Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction 2017 Press Release

Philadelphia Stories Selects 2017 Winner of Annual Short Fiction Contest

Sharon_WhiteSeptember 2017, Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Stories, a non-profit literary magazine serving the Delaware Valley and beyond, once again honors a local author in the annual Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction. Philadelphia native Sharon White has won first place for her story, Minato Sketches.

Editorial board members sifted through hundreds of submissions narrowing stories down to just ten finalists, which were then reviewed by the 2017 judge, renowned author, Karen Joy Fowler. Having judged several other fiction contests, Fowler expressed her difficulty at narrowing down this particular group. “Each story was quite incredible, nothing was easily eliminated,” she said. “Each story was a pleasure and a joy to read.”

In the end, Fowler chose Minato Sketches, which she called an “origami narrative.” She wrote, “…one story unfolds into another — historical, personal, generational – as a woman, recovering from a stroke, creates herself again. Vivid, fluid, deft, and affecting and not a word out of place.”

This year’s second place prize goes to Buffalo (NY) author and professor Christina Milletti for her story, The Tanner Scale is Always Wrong. Fowler said of her piece, “A story with attitude to spare. Focused on the power of girls who are just becoming women, The Tanner Scale is Always Wrong, has a wonderful wit, great movement, and accomplished characterization. Plus dragons!”

Third place goes to Atlanta (GA) author Derrick Calkins for his story, What the Tourists Left Behind. “A beautiful demonstration of the way a tight focus can evoke a large and complicated world,” Fowler said. “As climate change advances and science plays defense, this is a timely story, intelligently and imaginatively told.” This is Calkins’ first publication.

2017 Finalists:

“Nature Programs”  by Richard Bartel – Albuquerque, NM

“Scarecrows” by Tom Howard – Arlington, VA

“In the Great Wide” by Karin Cecile Davidson – Columbus, OH

“Primpara” by Kate Bradley – Gansevoort, NY

“Jumpy Jewish Female Seeks…” by Doris Ferleger – Wyncote, PA

“Doheny & Burton Way” by Stacy Brewster – Portland, OR

Sharon White will be honored at an awards dinner to be held at Rosemont College on Friday, October 13th, 2017, followed by Philadelphia Stories’ annual Push to Publish conference on Saturday, October 14th, where judge Karen Joy Fowler will keynote. The annual conference will be held for on the campus of Rosemont College, which offers an MFA in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Publishing, and has actively supported the writing community through events like Push to Publish.


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.


Philadelphia Stories Magazine is a non-profit that has been serving the writing, reading, and art community of the Greater Delaware Valley since 2004. Read more at