Announcing the winners of our April 2021 Flash 405 contest! Expo Associate Editor Anya Johnson served as judge for this round and asked for submissions around the theme of “The Other”, exploring what it means to be or contend with an Other, whether that be a disparate identity, an ostracizing designation, or otherworldly encounter.
Read on to learn more about her selections and read the winning pieces!
When I chose The Other as the Flash 405 theme, I knew I was inviting a challenge. From the BLM movement to the spike in anti-Asian violence to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the issue of “othering” has perhaps never been more relevant. I fully expected to see deep-seated, systemic failings reflected in the submissions. And, to an extent, I did. There were a number of successful personal narratives that dealt with being an outsider due to race, ability, political orientation, etc. What I did not expect was such variety in the theme’s interpretation, which included a great deal of humor and idealism. Although the stories of “the other” struggling against the established paradigm were often the most powerful, each new perspective was valuable and thought-provoking.
The contest winners built visually arresting worlds that housed fully realized, stand-alone stories. To my surprise, they trended toward the surreal rather than the socio-political. I am pleased to be able to share pieces that are filled with both wonder and curiosity, towards the other without and within.
– Anya Johnson
Congratulations to the winners! You can read their work below:
Sliver by Candace Hartsuyker (Fiction)
Haunted Houses by Joshua Palm (Poetry)
El Scorcho by Mia Nakaji Monnier (Nonfiction)
Want to see your work published in Exposition Review? Our next Flash 405 contest will open August 4, 2021 with guest judge Christopher Gonzalez. Read the rules and check out past content winners here.
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Photo Credit: Gilbert Beltran