Thank You for Your Contribution . . . and Your Check by Susan Levi Wallach and Flavian Mark Lupinetti

Buckeroo Billy’s Story Factory takes pleasure in announcing that Felicia Mikulski’s “That’s What Happened to Grandpa’s Pants” made a strong showing in the magazine’s annual Short Fiction Contest. Had she actually won, Felicia would have received a $1000 prize and seen her piece appear in the next issue.

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In sixteen attempts to win the Rabbit Hole Literary Journal’s Annual Editors’ Choice Poetry Award, Morris Lave has yet to impress the editors, who nonetheless appreciate his entry fees and hope he will continue to submit. “I realy think I have a shoot with this won,” Mr. Lave wrote in his cover letter. We wish we could be as optimistic–and as creative with our spelling. Keep those entries coming, Morris!

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“What is That? A Cold Sore?” by Evan McManus didn’t make it to the short list of the Spring Fiction Contest sponsored by The Moose is Loose: Voices From Northern Maine. The long list? Sure. Evan’s piece made it that far.

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Sarah Sodden, an unsuccessful contributor to the Rabbit Hole Literary Journal’s Annual Readers’ Choice Poetry Award, is an MFA candidate at a school no one here has heard of. Her area of concentration is something she calls “new genres.” We can only guess what that might be, given her recent submission. Sarah claims to have poems forthcoming in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Harper’s. We wonder in what context (Perhaps as part of a collaborative series on Hail Mary submissions? Perhaps this is what “new genres” means?).

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Evan McManus’s short story “What is That? A Cold Sore?” did not win the Stanley Munchmore-Ellison Fiction Competition sponsored by Dwarf City Review. The judges felt Evan’s story fell somewhere in the middle of the pack, neither better nor worse than many of the other eight hundred entries.

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Congratulations to Romy Mote, whose entry in the Rabbit Hole Literary Journal’s Annual Rabbit’s Choice Poetry Award came one vote short of the long list. In our office, this earned him the title of Saddest Loser.

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The editors of Marland Heights Playground really, really regret to announce that Kwame Moreland’s, “Pound for Pound for Pound” did not win the Rebecca Daws Award for Creative Nonfiction. “Any other year, Kwame’s story wins easily,” said editor-in-chief Jane Nurswamy. “This year, though, we received this truly special submission . . . Well, suffice it to say, we think that when Kwame reads that one, he’ll agree he deserved to lose.”

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The Rabbit Hole Literary Journal wishes to inform all losing entrants to our Annual Summertime Blues Poetry Contest–including you, Nolan Clark, Sid Barabas, and Jill Post–that the upcoming Annual Autumn Poetry Blowout Competition will feature automatic longlisting for each submission. You will all make the cut! What’s more, we won’t limit the number of submissions. Enter as often as you want. Just include that entry fee for each poem you write.

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Mulberry Wine has not awarded its annual Fiction Prize to Kevin Simms of Huntsville, Alabama, author of “I Went Down to Birmingham to Pick Up a Heart.” Judge Henrietta Miller-Savage said, “From almost two thousand entries, the editors selected ten exquisitely written finalists, leaving me the unbearable burden of determining first place, second place, and third. I could have simply thrown darts to pick the winning stories. In the end, that’s exactly what I did. Kevin’s story was among those I missed.”

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The Rabbit Hole Literary Journal is always excited to receive the poems of a new writer who has commanded the attention of a major literary force. But this group doesn’t include Sam Sermon, whose entry to our Annual Pre-Halloween Poetry Contest included accolades written not by our poet laureate, not even by a poet, but by his mother-in-law. Nice try, Mrs. Trethewey. We at Rabbit Hole Literary Journal know the pain of having a daughter married to a deadbeat no-talent. Oh, do we know your pain.

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The judges of Da ’Ville’s Annual Writing Contest sponsored by the Steubenville Journal of Arts and Letters deeply regret that Pokey Malinowski inadvertently submitted “This Line Ten Items or Less” accompanied by a list of twenty other contests in which she entered the same piece. “Pokey’s story lacks compelling characters, tension, and a plot,” said a judge who requested anonymity. “It didn’t have a chance in this rodeo, and I doubt it will be any more competitive somewhere else. Christ almighty, she must have shelled out more than two hundred bucks in entry fees. Maybe three, maybe four hundred. Bad investment, Pokey.”

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The editors of Rabbit Hole Literary Journal regarded with great interest “What is That? A Cold Sore?” by Evan McManus, an entry in the magazine’s Annual Epic Poem Competition. Apparently Evan decided to take his losing submission to Dwarf City Review, insert line breaks, and send it to us. Too bad, Evan.

