Through our first year of publications—the release of our Inaugural Issue in May, the second year of our administration of the Words and Music Writing Competition, the release of our Issue 2 in November, and our grand Premiere launch party and readings—the thing in the back of our minds that we have been looking forward to has been the opportunity to nominate our contributors’ fine work for Pushcart Prizes and other awards.

We could never have realized how hard it would be. Surely there would be a handful that rise like cream to the top, right? It’s just not the case. Perhaps it’s a testament that we never let our bar slip down in looking for work that is both (1) of the highest quality, and (2) is emblematic of our guiding aesthetics and principles—that the seemingly small and insignificant moments and places can yield the stories of the greatest meaning and importance, that there is no place so “podunk” that it cannot be a source of elevated Peauxdunque! It is certainly a testament that all of our contributors are masters of their art.

But, the Pushcart folks require we limit our nominations to only six. It wasn’t easy, in the least, but after applying those same two criteria—quality of the work and capturing the Peauxdunque principles—our editorial board has agreed on the following slate of nominees that we have made to the Pushcart Prize editors:

Fiction

“Someone Else’s Lights,” by Leslie Doyle (Issue 1)

“Apples and Oranges,” by Ambata Kazi-Nance (Issue 1)

Poetry

“Interviewing Li Lu,” Lana K.W. Austin (Issue 2)

“Alone in the Pickup Bed, Somewhere a Break in the Fence,” David Meischen (Issue 2)

Creative Nonfiction

“The Braille Machine,” by Jennifer Steil (Issue 2)

“Can I Visit?,” by Kailyn McCord (Issue 1)

To read all the beautiful and deserving work of all of the Peauxdunque contributors, order your copies of our Inaugural Issue 1 and Issue 2 at our storefront.