When we began Jellyfish Review, a little over a year ago, we had high hopes and what-we-thought-would-turn-out-to-be-unrealistic expectations. We were lucky enough to attract some excellent writers from day one, many of whom have returned to us time and time again. Since that day, many, many more excellent writers have joined our family, and we have published more top stories than we ever believed possible.
Which is all well and good, but thanks a bunch guys! How are we supposed to pick only half a dozen stories to nominate for the Pushcart Prize?
We’re sending out our nominations a little later than a lot of other magazines because it really was that difficult to narrow it down to six. There are many other stories on our list, and we hope to nominate some more of them for some other upcoming prizes. Sadly, there aren’t enough awards for us to nominate everyone we’d like to.
That said, the six pieces we’ve chosen are all very deserving. Not only are they great stories, but each one of them took Jellyfish Review to a new place, and kept us excited about running this magazine.
Lori Sambol Brody, No Problem, No Problem
God, I love this story. Our first creative non-fiction, though we didn’t realize that at the time. The honesty in this piece shines, and we’ve judged so many stories since against its excellence. It’s hard to believe how much Lori found space for in a single paragraph.
Kaj Tanaka, How to Tell a Story
Truly, the title says it all. Kaj Tanaka is an incredible, already well-established writer. His bio would make anybody jealous! I feel like this strange piece is unlike anything else I’ve seen by him, and we still, many months later, have people telling us it was this story that first got them interested in Jellyfish Review. For that alone, we owe him many thanks.
Noa Sivan, Plaza Trinidad
Since the beginning, we’ve been committed to publishing emerging writers and new voices. We’re lucky enough to have many established writers sending special stories our way, but that commitment remains, and some of the new writers we publish excite the heck out of us! None more than Noa Sivan. Plaza Trinidad was her first story published in English, though she has built up a small name for herself in Israel. It’s a gorgeous piece. Noa later came back to us for a week of micro-fictions, translated by Yardenne Greenspan, which was quite a week! But this story, which appeared in our Bad Sex issue, is sublime.
This story also appeared in our Bad Sex issue, and Lucy has another piece appearing soon in our Lady Monsters run. This one closed the show on that month, because it couldn’t possibly have been a more perfect addition. Lucy has since appeared on BBC Radio 4, which means she’s now officially a-bit-famous, so I feel as if we lucked out there! Like all of the stories we’re nominating, What We Talk About… was extremely popular, and introduced us to a slew of other great writers, some of whom we’ve already published and some of whom we’ll be publishing in the upcoming months, and hopefully long after that!
Melissa Goode, No One is Home
Since she sent us this incredible story, spanning London and New York, Melissa has been published all over the place. I’ve read so many of her stories, and she’s incredible. I love the way she writes, and I have no idea how she manages to do so much in so few words. An outstanding writer.
Michelle Ross, Accomplice or Hostage
Part of our Lady Monsters issue. Michelle gifted us with Tobe’s Baby earlier this year, and she’s another writer people name when they’re sending us submissions. “Accomplice or Hostage” is stunning, and I cannot wait for you all to see it. We were so keen for people to take liberal interpretations of the prompt, and Michelle’s piece does exactly that, and it couldn’t be any better. Perfect.
So cross your fingers for us. Even if we don’t win a Pushcart this time round, every one of these writers is a future winner in the making. We have writers from all over the world. Five of the six are women. All of them are not only great writers but also really good people. I love how each of them represents some different facet of the kind of writing we share, and I would like to send a big hug and kiss thank you to all of them.
Thanks for reading this long note!
Art by Edward Middleton Manigault
You can also check out our Best Small Fictions 2017 nominations here.