Announcing the winners of the SLS Fiction and Poetry Contest!

Thank you to all who participated; we have received close to 500 submissions, with lots of strong work from every corner of the world.

Grand Prize: Full tuition waiver for SLS program of choice, fully-paid travel and accommodation

2nd place runners up: Full tuition waiver for SLS program of choice

3rd place runners up: 50% tuition for SLS program of choice


Grand Prize Winner – Leah Kaminski for the poems “Nest” and “String Net”


Leah’s work, nominated for Best New Poets 2017 and shortlisted for RHINO’s 2017 Founder’s Award contest, has recently appeared or will soon in Vinyl, Tupelo Quarterly, Bellingham Review, RHINO, and Witness Magazine. She’s been awarded scholarships to the Napa Valley Writers Conference and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and was a finalist for the 2018 WIWC Poetry Fellowships. A graduate of Harvard and of UC Irvine’s MFA program, she lives in Orange County, where she teaches writing at UC Irvine and is assistant editor at Rise Up Review.



2nd Place (Poetry) – Annie Christain (“Heaven is a Soundstage Built to Make Drugged Soldiers

annieMore Fearless”; “My Mother Always Told Me Not To Like What the White Men Do To Me in the Dark Forest”; “Appearances” (from Criminal Cipher Code for Police Officers))

Annie Christain is an associate professor of composition and ESOL at SUNY Cobleskill with peoms appearing in Seneca Review, Oxford Poetry, The Chariton Review, and The Lifted Brow, among others. She received the grand prize of the 2013 Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Contest, the 2013 Greg Grummer Poetry Award, the 2015 Oakland School of the Arts Enizagam Poetry Award, and the 2015 Neil Shepard Prize in Poetry. Additional honors include her being selected for the Shanghai Swatch Art Peace Hotel Artist Residency and the Arctic Circle Autumn Art and Science Expedition Residency. Her book Tall As You Are Tail Between Them, her debut poetry book, was published in fall 2016 by C&R Press.




2nd Place (Fiction) – Simon Han  (“NC-17”)

asianSimon Han’s stories have won Indiana Review‘s Fiction Prize and Texas Observer‘s Short Story Contest, and have also appeared in Guernica, West Branch, and Narrative. His writing has been supported by the Tulsa Artist Fellowship, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and Vanderbilt University, where he received his MFA. He is at work on a novel and a collection of stories.





3rd Place (Poetry) – Amanda Calderon (“Song For The Long Drought”; “Among The Longer Wars”; “Notes On The Falcon”)

Amanda Calderon is the recipient of fellowships from U.S. Poets in Mexico, Poets House, and the Norman Mailer Center. Her work can be found in Poetry, Kenyon Review, Sangam House (India), Poets & Writers, and Words Without Borders. She lives in New York City.






3rd Place (Fiction) – Aysegul Savas (“Kyrgyz Summer”)

slsAysegul Savas is a Turkish writer living in Paris. She is currently working on her first novel, as well as a collection of essays about inspiration, language, and reading. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from Guernica, Pleiades, Your Impossible Voice, and 212 Magazine, among others.