Announcing the Results of the 2017 Many Voices Project Competitions

Last year, we received over 450 submissions to our Many Voices Project competitions in Prose and Poetry. As always, it was a daunting, yet enjoyable, task to read through the submissions, hunting for “that” manuscript that sparked us all with joy, with an eagerness to devour the entire manuscript, with a need to publish that work. Our readers helped us to find so many fantastic works, and we wish money were no object so that we could publish even more of these wonderful manuscripts.

After months of reading, we narrowed down to 9 finalists in each category, and after hours of discussion in person and online, we got that list down to the 3 manuscripts we’ll be publishing.

Many Voices Project Winner #139: Melanie Figg, Trace

Melanie Figg is the recipient of a 2017-2019 NEA Poetry Fellowship, as well as grants from the McKnight and Jerome Foundations and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County. With an MFA in Poetry, her poems, essays, and reviews have been published in dozens of literary journals including The Iowa Review, Nimrod, LIT, Conduit, Colorado Review, and others. Melanie lived for many years in the Twin Cities, and taught for over a decade at The Loft Literary Center. Now, Melanie lives in the DC metro area and curates Literary Art Tours in DC galleries (a Washington Post “Editor’s Pick”). She teaches writing at The Writer’s Center, as well as in local arts and community centers, and in private consultation. As a certified professional coach, she offers writing retreats and works one-on-one with writers and other creatives.

Many Voices Project Winner #140: Natanya Pulley, With Teeth

Natanya Ann Pulley is Diné (Navajo), of Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House) and Táchii’nii (Red Running Into Water) clans. She writes fiction and non-fiction with outbreaks in collage and she has published work in numerous journals including The Collagist, Drunken Boat, The Offing, McSweeney’s, Waxwing, and As/Us. Her work has been anthologized in #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, Exquisite Vessel: Shapes of Native Nonfiction, Women Write Resistance, and more. A former editor of Quarterly West and South Dakota Review, she is the founding editor of the Colorado College literary journal, Hairstreak Butterfly Review. Natanya is an assistant professor of English at Colorado College.

Editors’ Choice Award: Erin Slaughter, I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun

Erin Slaughter is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Elegy for the Body (Slash Pine Press, 2017) and GIRLFIRE (dancing girl press, 2018), and is editor and co-founder of literary journal The Hunger. You can find her writing in Prairie Schooner, Passages North, Tishman Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere. Originally from north Texas, she holds an MFA from Western Kentucky University, and is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State University.

Watch out for these 3 fantastic, powerful collections to publish in fall of 2019.

We also want to give a shout out to our amazing list of finalists. If we could, we’d publish you all.

Poetry Finalists:

  • Deke—Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
  • Here is a Woman—Barbara March
  • Covenant—Maureen Mulhern
  • The Miracle Machine—Matthew Pennock
  • After-Hours at the Museum of Tolerance—Janet Sylvester
  • Graft Fixation—Billie Tardos
  • So I Waited—Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad


Prose Finalists:

  • The Journal of Henry David Tarantula—Betsy Bernfeld
  • City of Crows—Justin Florey
  • Light Reflection Over Blues—Avital Gad-Cykman
  • (Earthly Delights and Other Apocalypses—Jennifer Julian)
  • Trove—Sandra Miller
  • Skin: Tales of Transformations—Miranda Schmidt
  • Dear Sally—Carole Stedronsky
  • Away with Words—Judith Hannah Weiss


Submissions for MVP 2018 will open September 1, get your manuscripts ready to submit! We can wait to read what you’re writing!

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