Winners of the 2021 Kurt Vonnegut Prize in Speculative Literature

We are pleased to announce that our 2021 judge Kij Johnson has selected a winner and runner-up from a slate of finalists and semi-finalists for North American Review's 2021 Kurt Vonnegut Prize in Speculative Fiction. A big thank you to everyone who submitted a story for the prize. We had 210 entries this year, and we thoroughly enjoyed reading such an abundance of excellent fiction. The winner and runner-up will appear in the Summer 2021 issue of the North American Review, and all entrants will receive a copy.

Kij Johnson

First Place
“Snow Queen” – Gina Ochsner

Runner Up
“The Boy from Wal-mart” – dm armstrong

“Farmer Miao’s Interview” – R.S. Powers
“The Approaching Playground”  – Alyssa Asquith
“To the Land of Latitude” – Aber Grand
“Séance” – Suphil Lee Park
“Meeples”  – Gareth Hastings
“Sleeperlock” – Juan Cortes

“Vivo!” – Eric Dovigi
“My Dinner with the Void”  – Christopher Rose
“The Mother” – Rebecca Nakaba
“The Yellow Rabbit” – Garth Miró
“Mermaid Girls” – Paola Ferrante
“Shadowlands” – Gina Ochsner

Contest Director
Brooke Wonders

Preliminary Readers
Emma Fassbinder
Kandise Hauber
Erin Kamp
Neysa Klauer
Breanna Knight
Kayla Lawrence
Madeline Ludwig
Al Maier
Alexis Meek
Alexus Minervini
Sam Niles
Sherri Niles
Haley Radke
Kenzi Ramer
Kenzie Thomson-Machholz
Melody Trucano
Ashley Webb
Harmony Wilson


Kij Johnson

Kij Johnson writes novels, short stories, and occasional other things. Her story collection, At the Mouth of the River of Bees (Small Beer Press 2012) was a finalist for the World Fantasy Award. She has won multiple Nebula and Hugo awards for her short fiction and is a frequent instructor at the Clarion Writers’ Workshops. Johnson lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where she is an Associate Professor at the University of Kansas.