Congratulations to the winner of this year’s Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Flash Fiction — “The Traveler King” by Danilo Thomas!

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On “The Traveler King,” this year’s judge, Matt Bell, writes:

“‘The Traveler King’ is a study in the power of precise prose to evoke a world in miniature: here is a mythic natural world, a legendary forest as dangerous as it is alluring. The rhythms of the writer’s sentences become the rhythms of the land, of the seasons, of the relationship between hunter and hunted, of a cycle that can cannot be completed, only renewed.”

Danilo John Thomas, raised in Butte, Montana, earned a PhD in creative writing from Florida State University and an MFA at the University of Alabama. He is the author of the chapbook The Hand Implements, from The Cupboard Pamphlet, and is the managing editor for Baobab Press. He resides in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, two daughters, two dogs and an aged, toothsome cat.

As the winner of this year’s Gibbs Award in Flash Fiction, Danilo will receive $400, and “The Traveler King” will be featured in our spring issue.

Also, congratulations to Krys Malcolm Belc, whose story, “Notes for My Body Double,” was selected as runner-up and will also be published in our spring issue!

Additional congratulations and thanks to our amazing finalists:

“Dissembled” — Rachel Alatalo
“Something That’s Nothing” — Wendy Oleson

For the Ryan R. Gibbs Flash Fiction Contest, New Delta Review seeks fiction of around 1,000 words or less. We’re looking for complete arcs in concise packages, resonance over neat resolution, inimitable rhythms and propulsive movements, something a little (or very) dangerous. As Ander Monson, our 2015 judge, stated, “What [we] really want is to be surprised by something forceful and bent to its will.”

Check out last year’s winning story, Eshani Surya’s “Between Colitis Flares Expect the Following Symptoms,” here.

Judge: Matt Bell
Prize: $400 and publication in Issue 8.2 of NDR. All entries will be considered for publication and, should they be published, our annual Matt Clark Editor’s Prize of $250.
Deadline: February 22, 2018
Entry Fee: $10 (free on February 22!)

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  • All entries must be the original, previously unpublished work of the entrant.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:

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Matt Bell is the author of the novels Scrapper and In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, as well as the short story collection A Tree or a Person or a Wall, a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur’s Gate II, and several other titles. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, Conjunctions, Fairy Tale Review, American Short Fiction, and many other publications. A native of Michigan, he teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Arizona State University.


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.