Winning Writers Announces the Winners of the 29th Annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest

NORTHAMPTON, Mass., Oct. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Winning Writers is pleased to announce the results from its 29th annual Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest. Tamako Takamatsu of Tokyo, Japan won the $3,000 first prize for fiction for her story "The Pastures of My Eccentric Uncle". Megan Falley of Longmont, Colorado won the $3,000 first prize for nonfiction for her essay "The Act of Vanishing". The top two winners also received two-year gift certificates from the contest co-sponsor, Duotrope. 2,513 entries were received from around the world.

"The Pastures of My Eccentric Uncle" is a sensitive and quietly tragic story set in 19th-century Japan, when that nation was debating opening up to Western culture and trade. The young female protagonist and her adored uncle are bonded by their shared exclusion from social status, a fate that he tries to overcome through an ambitious cattle-importing scheme. Denne Michele Norris, final judge of the 2021 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, said, "Mesmerizingly rhythmic, filled with color and voice and most importantly love, this story reminds us of the innocence and wonder of childhood."

"The Act of Vanishing" unsparingly recounts the humiliations and fraught friendships of a tween’s summer at weight-loss camp, where she is striving to win the approval of her recently divorced parents. Ms. Norris said, "In this incandescent essay, we are invited into the topsy-turvy world of children’s weight-loss camps, where reality seems suspended, and we root for every girl to find her worth and vanish into safety."

Ten Honorable Mentions of $200 went to Yolande Clark-Jackson, Anne-Marie Corley, Steven B. Deng, Joseph Hernandez, Kathryn Lang-Slattery, Shannon McAfee, Stephanie Pushaw, Priya Ranganathan, Sarita Shera, and William Thompson. The judging was assisted by Mina Manchester. The top 12 entries and judge’s remarks are published at

The 30th contest is open now through April 30, 2022. The fee is $20 for each entry, maximum 6,000 words per piece. This contest welcomes both published and unpublished work. The 2022 final judge will be announced later in the fall. Winning Writers thanks Ms. Norris for her excellent work over several years of judging and wishes her all the best as the new Editor-in-Chief of Electric Literature. See the contest guidelines and submit online at

In addition to the Tom Howard/John H. Reid Fiction & Essay Contest, Winning Writers sponsors the North Street Book Prize for self-published books, the Tom Howard/Margaret Reid Poetry Contest, and the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest (no fee). All these contests are recommended by Reedsy. Learn more at

Adam Cohen

SOURCE Winning Writers

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