Dear Readers,

For Issue #3, “Arc – the rise and fall of dramatic tension,” our editors were in search of pieces in all genres that incited emotional reactions, took bold risks, and carried the reader on a visceral journey. Our team deemed 6 finalists because of the ways in which their submitted work exemplified our journal’s focus on craft and the theme of our issue.

Next, our esteemed guest judge Sarah Manguso combed through each piece and named the work of non-fiction, “Inside Passage” by Keema Waterfield as our winner.

This is what Ms. Manguso offered regarding her decision:

“This narrator’s close observation of an almost plotless experience – the slow drift of an Alaskan ferry – integrates effortlessly with scenes from a divided family, a boy living apart from his sisters in Alaska’s Southeast. By the end of the essay I realized I knew much more about them than I’d been explicitly told, and I wanted to know even more – more proof that a long, intelligent stare beats an artificial frenzy. And the prose glitters like ice – while salt spray “tickles” the tent’s rain fly, the captain sits at his steering console, “confident as Noah.” This is a terrifically compelling piece of writing, and I’m delighted to name it as the winner.”

Thank you to all who submitted to our first $1,000 Creative Writing Contest at Mason’s Road. As creative writers ourselves, we empathize with the many dark hours that you’ve spent on your polished pieces, and recognize how costly submitting to creative writing contests can become. We appreciate your choosing Mason’s Road  and our vibrant community of writers.

I hope you all enjoy “Issue #3: Arc” as much as we do.

Many kind regards,

Tess Brown
Managing Editor of Issue #3, Mason’s Road