Journal Names 2020 Wright Award-winners

Editors of Chicago-based non-profit literary journal Line of Advance have announced the winning entries for the 5th Annual Col. Darron L. Wright Memorial Writing Awards. The awards annually recognize excellence in prose and poetry by U.S. military service members and veterans—and, starting this year, military family members. Cash prizes of $250, $150, and $100 are awarded in each category.

Katey Schultz, the author of the award-winning flash-fiction collection Flashes of War, and the Afghan War novel Still Come Home, served as the distinguished guest judge for the 2020 Wright Awards.

“Our journal proudly serves as a leading venue for the best of ‘veterans-lit,’ with works by men and women who have served in all uniforms and in all eras,” says U.S. Army veteran Christopher Lyke, editor of Line of Advance. “We are grateful to the record-breaking number of veterans and family members who shared their prose and poetry with us this year, and to Katey Shultz, who helped us make so many thrilling discoveries in reviewing those submissions.”

“We are also grateful to the underwriters of our cash prizes, the Blake & Bailey Family Fund—which, through its generosity, helps promote creatively crafted veterans’ stories to wider audiences.”

  • First-prize ($250): “Farragut Square” by Jillian Danback-McGhan
  • Second-prize ($150): “Leroy’s Blues” by Terry Sanville
  • Third-prize ($100): “Library in White Cedar” by Edward Ahern
  • First-prize ($250): “Horse-men” by John Thampi
  • Second-prize ($150): “Soldier’s Song” by Ben Weakley
  • Third-prize ($100): “Havoc 58” by Laura Joyce-Hubbard
  • First-prize ($250): “Enduring Freedom” by Desiree Cooper
  • Second-prize ($150): “Countdown to Deployment” by Amy Zaranek
  • Third-prize ($100): “The Favorite Hour” by Meredith Wadley
  • First-prize ($250): “Pursuit” by Lisa Stice
  • Second-prize ($150): “Dancing with my Father” by Ellyana Gomez
  • Third-prize ($100): “An Offering” by Michael Janairo
The 2020 Darron L. Wright finalists’ works will be included in Our Best War Stories, a print and e-book anthology celebrating the first five years of the Wright Awards. Publication is scheduled for October 2020.

Administered by the Line of Advance journal since 2016, and underwritten by the Blake & Bailey Family Fund, Atlanta, the awards commemorate a U.S. Army leader and author who was killed in a September 2013 parachute training accident. Darron L. Wright, 45, had deployed three times to Iraq, and was author of a 2012 memoir Iraq Full Circle: From Shock and Awe to the Last Combat Patrol in Baghdad and Beyond.

Middle West Press LLC is a Johnston, Iowa-based editor and publisher of non-fiction, fiction, journalism, and poetry, with projects that feature the unique voices of the American Midwest. As an independent micro-press, it publishes one to four titles annually. The Darron L. Wright Awards anthology will be the sixth Middle West Press title involving war and military themes.


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