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WWPH Fiction and Poetry Contest Winners Announced

CONGRATULATIONS! To our 2020 poetry and fiction award winners! 

Steven Leyva is the winner of the 2020 Jean Feldman Poetry Award for his collection, THE UNDERSTUDY’S HANDBOOK. Leyva was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised in Houston, Texas. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 2 Bridges ReviewScalawagNashville ReviewjubilatVinyl, Prairie Schooner, and Best American Poetry 2020. He is a Cave Canem fellow and author of the chapbook Low Parish.  Steven holds an MFA from the University of Baltimore, where he is an assistant professor in the Klein Family School of Communications Design. 

Adam Schwartz is the winner of the 2020 Fiction Award for his short story collection, THE REST OF THE WORLD. Schwartz’s stories have won Poets & Writers’ WEX Award, Philadelphia Stories’ Marguerite McGlinn contest, Baltimore City Paper’s story contest and have been published in Arkansas ReviewMississippi ReviewThe Doctor T.J. Eckleburg ReviewLittle Patuxent ReviewSaranac Review and december Magazine. He has stories forthcoming in Gargoyle and the Raritan. His non-fiction has appeared in the Baltimore SunNew York Daily News, and Bethesda Magazine. For twenty-two years, he has taught high school in Baltimore City.

Each writer will receive print and ebook publication of their collection, scheduled for October, 2020, a launch reading at Politics & Prose in Washington D.C., and a cash award of $1,000. The Washington Writers’ Publishing House, a venerable small nonprofit, cooperative press established in 1973, publishes one book of poetry and fiction from a writer living within 75 miles of our nation’s capital each year. 

In addition, we were thrilled with the outstanding breadth and depth of the entries this year, and for the first time in our history, wish to note Finalists in each category. FINALISTS in poetry are (in alphabetical order): Mirande Bissell for STALIN AT THE OPERA; Adam Chiles for BLUFF; Melanie McCabe for IF THERE ARE GHOSTS and Emily Tuszynska for FLOWERS, MOON. The FINALIST honor in fiction is awarded to Suzanne Feldman for her short story collection THE WITCH BOTTLE.  

CONGRATULATIONS to Steven and Adam and to all our noteworthy finalists! For 2021, there will be a new project for the Washington Writers’ Publishing House, so watch for news on this exciting development.  More about our press at www.washingtonwriters.org

New Books from WWPH

Elizabeth Knapp, Requiem with an Amulet in Its Beak:

Elizabeth Knapp’s debut collection of poems, The Spite House (C&R Press, 2011), won the 2010 De Novo Poetry Prize. Her other honors include the 2018 Robert H. Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, a 2017 Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award, and the 2015 Literal Latté Poetry Award. Her poems have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Best New Poets, Kenyon Review, The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, and Quarterly West. An associate professor of English at Hood College, she lives in Frederick, Maryland with her family.

Nathan Leslie, Hurry Up and Relax:

Nathan Leslie’s nine previous books of fiction include Three Men, Root and Shoot, Sibs, and The Tall Tale of Tommy Twice.  He is also the author of a collection of poems, Night Sweat.  Nathan is currently the series editor for Best Small Fictions, the founder and organizer of the Reston Reading Series in Reston, Virginia, and the publisher and editor of the new online journal Maryland Literary Review.  He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Julie.


Elizabeth Knapp and Nathan Leslie: A Conversation