Congratulations to the winner of this year’s Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Flash Fiction — Leslie Walker Trahan for her story, “Good Teeth”

This year’s judge, Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint, writes:

Flash fiction may be a misnomer for Leslie Trahan’s haunting piece “Good Teeth.” Trahan’s spare, deceptively simple sentences are unhurried and expansive. Each sentence encapsulates so much space and silence that each paragraph that is formed feels like a stand-alone story. Trahan’s story-paragraphs are delineated not by “punchlines”, but by moments of defamiliarization and sensory experience: the sound of eating potato chips, the way callused hands feel like gloves, the sight of blood on dental floss. The pleasure of reading “Good Teeth” for me was that the sentences seem indifferent to their own elegance, and the paragraph-stories—which begin to coalesce around a doppelgänger, the narrator’s dead father, and the narrator’s increasingly sinister dentist/landlord—seem oblivious to the delicious tension they build up. The story reminded me of the gothic-inspired short stories of Samanta Schweblin, Margarita Karapanou’s elusive vignettes in Kassandra and the Wolf, and the loneliness of Marie Redonnet’s unreliable narration. “Good Teeth” is not a story that flashes by, but a story that lingers, that stretches into timelessness, like a memory or a dream.”

Leslie Walker Trahan’s stories have been featured in The Forge and SmokeLong Quarterly, among other publications. She lives in Austin, Texas.

As the winner of this year’s Ryan R Gibbs Award in Flash Fiction, Leslie will receive $400, and “Good Teeth” will be featured in Issue 11.1.

Also, congratulations to David Joez Villaverde, whose story, “9.8 m/s²,” was selected as runner-up and will also be published in Issue 11.1!

Additional congratulations and thanks to our other finalists:

  • Josie Levin – “”I am thinking about Amrita…””
  • Steffi Sin – “Gwah Ju”

For the 2020 Ryan R. Gibbs Flash Fiction Contest, New Delta Review seeks fiction, hybrid, and prose-like things of 1,000 words or less. We’re looking for complete arcs in concise packages, resonance over neat resolution, small pieces that expand upon each re-reading, and things we didn’t know we were looking for.

Check out last year’s winning story, Josie Sigler Sibara’s “World of Rings,” here.

Judge: Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint
Prize: $400 and publication in Issue 11.1 of NDR.
Deadline: October 23, 2020
Entry Fee: $5

Additional Submission Guidelines:

  • All entries must be the original, previously unpublished work of the entrant.
  • Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee.
  • Each entrant can submit a maximum of two stories per entry, each of which should be up to or around 1,000 words.
  • Each entrant can submit a maximum of two separate entries.
  • All work must be submitted through Submittable
  • Submissions will first be read by the staff of New Delta Review, who will select the finalists. These works will be passed on to our judge.
  • Family, friends and previous students of the judge are ineligible for participation. Current students and faculty of LSU are also ineligible.

About this year’s judge:

Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint is the author of the novel The End of Peril, the End of Enmity, the End of Strife, a Haven (Noemi Press, 2018), which won an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, was named one of Entropy Magazine’s Best Books of 2018, and was a Small Press Distribution bestseller. Her second book, Names for Light: A Family History was the winner of the 2018 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize and is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in August 2021. She holds an BA in literary arts from Brown University, an MFA in prose from the University of Notre Dame, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Denver. She is currently a visiting writer at Amherst College, where she teaches fiction, post-dictatorial literature, and cross-genre Asian-American literature.




About Ryan R. Gibbs: This award is in honor of Ryan R. Gibbs (1981-2012), a gifted editor for New Delta Review, an incredible writer of fiction and screenplays, a talented photographer, and, above all, a dear friend. New Delta Review is honored to host this annual award, which was made possible by a generous endowment from his parents, in his name.