2023 TWFest Very Short Fiction Contest Finalists

Congratulations to our 2023 winner, runners-up, and finalists. Thank you to Olivia Clare Friedman for serving as our judge this year and to James Jordan for coordinating this contest.

From top left moving left to right, they are:

2023 RUNNER – UP: Joshua Ambre (he/him/his) is a queer poet and writer committed to poking holes in the so-called wholesome values of American suburbia. His work has appeared in Fiction International, The Ekphrastic Review, and Cornell University’s Rainy Day. Joshua was also named a poetry finalist in the 2015 Lex Allen Literary Festival at Hollins University. He is currently living and working in Washington, D.C.

Gail Anderson started her storytelling career as a stop-motion animator, before moving to graphic design, and finally to writing. Her work has taken first prize in the Edinburgh Award for Flash Fiction, the Scottish Arts Trust Story Awards, Reflex Fiction, the Writers’ Bureau and the Winchester Writers’ Festival, and published in The Southampton Review, Mslexia, Popshot and elsewhere. She lives in Scotland, and sails a little boat in the Firth of Clyde.

Kayla Min Andrews is a biracial, Korean American writer living in New Orleans. She has been published in Cagibi (fiction), Halfway Down the Stairs (creative nonfiction) and Asymptote (literary translation). Her flash essay “Old Kleenex” was nominated for a Best of the Net 2020. She is a reader for the Peauxdunque Review. Kayla is currently working with Putnam on the posthumous publication of her mother’s novel The Fetishist (coming out in January 2024). 

Colin Bonini is a writer from San Jose, California and is currently an MFA candidate in Fiction at Arizona State University. His work appears or is forthcoming in The Under Review, The Adroit Journal, Silver Rose Magazine, and Wig-Wag.

J. Duncan Davidson tries to coax out universal themes from what at first appear to be private tableaus. The winner of short fiction awards, interested in exploring climate change issues through storytelling, he spent his formative years in the desert but currently lives in the wet forests of the Pacific Northwest with his husband and two dogs.

2023 WINNER: George Fei is a scientist and writer. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, to Chinese immigrants and was raised in Marietta, Georgia. He is currently a PhD student in chemical biology and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his partner and many houseplants.

Sara Maria Greene’s work can be read in Dandelion Years (the Bath Flash Fiction Best of 2023 Anthology), TulipTree Publishing, Litro, and ROOM, among others. She is currently working on a collection of short stories featuring women exploring the depths of human experience with a mix of dark humor, fairy tales, and pleasant absurdity. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and young daughter. Find out more about her at SaraMariaGreene.com. 

2023 RUNNER – UP:  William Hawkins has been published in Granta, ZZYZYVA, and TriQuarterly. Originally from Louisiana, he currently lives in Los Angeles where he is at work on a novel.

Sandra Jensen has over 50 short story and flash publications in literary magazines and elsewhere. Awards include the Bridport Prize for a first novel, the Grindstone Novel Prize and top 12 in the Writers’ Union of Canada’s Short Prose Competition. Sandra recently completed a comic coming-of-age novel set in Donegal, Ireland. She has three passports but currently lives in Brighton, England with her partner and her foundling cat, Rónán. You can find her at http://www.sandrajensen.net.

Ra’Niqua Lee writes to share her particular visions of love and the South. Her work has appeared in Cream City Review, Split Lip Magazine, Indiana Review, Passages North, and elsewhere. Her debut collection of flash For What Ails You is forthcoming with ELJ Editions in 2023. You can find her at muddahlee.com or on Twitter @raniqualee. Every word is in honor of her little sister, Nesha, who battled schizoaffective disorder until the very end. For her always.

Joshua Randal Leonard is an emerging writer from New York City. His writing focuses on the intersections between horror, American Gothic, and queer identities. A former fashion designer, he left the industry in 2020 to pursue writing. He is currently a master’s student in Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Program, concentrating in speculative fiction. Raised in northwest Louisiana, he now calls Manhattan’s Upper West Side home with his husband and two cats.

J. Lloyd Miller, a 20-year veteran of New Orleans’ entertainment and hospitality industries, has long endeavored to craft confections of short fiction while simultaneously lending his expertise to the management of such institutions as Preservation Hall, The New Orleans Bingo! Show, and Molly’s at the Market. More recently, Miller has relocated to a hillside home in a former mill town in Western Massachusetts where he and his family are enjoying life above sea level.