2015 Kore Press Short Fiction Winner
Tayler Heuston for “Hostages”
SELECTED BY ROXANE GAY
Roxane Gay: “‘Hostages’ is the best kind of short story–multi-layered, nuanced, rich with detail. Henry and Therese Hines have a seemingly normal life, a happy marriage, until the FBI shows up, and their neighbors learn that many years ago, Henry kidnapped Therese, and she has, it seems, been his hostage for decades. Hostages isn’t their story though, not really. Instead, this is a story of a woman who hardly knew the Hines’s trying to make sense of the public spectacle of trauma and the ways in which we can be drawn to the people or things that hurt us.”
Tayler Heuston, 26-year old California-native, just completed an MFA in fiction writing at North Carolina State University. She received the Robbie S. Knott endowment in 2014, and was a finalist for the 2015-2016 Wisconsin Institute Fellowship. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Two Serious Ladies, Spectrum, Into the Teeth of the Wind, and she has a story forthcoming in At Length Magazine. She is also a fiction reader for the Raleigh Review. Tayler lives in Raleigh, NC.
Julia Lichtblau for “Petrouchka”
Roxane Gay: In “Petrouchka,” ballet dancer Alex Trecher takes up teaching after an injury derails his career. As his relationship falters along, Alex becomes enamored by one of his more promising students and hopes that student, Kevin, will star in a ballet he is choreographing. Here is a story about ambition and obsession and the quietest, perhaps most painful betrayal, when the hopes we have for ourselves are not enough for others.”
Julia Lichtblau’s work has appeared in Superstition Review , American Fiction 13 , Narrative , The Florida Review, Best Paris Stories, The Common, and Ploughshares blog, among other publications. She was shortlisted for the Graywolf SLS Novel Prize, finalist for the American Fiction Prize, two Narrative contests, and won the Editorial Prize of the 2011 Paris Short Story Contest and 2nd Prize in the Jeanne Leiby Chapbook Contest. She is book review editor for The Common, and covered international finance in New York and Paris for BusinessWeek and Dow Jones for 15 years.
Camellia Freeman for “Real Americans”
Roxane Gay: “‘Real Americans’ is unsettling and ambitious. The narrative follows a family who we only know by the roles they play. The parents are Child Abuser and No Mercy. The children we know as Oldest, Second, Boy Twin, Girl Twin. Everyone’s roles shift, however, after a car accident that leaves Child Abuser and No Mercy critically injured. In stark prose we learn about this family and their haunting relations while also seeing how identity, faith, and culture, can work in terrible ways.”
Camellia Freeman‘s work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Image, Indiana Review, Cream City Review, and elsewhere. In 2014, she received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and was an OAC summer writer-in-residence at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA. She is the upcoming 2015-16 Milton Fellow at Image and is at work on a short story collection as well as a collection of personal essays.
Many thanks to all the writers who submitted this year, to our judge, Roxane Gay, and to our readers (Rosebud Ben-Oni, Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, Ansley Moon, Kelcey Parker, Ivelisse Rodriguez) for your time, dedication, and hard work these past few months!