Judging for the Stack Awards are well underway, with all the shortlisted titles taking up space in our judges’ homes and studios for a month while they deliberate. In the meantime, we’re going deeper into each category, to shine some light on these individual publications. Today, we present the most memorable short stories and poetry shortlisted for Best Original Fiction this year.
212 | Istanbul
212 is an arts and culture biannual from Istanbul. It is a lovely curation of paintings, photography, illustrations, essays and fiction from around the world that speaks to Istanbul’s unique merge of western and eastern perspectives.
Current Obsession | Amsterdam
We love magazines that encourage us to think differently, and Current Obsession opened the world of jewellery to us. Integrating the sparkling things we wear with short stories and photography, it totally reimagines what form a ‘fashion magazine’ can take.
Harvard Design Magazine | Cambridge
Published out of Harvard Graduate School of Design, this is an innovative, beautifully put together review of architecture, photography, graphic design, and how these disciplines intersect with their sociopolitical context. From their ‘Seventeen’ issue, which imagines the world living out its teenage years in 2017, excerpts from teen journals are chosen for their submission.
Racquet | New York
Racquet is a literary magazine that surrounds the sport of tennis, and their submitted story is takes place in a neighbourhood tennis court. It tells of the immigrant experience in America, seen through the lens of the “aching desire and repulsion of assimilation through sports equipment”.
Somesuch Stories | London
This London-based paperback magazine offers original insight into contemporary experiences of culture, nature, politics, sex and society. Their shortlisted pieces of fiction are filled with humour, inventive layout and narrative imagination.
Still | Berlin
Still is a literary magazine challenging conventional forms of writing and photography. They want to push beyond genre conventions and experiment with artistic expression, and their story ‘Three Attempts at a Choreography of Labour’ does just that.
Structo | Leiden
Platforming new stories from around the world, Structo is a literary magazine founded in 2008. ‘I Dreamt That You Died’ by Madeline Cross is a quiet story of “a shared internal world, and of growing up and old alongside another”.
Zoetrope | San Francisco
Zoetrope was founded by director Francis Ford Coppola as a place to showcase innovative short fiction, which he thought of as the art form most creatively aligned with screenplays. Their submitted story is about “artificial intelligence, mass catastrophe, love and abandonment, and what substantiates existence.”
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