Barthelme Prize for Short Prose

Congratulations to the winner and honorable mentions for the 2021 Barthelme Prize, judged by Molly McCully Brown!

2021 Winner:
"Once Again I Fall Into My Family Grave" by Sophia Stid

Honorable Mentions:
"Daily Sustenance" by Ae Hee Lee
"Chapter from Handbook for the Newly Disabled..." by Allison Blevins

Molly McCully Brown, on the winner: 
“Once Again I Fall Into My Family Grave” is a lyric taxonomy of hidden inheritances, an act of exacting attention to the ways grief, violence, faith and desire are borne out in a bloodline, a family, a body. In it, the sacred and the worldly pulse, side by side in the "marbleized muscle of [the] heart," a life and death's hard increments worthy of as much devotion as any saint on any altar, even and especially when we yearn to look away. Beautiful, unblinking, and restrained, this piece knows that all we carry, love, suffer and watch is consecrated in our sight.

Sophia Stid is a writer from California. She is the Ecotone Postgraduate Fellow at UNC Wilmington, where she teaches creative writing and serves as an associate editor for Ecotone. She received her MFA in poetry from Vanderbilt University. Her micro-chapbook, Whistler’s Mother: An Essay, is out now in the INCH series from Bull City Press. 


Thanks to everyone who submitted to the 2021 Barthelme Prize! The winner will appear in the print edition of Gulf Coast 34.2, available Spring 2022.