• “Choosing a Photograph for Mother's Obituary” by Kevin A. Couture; The Antigonish Review, Summer 2010


  • “Seven Items In Jason Reynolds’ Jacket Pocket, Two Days After His Suicide, As Found By His Eight-Year-Old Brother, Grady” by Robert Swartwood; PANK, April 2010


  • “Aglaglagl” by Bruce Holland Rogers; The Sun Magazine, October 2010
  • “The Baby Glows” by David James Poissant; The Southern Review, Summer 2010
  • “Independent Living” by Lauren Becker; Pedestal Magazine, Issue #56
  • “Introduction to Joyous Cooking, 200th Anniversary Edition” by Heather Lindsley; Fantasy & Science Fiction, July/August 2010
  • “The Last Night They Spent Together Before the Separation” by Susan McCarty; Wigleaf, October 17 2010
  • “My Enemy” by Anthony Varallo; Indiana Review, Summer 2010
  • “Resource Officer” by Dan Moreau; Redivider, Spring 2010
  • “Revisions” by Natalie McNabb; Silent Embrace: Perspectives on Birth and Adoption
  • Megan Arkenberg
  • Gay Degani
  • Chad Simpson
  • Alan Presley
  • Winner: $500 US & Trophy
  • Runner-up: $100 US
  • Total: 304
  • Electronic: 291; Postal: 13
  • Authors: 258; Editors: 46; Judges: 0
  • United States: 241; Canada: 18; United Kingdom: 16; India: 4; France: 2; Germany: 2; Ireland: 2; Netherlands: 2; Norway: 2; Poland: 2; Australia: 1; Colombia: 1; Czech Republic: 1; Denmark: 1; Italy: 1; Japan: 1; Philippines: 1; Romania: 1; Singapore: 1; South Africa: 1; South Korea: 1; Sweden: 1; Zimbabwe: 1

Congratulations to Kevin A. Couture for winning the 4th Annual Mirco Award and the $500 prize!  His outstanding story, "Choosing a Photograph for Mother's Obituary," returns the realist tradition to the winner's circle.  This poignant narrative, told exclusively through snapshots, paints a remarkably vivid picture in under 400 words.  Well done, Mr. Couture!

Congratulations are also due to Robert Swartwood for taking the first-ever Runner-up award and a $100 prize.  Mr. Swartwood entered this year's competition as the Micro Award's only two-time finalist.  He can now add this to his already impressive résumé.  At just under 1000 words, "Seven Items In Jason Reynolds' Jacket Pocket, Two Days After His Suicide, As Found By His Eight-Year-Old Brother, Grady," presents a compelling mystery.

The other eight finalists are quite a diverse group, including literary fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and more.  It is interesting to note that six of the ten stories this year touch on either birth or death in some fashion.  I suppose this is reasonable as those are arguably the two most important events of one's life.

Last year, all nine of the honored stories appeared in publications that pay less than professional rates or nothing at all.  This year, only five did.  Three of this year's stories appeared in electronic magazines, while seven appeared in print.  This year, PANK becomes the first magazine to publish three Micro Award-honored stories.  Wigleaf joins PANK, decomP, and The First Line as the only publishers of two finalists.  Additionally, 2008 Micro Award winner Bruce Holland Rogers joins Robert Swartwood as the only author to be honored more than once.

I'd like to thank the scores of authors and editors for submitting their excellent work this year.  We received a record 304 eligible submissions.  Wow!  Amazingly, they were from 23 different countries, which included 63 from outside the United States.  Unfortunately, there were many striking entries that we weren't able to recognize this year.

I'd also like to thank this year's judges, Megan Arkenberg, Gay Degani, and Chad Simpson.  They were a warm, engaging, and professional group throughout the entire process.  Special thanks go out to Micro Award founder and former administrator Robert Laughlin, who has been unbelievably supportive of my efforts to continue the Micro Award.

And finally, I'd like to thank my wife, Anne.  Most spouses would have probably rolled their eyes and seen this as nothing more than a waste of time and money.  Instead, she has been extremely encouraging ever since I first showed her the newly-designed Micro Award website.  She enjoyed reading the submissions as well.

On that note, I'll sign off.  Keep writing and keep publishing!  I look forward to reading another great batch of stories for the 5th Annual Micro Award this fall.  Good luck!

Alan Presley, Administrator
February 17, 2011
© 2011 Micro Award