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The Way Out West Writers’ Collective concedes that the rules for its Best First Novel Contest may have contained ambiguous language. Nevertheless, the Collective will not recognize Spike Millslaw for his submission Soldiers’ Pay. “This is the best first novel we’ve ever received,” said WOWW director Erythema Multiforme. “However, it was William Faulkner’s first novel. We took it for granted that writers would submit original work, and we’ll make that clear next time.” Added Ken Dufresne, contest chairperson, “I doubt Spike intended this as an act of plagiarism. He probably hoped we wouldn’t recognize this as Faulkner’s and that we also wouldn’t have awarded it a prize. Then Spike could have written a smug post on his blog calling us a bunch of undereducated, poorly-read philistines. Well, we didn’t fall for it, and we hope other contests don’t either.”

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Rarely is Rabbit Hole Literary Journal blessed to receive so uniformly a strong three-by-five in its Annual Three by Five for New Poets Contest. All we can say is that Rimo Reason is a writer we look forward to publishing, just as soon as he comes up with a new name.

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Final judge James Colavecchio selected someone other than Evan McManus, author of “What is That? A Cold Sore?” as the recipient of Flathead Literary Review’s inaugural award for fiction. James has a recommendation for Evan: “Concentrate on something else for a while. Let this one lay fallow. Often an incubation period lets you see your story more clearly. I don’t know. Maybe you can make this thing work.”

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Every year Cary Noon’s entries in the Rabbit Hole Literary Journal’s Annual Contest for Grumpy Old Poets arrive with the most lyrical cover letters. If only her actual submissions measured up. We wonder if she’s focusing on the wrong part of the process. Cary, consider submitting your cover letter–just delete the bio and add a snappy title.

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Final Judge James Colavecchio was not amused to read the short story, “James Colavecchio is a Preening, Arrogant, Self-Satisfied Prick,” Evan McManus’s non-winning submission to Chopshop’s Writing Contest to End All Writing Contests. James has this advice for Evan: “Look, kid, I made a friendly suggestion. Take it or leave it. No reason to get nasty.”

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Seldom does a poet bring to mind a literary great. When we read Harry Wales’s “Five Poems as Hamlet Might Have Written Them,” his submission to Rabbit Hole Literary Journal’s Annual Dead of Winter Poetry Contest, what came to our minds was this: “O what a noble mind is here o’erthrown.” His brief biography, though, revealed that Mr. Wales is not Prince Harry, causing us to emend our original thought to “A mind is here o’erthrown”–we’re not sure what kind.

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Tundra Tales announced the names of three winners and more than five hundred losers in its Fiction Competition for Writers Who Never Win Nothin’. Among the latter group was Evan McManus, whose submission “James Colavecchio Can Bite It,” failed to engage Final Judge James Colavecchio. “What’s your problem, Evan?” wondered Colavecchio. “Nobody ever criticized any of your stories? What kind of a fantasy world do you live in? Grow up.”

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You’ll find a list of the Rabbit Hole Literary Journal’s Hole -in-One poetry winners, finalists, and semi-finalists on the cover of the magazine’s current issue. On the back pages of the magazine you have in our hands, you’ll find our short list and long list. We’d like to thank both the layout editor for forcing a three-column format onto the elegantly narrow page design and all those writers so easily gratified by seeing their names in print. Please use this issue’s bonus magnifying glass if you feel compelled to read your names, Victor Armand, C. R. Assante, Billie Burroughs, and so many others.

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Out of nearly a thousand entries in the Prose Battle of the Century sponsored by Upright and Locked Position, the Literary Journal of America’s Regional Airlines, Evan McManus’s “James Colavecchio Must Die” came in dead last. Final Judge James Colavecchio wrote, “Hey, Evan. I’m sending you something you really should read. I call it, ‘Restraining Order.’ It took first place in the nonfiction category.”

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The Rabbit Hole Literary Journal would like to thank everyone who made the 12-hour deadline for our March 31st Poetry Contest–especially those who made the $50 donation that “guaranteed” publication. We realize that you probably missed the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen. What can we say but April Fool! (Please note that the Rabbit Hole Literary Journal office will be closed for the next four weeks while the editors participate in a yoga retreat on St. Barts.)

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Crumbum did not award its fiction, nonfiction, or poetry prize to any of the submissions by Evan McManus that shared the common title, “James Colavecchio, I’m Standing Outside Your Front Door.”


Susan Levi Wallach and Flavian Mark LupinettiSusan Levi Wallach and Flavian Mark Lupinetti have combined to lose hundreds of literary contests. Poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, flash fiction, non-fiction, translation . . . if there’s a contest for it, they’ve lost it. Yet somehow they have decided to enter a competition one more time, their absurd hopes not fundamentally different from those of the weekly Lotto player, and for that very reason, so adorable.

 

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