Courtney Miller Santo has been named the grand-prize winner of the 2011 Memphis Magazine Fiction Contest for her story "Wind Gap." It will be published in the magazine's June 2012 Culture Issue.
Santo, who lives in Midtown with her husband, two children, and a dog, has an MFA in creative writing and teaches at the University of Memphis. Her first novel, Roots of the Olive Tree, will be published in 2012 by William Morrow. Most recently she was a semifinalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and placed third in Sunstone's 2010 Brookie and D.K. Brown Fiction Contest. Her poetry and nonfiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Review and Segullah. Though she grew up in Oregon, Santo has lived most of her adult life in the South and says that instead of "making" dinner she "fixes" it and instead of "soda" she drinks "pop."
Receiving an honorable mention award is Becky Hagenston for her story "Graceland." She's an associate professor of English at Mississippi State University, and her stories have appeared in such journals as Crazyhorse, The Gettysburg Review, and Black Warrior Review, as well as the O. Henry anthology. Her first collection of short stories, A Gram of Mars, won the Mary McCarthy Prize. Another collection, Strange Weather, won the 2009 Spokane Prize.
Also receiving an honorable mention award is Burke Nixon, an MFA graduate of the University of Mississippi Creative Writing Program. His work has appeared in Paste, The Oxford American, and The Austin Chronicle.
Congratulations to these three winners. And in a year when the quality of stories was especially high, we thank all who entered and encourage you to keep writing. We also thank our longtime contest cosponsors, Burke's Book Store and The Booksellers at Laurelwood.