Phyllis Grant Zellmer Prize for Fiction 2024
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May 8, 2024

West Trade Review is happy to announce the results of the third annual Phyllis Grant Zellmer Prize for Fiction.

Congratulations to both writers!

GRAND PRIZE ($1000 & publication in the spring 2025 print edition):   "[SILENCE]" by Jessie Carver

"'[Silence]' follows a woman as her everyday life plunges into isolation after an unexpected loss. Her solace becomes the way language can capture sound and hold it steady in the form of closed captions on her TV screen. The story navigates the narrator's moments from smart and savvy to grave and heavy with concision and effortlessness, and the author deftly captures the way grief can trap us in a loop, while a body goes on about its business. The piece really comes into its own when it plays with the way sound and silence are able to express things a thought alone cannot. I couldn't put this one down from the moment I started reading.”  --Margaret Malone, Contest Judge 

​Look for Jessie's story in the Spring 2025 print edition of West Trade Review.

​Jessie Carver is a queer writer and editor who lives in Portland, Oregon, but grew up on a farm in the borderlands of New Mexico. Her short stories and poems have appeared in journals that include EntropyLost BalloonHADThe Normal SchoolBarren, and Watershed Review, and in the anthology Love Is the Drug & Other Dark Poems. She also co-authored the book Rethinking Paper & Ink: The Sustainable Publishing Revolution. You can find her online at

​Honorable Mention: "Problems of Living" by Sarah Haufrect

“Dark, funny, honest and concise, ‘Problems of Living’ gives us an older, cantankerous woman's entire, complicated life in a handful of pages. The whole of the story takes place in the period of time our narrator, unable to walk, needs in order to maneuver herself from her bed through the house and to the back patio of her home, where her roommate's body lies on the ground, unmoving. The narrator is wonderfully difficult, as most real people can be, and the story holds close to her as she has an opportunity to see some truths about herself for the first time in many years.” --Margaret Malone, Contest Judge 

Margaret Malone is the author of the story collection People Like You, Finalist for the 2016 PEN/Hemingway Award and Winner of the Balcones Fiction Prize. Her work can be found at BOMBThe Missouri ReviewThe RumpusOregon Humanities, and elsewhere. A co-host of the artist and literary gathering SHARE, Margaret lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband filmmaker Brian Padian and their two children. 
Contest Judge:  Margaret Malone 

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