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.

ABOUT THE CONTEST
The Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction accepts previously unpublished works of fiction up to 8,000 words, annually from January- June.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 www.philadelphiastories.org

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.