Dear readers,

We were overwhelmed by the number of writers who sent us their work for the annual contest. Shinie Antony, winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia region 2003, and the author of four books of short stories and two novels, was the Judge for the Open Road Review Short Story Prize 2015. Ten stories, as shortlisted by Shanti Perez, the Fiction Editor, were sent to her. The decision and comments of the judge are as follows:

Open Road Review Short Story Prize 2015: INR 10,000 ($156 approx.)

Open Road Review prizes 2015, cover artArctic by Nathan Alling Long (Joint Winner of INR 5000): “The narration mesmerises with its attention to detail, characters startlingly alive, and a savage ending that is almost satirical.”

The Deluge by Petra McQueen (Joint Winner of INR 5000): “A haunting story with psychological aspects that brilliantly portray fear, guilt and paranoia in relationships.”

Mama’s Boy by John Biggs (Joint Runner-up): “A touching tale of poverty and racism, and the compromises one makes for survival.”

Twins by Emily Leider (Joint Runner-up): “Snapshot style characterisation catches attention.”

St Lucy’s Day by Stephen O’Connor (Special Mention): “Stands out for dialogues & creation of mood.”

The finalists:

Belles and Whistles by Gargi Mehra
LUST by Abhinav Kumar
Her Arrival by Michelle D’costa
The Cooler by Gene Desrochers
The Grievance Collector by Sathya Ramaganapathy

K Satchidanandan, an Indian poet, critic, playwright, translator & literary columnist, who is the recipient of numerous awards and was the Secretary of the Sahitya Academy, the Indian academy of letters, was the Judge for the Open Road Review Poetry Prize 2015. Ten poems as shortlisted by Pooja Garg, the poetry editor, were sent to him. The decision and comments of the judge are as follows.

Open Road Review Poetry Prize 2015: INR 10,000 ($156 approx.)

Tomorrow’s Poem by Usha Akella (Winner of INR 10000)
Untitled by Simon Perchik (Joint Runner-up)
Grandpa and Grandma Sit on the Verandah by Manik Sharma (Joint Runner-up)

‘I read the poems twice and gave marks to each. I was looking for freshness, surprise and brevity in the poems. ‘Tomorrow’s Poem’ has all these qualities. I liked the images and the way the poem unfolds. ‘Untitled’ too has a lot of new images though I found it structurally a bit loose. ‘Grandpa and Grandma Sit on the Verandah’ has a strange old world charm about it and we relate to it immediately.’

The finalists:

Forgotten by Minal Sarosh
New Hampshire by Tom Pescatore
RIVER SOUL by Kari Castor
Only One Who’s Been A Widow by Uttaran Das Gupta
Last taxi to Sohryngkham by Goirick Brahmachari
Traveling Tales by Faiza Anum
Lipstick by Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

The interview section features two poets, one fiction writer, and one short story writer as follows:

Interview with Kanza Javed by Aanchal Malhotra
Interview with Kathryn Hummel by Kulpreet Yadav
Interview with Madhavi N. Gunasheela by Anil Alaham Kumar
Interview with Silva Zanoyan Merjanian by Nalini Priyadarshni

Happy reading,

Kulpreet Yadav

New Delhi, India