"Church Retreat, 1975" by Emily Pease of Williamsburg, Va., won the 2014 Bevel Summers Prize for the Short Short Story, sponsored by "Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review."
The honorarium for the prize is $1000 and publication in "Shenandoah." Pease teaches at The College of William and Mary and has previously won the Editor's Prize from "The Missouri Review."
The final judge was Nick Ripatrazone, author of "This Darksome Burn," (Queen's Ferry Press). His citation for the winning entry reads as follows:
"A haunting, finely-crafted scene that reverberates into the pasts and futures of all characters involved. Pease masters this short form with phrases and images that make the reader conclude these lives are worthy of a much longer narrative, and yet somehow this single sequence on the beach, where 'no one missed' these two girls, wounds through its brevity."
Ripatrazone says of the story named runner-up, "Torque and Slippage," by Danilo Thomas of Tallahassee, Fla., "The narrator assures that 'we weren't killers,' but the sentence-to-sentence punch of this suggests otherwise. It is a troubling lyric representation of a descent into violence and the questions that remain afterward."
"The Last Landmine" by Nancy Taylor of San Francisco, Calif., and "The Slades" by Melanie Faith of Mercersburg, Pa., received honorable mention and will, with Thomas's piece, be published in the fall issue of "Shenandoah," due to appear in October.
Over 1,000 entries were submitted to this year's Bevel Summers contest, and the 2015 contest will take place in the spring. Interested parties should watch the Prizes link on "Shenandoah's" website (shenandoahliterary.org) in 2015 for further information.