

Robert Sorrell Bynum is a bi short story writer who grew up in the Midwest but became an adult in Philadelphia. In the city, he was a member of the Kelly Writers House Writers Workshop for 5 years where he first wrote and workshopped his Marguerite McGlinn Prize story “Here is as Good a Place as Any.” His nonfiction, journalism, and book reviews have been published in the South Side WeeklyMosaic: Art and Literary Journal, and Philly lit mag The Cleaver.  Robert pushes the boundaries of realism in his fiction while still being deeply engaged in the dynamics, nuances, and politics of the present. He is currently pursuing an MFA in fiction at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he lives with his partner, Elizabeth. 

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Gina Angelone became a global citizen at age seventeen and has lived, worked, and traveled the world as a film director, producer, and writer. Gina’s TV work is the recipient of two Emmy awards and multiple nominations. Her documentaries have garnered top festival prizes and notable grants from the NEA, Philadelphia Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Graham Foundation, New York Women in Film, Speranza Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts & Letters, among others. Credits include founding Producer of Bravoʼs “Inside the Actors Studio,” Writer/Director of the original series, “Defining Beauty” (Disney), and Writer/Producer/Director of feature documentaries “Connections” (PBS), “René & I,” (NBC), “Itʼs Better to Jump,” (theatrical release).In addition to her filmmaking and screenwriting, Gina is a published author whose cinematic viewpoint informs much of her fiction. After decades living in NYC and LA, Gina has happily returned to her hometown of Philadelphia. 

Lincoln Mitchell moved to Philadelphia in 2019 to begin his career as an attorney at the Public Defender Association of Philadelphia. He is originally from Oklahoma and is the son of a Jamaican immigrant and a Black American. He has a younger sister/best friend, Logan, who recently gave birth to his cherished niece, Zaria. In 2021, he too became a parent to his adored toy poodle, Lacienega Poodlevardes, whom he fondly calls Lala or Miss Mommas. In his spare time he enjoys developing specialty lattes, exploring cultures through their cuisines, and going to the gym to listen to UK rap while texting his homeboys. He strongly believes that prisons should be abolished, everyone deserves grace and forgiveness, and that proof of God’s presence on earth is in mangoes and a bent-over laughing fit.

About the 2022 Judge

Camille Acker is the author of the critically acclaimed short story collection Training School for Negro Girls published by The Feminist Press in 2018. She grew up in Washington, D.C, and holds a B.A. in English from Howard University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New Mexico State University. Her writing has received support from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Voices of Our Nations Arts, and Millay Colony for the Arts, among others. As a creative writing teacher, she has advised and mentored students across the United States including at New Mexico State University, Tin House Writers Workshop, Chicago Writers Studio, and Blue Stoop. She was a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in 2020. Her work has been published in The New York Times Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and Electric Literature, and is forthcoming in the anthology On Girlhood: 15 Stories From the Well-Read Black Girl Library. She lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her partner.

Summer 2022

Spring 2022

2022 LitLife Poetry Conference

WHEN: 10:00am-6:30pm [Eastern]; Saturday, April 23, 2022
WHERE: Online

This poetry conference from Rosemont College and Philadelphia Stories brings together poets and poetry lovers to celebrate and discuss the art. The LitLife Poetry Festival focuses on poetry’s engagement with the world, and this year’s conference panels continue to explore a range of topics. The day will feature masterclasses led by poets Iain Haley Pollock and William Fargason, engaging panels and presentations, readings, and opportunities to connect with other poets and poetry editors.

