Each year, Hippocampus Magazine publishes more than 100 new pieces of creative nonfiction from emerging and established writers. And, each year, we’re faced with the task of choosing just six of those stories to nominate for the annual Pushcart Prize. Near the end of each November, we reflect fondly on all of our issues from the current year, each one filled with writers and stories we admire. This selection process gives us a chance to relive the stories we loved so much, a walk down memory lane. And, at Hippocampus, we like memories.
The Pushcart Prize, as you may know, is a significant honor in literary publishing. These prizes begin with a single story, submitted to a magazine like ours. Each year, Pushcart then invites small press editors to nominate only a half-dozen stories, published within the current year, to the annual contest. As you can imagine, it’s challenging to narrow down stories when there are so, so many worthy submissions. For that reason, we feel just being nominated by any journal is a big deal — to be selected as one of six from a hundred or so published pieces (more or less, depending on how many pieces a particular magazine publishes each year) — and that’s of course after making it through a submission queue of likely thousands received each year. Publisher Bill Henderson and his team of editors will read through thousands of submissions and select the best of the best. The winning stories are published in the next annual edition of Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses. A Pushcart win is a big deal, but because of the competition within each magazine itself, we also consider a nomination is a worthy accomplishment.
In 2017, Hippocampus Magazine shared more than 100+ stories in 12 editions, including our contest and theme issues. These six stuck with us for many reasons, and we’re proud to nominate them for this year’s Pushcart awards (listed in alphabetical order by title):
- “After I Glimpse at the Phenomenal Blurb on Page 153” by Charnell Peters (January)
- “Driving With Mom” by Brittany Means (September)
- “God Don’t Like Ugly” by Brian Broome (September)
- “Maybe We Can Make a Circle” by Nicole Piasecki (June)
- “Taunting the Abyss” by Y.L. Fein (November)
- “You Look Like Your Daddy” by Anjali Enjeti (May)
Each of the titles above will link to the story; we’d love if you gave these timely, timeless pieces a read if you haven’t already. (A few of these pieces either won the ‘most memorable’ designation for its issue or placed in our contest.)
Please join us in congratulating Charnell, Brittany, Brian, Nicole, Y.L., and Anjali! Their stories are a perfect representation of our motto: memorable creative nonfiction. We wish them lots of love and luck as our little package of submissions makes its way to the Pushcart headquarters in Wainscott, N.Y.