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Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum Short Fiction Contest Writers Announced


PIGGOTT – The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum has announced the winners of its third annual Short Fiction Contest. Mike Smith of Lyon College won first place for his story “Courage,” second place went to Justin Duyao of Harding University for his story, “SportsCenter and Cigarettes” and third place was awarded to Austin Ellis of John Brown University for “Most Wonderful Things.”

The contest was judged by Jo McDougall, the author of a memoir, “Daddy's Money: A Memoir of Farm and Family,” University of Arkansas Press, and seven books of poetry, including her most recent, “In the Home of the Famous Dead: Collected Poems,” University of Arkansas Press (2015) and “The Undiscovered Room,” Tavern Books (2016). 

McDougall said Smith’s story, "has compelling characters and dialog, and it kept me interested all through the story. The author tells a story vividly and with a sure control." Smith’s work was selected from a field of submissions from undergraduate students at public and private institutions in the state of Arkansas.

Duyao’s entry “is a story well told about love and change and disappointment, and it is paced well. Its ending surprised me,” said McDougall. Of Ellis’s story, “Most Wonderful Things,” McDougall noted, “The setting is compelling and mysterious, and the characters — children dealing with their parents' conflict — are believable. The imagery, especially in the ending line, is powerful.”

She has taught fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry at various universities in the South and the Midwest and has directed the fiction, non-fiction and poetry writing workshops at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Educational Center. She has also conducted prose and poetry workshops at the Writers’ Place, Kansas City, Mo.; the Chautauqua Institute; Round Top Writing Festival and others.

She is the author of numerous essays and book reviews published in Midwest Quarterly and Georgia Review.  She is the winner of awards from, among others, the DeWitt Wallace Readers Digest Foundation, the Academy of American Poets and the Porter Prize Fund, as well as fellowships from the MacDowell Colony.  McDougall's work has appeared in such journals as Georgia Review, Hudson Review, Kenyon Review, Toad Suck Review and New Letters. She has been inducted into the Arkansas Writers Hall of Fame.  

A graduate of the MFA in creative writing program at the University of Arkansas, McDougall was co-director of the creative writing program at Pittsburg State University, where she also directed the Distinguished Visiting Writing Series.  She lives in Little Rock.

The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site, located in Piggott. More information can be found at hemingway.astate.edu.

Jo McDougall
Jo McDougall, Contest Judge (Photo Courtesy of Dixie Knight Photography).