Fifth Wednesday Journal Announces the Winners of the Editor’s Prize for 2012

FWJ does not sponsor contests or offer prizes based on reading fees. Each year we ask an established artist in his or her field to select the recipient of our Editor’s Prize in Fiction, Photography, and Poetry. The field is limited to work published in Fifth Wednesday Journal. The author of the selected work in each genre receives a modest monetary award and recognition in our pages, as well as on our website. The winners this year were chosen from among works published in the fall 2011 and spring 2012 issues. We are proud to recognize them here.


Winner of the Editor’s Prize is Christine Sneed’s “Words that Once Shocked Us” (FWJ spring 2012). Christine Sneed ( has published stories in The Best American Short Stories, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Ploughshares, Southern Review, New England Review, and a number of other journals. Her first book, Portraits of a Few of the People I’ve Made Cry, won AWP’s 2009 Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, Ploughshares‘ 2011 Zacharis Prize for a first book, and the Chicago Writers Association Best Book of the Year (in the traditionally published fiction category.) Her second book, a novel titled Little Known Facts, will be published by Bloomsbury USA in February 2013. She lives in Evanston, IL and teaches at DePaul University and Northwestern University.

Raima Evan received an Honorable Mention for her story “The Magician’s Assistant” (FWJ, fall 2011).

Our judge Molly McNett is the winner of the 2008 John Simmons Short Fiction Award from the University of Iowa Press for her book of stories, One Dog Happy. She served as guest fiction editor for the fall 2008 issue of FWJ and is currently a contributing editor. She teaches at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.


After reviewing sixty-five poems by internationally recognized poets our judge chose “Night Shifts at the Group Home” by Mary Szybist (FWJ, fall 2011) for the Editor’s Prize in Poetry. Mary Szybist’s ( second collection, Incarnadine, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2013. In the fall of 2011, she was a resident at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. She lives in Portland, Oregon where she teaches at Lewis & Clark College.

Our judge William Olsen ( has published five books of poetry, including Sand Theory (Northwestern, 2011). His awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Breadloaf, and two Pushcart Prize awards. He is co-editor with Sharon Bryan of Planet on the Table: Poets on the Reading Life (Sarabande). He teaches in the MFA and Ph.D. Creative Writing programs at Western Michigan University and at the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College.  He edits New Issues Poetry and Prose. He lives in Kalamazoo.


The winner of the Editor’s Prize in Photography is an untitled image characterized by the judge as “the woman with her hand to the ear of the man” by Petra Ford (FWJ, spring 2012). She grew up in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, and currently lives in Chicago with her son. View more of her work at

Stacy Simmering ( received an Honorable Mention for her photograph “A Moment of Silence” (FWJ, fall 2011).

Our judge Charles Osgood was raised in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He began his career at the Chicago Tribune as a reporter in 1969. In early 1970 he switched to photography. In Osgood left the Tribune in 2008 and continues to pursue his lifelong passion for collecting fleeting moments. He has been an adjunct professor of photojournalism at Columbia College since 1991. In the spring of 2009 Osgood and Rick Kogan founded the Sidewalks Book Company and published Sidewalks II: Reflections on Chicago. Learn more at

FWJ editors

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