Fiction Contest


Fiction Contest

Past Winners: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

We are excited to present the longlist of awardees for the 2019 Leapfrog Fiction Contest.

The finalist manuscripts are being critiqued by this year’s finalist judge, Ramona Ausubel

Entries to this year’s contest came from numerous countries, and included adult and young adult novels, novellas, and story collections.

We would like to thank every author who submitted to our 11th annual fiction contest. As always, it was our privilege and pleasure reading so many excellent manuscripts.

The 2020 Leapfrog Fiction Contest will open on January 15.

The 2019 Leapfrog Fiction Contest


Amphibians, stories by Lara Tupper (Massachusetts)

Lara Tupper's forthcoming novel, Off Island (Encircle, January 2020), is based on the travels of Paul Gauguin. Her debut novel, A Thousand and One Nights (Harcourt/Untreed Reads), is an autobiographical fiction about singers at sea. Her short fiction was runner-up for the 2019 Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music In Literature; her work has appeared in The BelieverNowhere Magazine (Finalist, Spring Award), The Ghost Story (Honorable Mention, Fiction Award), Dogwood Journal (Finalist, Fiction Award) and others. A graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, Lara taught creative writing at Rutgers University for many years and now presents writing workshops in New England. A jazz singer, her latest album is This Dance.

In Amphibians, a linked short story collection, an amphibious aircraft crashes in Maine, a young girl skinny-dips with her elders, a distraught cruise ship dancer boards a water taxi in Grenada, and travelers to Dubai and Abu Dhabi long for familiar oceans. Back in New England, small town artists try to smudge out their tedium with seaside transgressions. Amphibians celebrates the sensation of feeling not quite right in one’s own skin, both on land and near water, at home and abroad.



Too Much, stories by Israela Margalit (New York)

Israela Margalit is a critically acclaimed playwright, television writer, and since 2016, author of short fiction, with awards and honors in all categories. (Winner Gold Medal New York TV&Film Festival, Emmy nomination, Ovation-recommendation LA, Best Play Honorary Mention NY Short Play Festival, Finalist Long Island Film Festival, Finalist the Tennessee Williams Short Fiction Contest, Finalist the Glimmer Train Press Very Short Fiction.) She’s an internationally renowned concert pianist, and a recording artist for EMI, Universal, Decca, and Chandos (Winner Best CD, the British Music Industry Awards.) She speaks Hebrew, English, French and German, and writes in English. Born in Haifa, Israel, she’s a mother of two, and lives in New York. More:

Too Much is a collection of 35 stories that revisit multiple themes, among them our collective inability to love well, our need to be relevant, and the fine line between success and failure. These stories spring from the author’s years on tour as a concert pianist, in which she was exposed to pretty much all there is to know about how we reckon with our ambition and our lusts, and her life in New York as a single mother of two, which unmasked the best and the worst society has to offer. 

The Fear of Large and Small Nations, a novel by Nancy Agabian [Withdrawn from consideration]


Journey to the Welcoming City, middle grade novel by Gloria Whelan (Michigan)

Daughters of Eve, stories by Margaret Hermes (Missouri)

Hostages, Seven Stories, a story collection by Michael Pearce (California)

Scenic Overlook, stories by Anne Ray (New York)

Honorable Mentions

Functional Families, stories by Taylor García (California)

The Charleston Stories, story collection by Kent Nelson (Colorado)

Macho in Canyon Country, a novel by Chad Fore (Arizona)

Senior Skip Day, stories by Phong Nguyen (Missouri)

Storm Windows, stories by Charles Haverty (Massachusetts)

Love Will Set You Free and other fables, stories by Brenda Liebling-Goldberg (Texas)

The Vampire in Winter, stories by Tom Whalen (Louisiana)

May You Be the Mother of a Thousand Snake Sons, a novella by Meena Nayak (Virginia)

Star Brother, a young adult novel by Maxine Schur (California)

Son of Nothingness, a novel by Ona Russell (California)




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