Congratulations to the winner of this year’s Ryan R. Gibbs Award for Flash Fiction — “World of Rings” by Josie Sigler Sibara!

On “World of Rings,” this year’s judge, Lindsey Drager, writes:

“A lyric meditation on the cycles we find ourselves born into and built around us, ‘World of Rings’ is a piece as much about self as it is about siblings. It asks, quite vividly, what it means to face concentric spheres of loss. In deceptively simple prose that moves around—but never exposes—a troubling, hollow center, Josie Sigler Sibara offers a narrative that spirals until the final moment of haunting escape. ‘Even if the universe builds itself again a billion times, it will never come out another way,’ the narrator tells us, thus ensuring character and reader—twinned through the use of second person—are caught in the story’s vortex of grief. This is a visceral and vibrant work that exposes the power of the short form for making less do more, and I am grateful to have spent time in its orbit.”

Josie Sigler Sibara has received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship and an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant. The draft of her first novel won the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Her most recent fiction appears in Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, and The Master’s Review.

As the winner of this year’s Gibbs Award in Flash Fiction, Josie will receive $400, and “World of Rings” will be featured in Issue 10.1.

Also, congratulations to Ellen Rhudy, whose story, “Vera, Vera,” was selected as runner-up and will also be published in Issue 10.1!

Additional congratulations and thanks to our amazing finalists:

  • Quinn Gancedo – “Bedwetters”
  • Lindsey Skillen – “Skin-to-Skin or Contact”

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, Kathryn McMahon’s “Snow,” here.

Judge: Lindsey Drager
Prize: $400 and publication in Issue 10.1 of NDR. All entries will be considered for publication and, should they be published, our annual Matt Clark Editor’s Prize of $250.
Deadline: October 23, 2019
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:

Lindsey Drager is the author of the novels The Sorrow Proper (Dzanc, 2015), The Lost Daughter Collective (Dzanc, 2017), and The Archive of Alternative Endings (Dzanc, 2019). Her work has won a John Gardner Fiction Prize and a Shirley Jackson Award. She is an assistant professor at the University of Utah.




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.