REGISTRATION FEE: $75 (Regular); $45 (Student, Senior 65 & Over, Rosemont Student/Alum/Faculty)


Click Here To Register



Keynote Speaker & Master Class Instructor:
Iain Haley Pollock

2022 Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry Judge: Cynthia Arrieu-King
Master Class Instructor: William Fargason



LitLife Poetry Conference Panel Schedule

April 23, 2022, 10:00am-4:00pm

10:00am Welcome Address from Philadelphia Stories & Rosemont College MFA

10:15am Keynote: “Struggling to be Human: Toward a Poetics of the Moment” from poet Iain Haley Pollock

11:00am-1:00pm Master Class with Iain Haley Pollock, “This John Henry of a man”: Poetry and the Parental Pedestal

As relations with parents are formative, they often provide the raw material for particularly poignant poems. This generative workshop will focus on the moment when parents fall off the pedestal that we often build for them. To open the workshop we will read and examine the craft of poems by John Murillo, Audre Lorde, and Robert Hayden that take both narrative and lyric approaches to this subject. After discussing specific craft techniques that these poets employ to build their poems, participants will be given time to write poems of their own that explore similar subject matter to the example poems. If time allows and they are comfortable doing so, the workshop will end with participants sharing their drafts.

11:00am-11:55am Panel I: “It’s Personal” – The Art of Political Poetry

Panelists: Dimitri Reyes, Cynthia Manick (she/her/hers), Moncho Alvarado (she/they), Daniel Summerhill

As demonstrated eloquently by youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman at President Biden’s inauguration, poetry offers a potent opportunity for a writer/speaker to express the way politics shape the landscape of their personal lives and to reveal the impact that individuals can have in shaping a brighter political future. Is all poetry political? Does every poem either directly or subversively take a political stance? This event will feature a 45-minute discussion between panelists, followed by an open conversation with attendees on writing effective, personal-political poetry.

12:00pm-12:55pm Panel II: No River Twice: Creating Interactive Poetry Readings

Panelists: Hayden Saunier, Grant Clauser, Chad Frame, Cleveland Wall

Members of the No River Twice reading group will discuss the ideas behind their community-driven poetry events, the challenges to starting a performance series, the power of communal and collective voice to connect us, and give a short demonstration of how a No River Twice Reading works.

1:00-2:00 LUNCH BREAK

2:00pm-4:00pm  Master Class with William Fargason, “Writing to Death: the Elegy as Vehicle and Container of Loss”

The midcentury poet Elizabeth Bishop once famously said, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master.” How does a poet confront loss in their work—both personal and collective? How does the elegy become the mode by which a poet can transform their grief into something larger? What exactly is the art of losing, and how does one master this? This class will explore the history and development of the elegy, focusing most of its attention on contemporary American elegy. This class will be part lecture and part workshop, aiming to encourage writers to address their loss on the page in order to move forward with their grief. CW/TW: death, police brutality, COVID death, suicide, abuse

2:00pm-2:55pm Panel III: Dad Poetry Society

Panelists: Martin Wiley, DuiJi Mshinda, Oskar Castro, Edward Garcia

BIPOC fathers on how parenting changes art, and art changes parenting. Join us for a loose, entertaining conversation on how becoming a father changes the art we make, and how being an artist changes us as fathers. It is a challenging time to be either a BIPOC parent or artist–how do we juggle the two? We will share our work, our tips, our failures, and our joys, as well as take in questions and thoughts from the audience.

3:00pm-3:55pm Panel IV: Creating Place 

Panelists: Jerry Wemple, K.A. Hays, Marjorie Maddox, Grant Clauser

Creating Place: Panelists discuss techniques used to create a sense of landscape, both urban and rural. Panelists will read examples from their own work, and that of others, to illustrate ways poets draw readers into a world, even when that world is based on an imagined or constructed “truth.” Panelists can also consider the symbolism of place and how that can inform the work. Panelists will also discuss how writing about place is a way of writing about time, and whether place poems preserve and inform readers about shifting and disappearing landscapes.

LitLife Crimmins Reception
April 23, 2022, 4:30pm-6:35pm

We’ll celebrate the winners of the Sandy Crimmins National Prize in Poetry with a reception. Poets will be attending virtually from around the country and around the block to participate. Free and open to the public.


Click Here To Register






Winter 2022

Fall 2021

Summer 2021

Spring 2021

Winter 2021

Fall 2020