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Results for the Annual Cupboard contest

MEET our winner!

susan holcomb profile.jpeg

Susan Holcomb

We are thrilled to announce that Contest Judge Kathy Fish has selected Susan Holcomb’s chapbook Wolfbaby as the winner of the Cupboard Pamphlet’s 2023 Annual Contest. 


Susan Holcomb holds an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and studied for a PhD in physics at Cornell. Her writing has been published in the Southern Indiana Review, The Boston Globe, Epiphany, The Normal School, New South, and elsewhere. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and wild toddler.

Of Holcomb’s prose, Kathy Fish writes,:

 A grandmother flushes a bible down the toilet, one page at a time. Two young girls taste a rainbow. A family of three transmogrify into various animals. Woven through with dreams and phantoms and "important things to know," Wolfbaby is a gorgeous, surprising, unforgettable collection. I chose this chapbook because it stayed with me, would not let me go. These stories shattered me, surprised me, sang to me. The author Muriel Rukeyser famously said, "What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open." That is what this collection does, over and over again, cleaving the world with its strange and devastating truth. The truth of what it means to live inside a body that so often betrays us. Even as these stories stood so well on their own, I was deeply impressed at how well they coalesced thematically and artistically to moving and powerful effect. Masterfully written and formally inventive, the stories here shimmer with urgency and truth and surreal beauty. A stunning achievement. 

Congratulations to Susan Holcomb! We are so pleased to publish her work. The Cupboard Pamphlet will release Wolfbaby in the Spring of 2024.

The Cupboard Pamphlet's 2023 Annual Contest received several dozen submissions, each of singular merit and fineness in both form and follow-through. We would like to acknowledge the quality of those manuscripts that numbered amongst our list of finalists, and honorable mentions. These include:

Michael Giddings | Kelly Marie Wants to Talk to You

Quinn Gancedo | The Nouns
Chase Burke | Men You Don't Know You Know
Lia Woodall
 | Remove to Play
Sara Ryan | Excellent Evidence of Human Activity
Kelsie Hahn | Last Days of the Microsaurs
Brad Aaron Modlin | Surviving in Drought
Theodora Bishop | Mother Tongues
Matthew Mahaney | The Storm That Bears Your Name
Susan Woodring | We Hate to Lose You, Mr. Lowsly
Courtney Maum | Notes from Mexico
David Hawkins | Lorraine Nelson: A Biography in Post-it Notes



past winners

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