PNM logo Silver.jpg

Winners of the 2018 Prime Number Magazine Awards for Poetry and Short Fiction

Diana Pinckney.jpg
Deac Etherington PNM.jpg


Diana Pinckney of Charlotte, North Carolina, was named winner of the 2018 Prime Number Magazine Award for Poetry for “Guernica Triptych.”

Diana’s poem was selected in a blind read by Terri Kirby Erickson, who said of Diana’s poem: “This poem has depth and feeling, even in the purely descriptive passages. And the ending is impactful and memorable.”

Diana Pinckney’s work has appeared in Green Mountains Review, Still Point Arts Quarterly, Arroyo, RHINO, Cave Wall, The Pedestal Magazine, Nine Mile Magazine, North Carolina Literary Review and many journals and anthologies. She has led workshops for the North Carolina Poetry Society, the Charlotte Writer’s Club, the South Carolina Writer’s Network and Charlotte Literary Center for the Arts. Author of five collections of poetry, including Green Daughters (2011) and The Beast and The Innocent (2015), Pinckney is the winner of The 2010 EKPHRASIS Magazine Prize and Atlanta Review’s 2012 International Poetry Prize, among other awards.

“Guernica Triptych” will be published on October 1 in Issue 139, at which time Diana will receive her First Prize award of $1,000.

Our other finalists are, in no particular order:

“A Wildlife Refuge” by Dorothy Rice of Richmond, VA

“Crows, Ravens, and Crones” by Sharon Ankrum of San Antonio, TX

“Tiger Exhibit” by Jessica Towns of Seattle, WA

“Every Year I Write the Same Poem” by Robert Brown of Decatur, GA

“Hail Mary” by Allen Sweat of West Palm Beach, FL

“Neither Have I Wings to Fly” by Susan Jo Russell of Somerville, MA

“Bedtime Snacks” by Edward McManis of Larkspur, CA

“Wahee Neck” by Janet Joyner of Winston-Salem, NC

“A Seventy-Year-Old Father Hikes through the East Texas Piney Woods” by D. G. Geis of Lakehills, TX

Short Fiction

Deac Etherington of Tumacacori, Arizona, was named winner of the 2018 Prime Number Magazine Award for Short Fiction for “Bridges.”

Deac’s story was selected in a blind read by Clint McCown, who said of “Bridges”: “The voice in this story is clear and consistent, as well as engaging. There is excellent tension throughout, and the author provided a fine mix of present-action and back-story. The dialogue is fresh, and the details of the world of the characters are offbeat and evocative. This portrait of a rebellious teen and his carping girlfriend is gritty and ultimately poignant.”

Deac Etherington was a finalist for the 2017 Arcturus Award for Fiction, Chicago Review of Books; finalist in the Adult Fiction category at the 2018 San Francisco Writer’s Conference; and winner of the 2018 Flash Fiction Contest for Light and Dark Magazine. He holds degrees from Connecticut College and Wesleyan University, is a former English teacher and headmaster, and is an SSI Divemaster. He lives in Southern Arizona where you can drive all the way down to the Sea of Cortez when you want to change the view.

“Bridges” will be published on October 1 in Issue 139, at which time Deac will receive his First Prize award of $1,000.

Clint also selected two runners-up:

“The Light Touch” by Christopher Moylan of Center Point, NY

“Cracks like Shotguns When It Thaws” by Danielle LaVaque-Manty of Ann Arbor, MI

Our other finalists are, in no particular order:

“Love Me Through a Hurricane” by Amina Gautier of Chicago, IL

“Mahavra” by Lish Troha of Burlington, WA

“Hunker Fire” by Rebecca McCarthy of Athens, GA

“Selective” by Phebe Miner of Washington, D.C.

“The Marchioness” by Corey Flintoff of Cheverly, MD

“Looking at Water” by Kathleen Spivack of Watertown, MA

“The Flaming Woman” by Carol Luther of Maryville, TN

Everyone at Press 53 and Prime Number Magazine thank the many writers who entered this competition, making our reading enjoyable and challenging as we worked toward selecting our ten finalists in each category. We look forward to reading more of your work when entries open for the 2019 Prime Number Magazine Awards for Poetry and Short Fiction on January 1, 2019.

Our Judges

Erickson, Terri Kirby.JPG


Terri Kirby Erickson is the author of five full-length collections of award-winning poetry, most recently Becoming the Blue Heron (Press 53). Her work has appeared in the 2013 Poet’s Market, Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry, Asheville Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Boston Literary Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, Journal of the America Medical Association, Literary Mama, NASA News & Notes, North Carolina Literary Review, storySouth, The Southern Poetry Anthology (Texas Review Press), The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, Verse Daily, and many others. Awards include the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, Nazim Hikmet Poetry Award, Atlanta Review International Publication Prize, Gold Medal in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and a Nautilus Silver Book Award. She lives in North Carolina.

Clint McCown 72dpi.jpg


Clint McCown has published four novels (The Member-Guest, War Memorials, The Weatherman, and Haints), and five volumes of poems (Labyrinthiad, Sidetracks, Wind Over Water, Dead Languages, and Total Balance Farm). He has received the Midwest Book Award, the Society of Midland Authors Award, the S. Mariella Gable Prize, the Germaine Breé Book Award, an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers designation, and a Distinction in Literature citation from the Wisconsin Library Association. He is the only two-time recipient of the American Fiction Prize. In journalism, he received an Associated Press Award for Documentary Excellence for his investigations of organized crime. He has worked as a screenwriter for Warner Bros. and a Creative Consultant for HBO television. He is a former principal actor with the National Shakespeare Company, and several of his plays have been produced. He has edited a number of literary journals, including the Beloit Fiction Journal, which he founded in 1984. He teaches in the MFA program at Virginia Commonwealth University and in the low-residency MFA program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.