The 2013 Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Short Fiction is now closed.  Please check back in August 2014 for our next annual contest. 

New Delta Review is now accepting submissions for the first annual Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Short Fiction. For this contest, New Delta Review seeks short fiction (1500 words or less) that stuns. We look for a full narrative in a small package, where every sentence contributes something necessary and integral to the whole.

That evening I slept on the top bunk in our room in the hostel and listened to Klara and the Russian make love below me. We had all been drinking, and I pretended to be asleep. She moaned softly and whispered things to him I didn’t understand. The Russian made awful noises. It made me think of the moment the machete went through the bull, right before it reached the throat—the sound the bull must have made right then. But this was over and over.

The next morning I told her goodbye and got on a train to Italy. When I got to Milan, I went to a hotel bar with red walls that were covered in fake plastic vines. I looked at the vines and drank beer and told the young bartender about Klara. He understood English very well and listened to the whole story. When I had finished, he smiled at me like we were old friends.

“I have met this same girl three months ago,” he said. “But she had dark hair and brown eyes. And she was called Sofia.”

from Ryan Gibbs, “As the North Wind Lays Waste the Garden”

The contest details are below.

Judge: Pia Z. Ehrhardt

Prize: $500 and publication in the Winter 2013 Issue of New Delta Review

Deadline: Extended to October 11, 2013; Winners will be announced by November 15, 2013

Entry Fee: $10

About the contest: Ryan R. Gibbs (1981-2012) was 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 in his honor, made possible by a generous endowment from his parents.

About the judge: Pia Z. Ehrhardt is the author of FAMOUS FATHERS & OTHER STORIES (MacAdam/Cage). Her stories and essays have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Oxford American, and Narrative, and have been widely anthologized. Her work has been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts and at WordTheater in Los Angeles. She is the recipient of a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Narrative Prize, and Pushcart nominations. She lives in New Orleans, where she’s a visiting artist at NOCCA.

Additional Submission Guidelines

  • *All entries must be previously unpublished.
  • *One submission per entrant, although you may submit more than one entry if you pay a new entry fee.
  • *All work must be submitted through our electronic system. Find the link here: Submit to NDR: New Delta Review
  • *Submissions will first be read by the staff of New Delta Review, and finalists will be passed on for judging.
  • *Family, friends, and previous students of the judge are ineligible for participation in the contest and will be disqualified. In addition, students currently enrolled at Louisiana State University are ineligible for participation in this contest and will be disqualified.