Byzantium Announces Creative Writing Contest Winners!

Cal Poly’s English Department is pleased to announce the winners of Byzantium’s 2020 poetry and fiction writing contests:


First Place: “Merry Christmas. Also, Where is Bora Bora?,” by Alexandra Sara

Second Place: “Los Campos,” by Luke Bartell

Third Place: “Farmers’ Market Benediction,” by Sarah Rabbon 


First Place:  “The Sister’s Coat,” by Mia Daniele

Second Place: “Sea Sick,” by Abby Edgecumbe

Third Place: “The Liar & His Lyre: A Most Unbelievable Tale Told by an Unreliable Source,” by Ellie Desmond

The poetry contest was judged by Ellen Bass, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a professor in Pacific University’s MFA program; her most recent book, Indigo, was released by Copper Canyon Press in February 2020. The fiction contest was judged by Silas Zobal, the author of The People of Broken Neck and a short-story collection called The Inconvenience of the Wings. Zobal has published short fiction and essays in The Missouri ReviewNorth American ReviewShenandoahLit HubGlimmer Train, and many others.

All student winners will be awarded a cash prize, and their work will be published in the 2020 issue of Byzantium, Cal Poly’s annual literary journal, alongside the rest of the editors’ selections. This year marks the 30th publication of this celebrated student publication. In light of COVID-19 campus closures, plans for distribution of the journal and any sort of unveiling event are still up in the air, but certainly the journal will be published in June all the same, and free copies will be available for pick up in Kennedy Library once campus opens up again.

Follow @byzantium.calpoly on Instagram to stay up-to-date!

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