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The MFA Glenn Balch Prize for Fiction

Each year, the Glenn Balch Prize in Fiction recognizes three MFA fiction students for outstanding work in the short story or novel-excerpt form. The family of Glenn Balch, the famed Idaho writer who published over 30 books, funds the annual contest. There is no cost to enter the contest, which is open to all current MFA fiction students. Members of the Balch family select the three finalists, who are then ranked by an outside judge. Award amounts vary each year.

Past Winners of the Glenn Balch Prize

2023 Winners – Judged by Gothataone Moeng

  • First Place – “Old Texas Wives Tale” by Kira Compton
  • Second Place – “See You Soon” by Ayotola Tehingbola
  • Third Place – “Soft Light” by Hannah Phillips

2022 Winners – Judged by Elizabeth Gonzalez James

  • First place: “Cutter” by Zach Small
  • Second place: “Winter Break” by Hannah Phillips
  • Third place: “The Water is Not the Faucet” by Ayotola Tehingbola

2021 Winners – Judged by Clyde Moneyhun

  • First place: “Traces” by Natanya Biskar
  • Second place: “Where it Comes From” by Desmond Fuller
  • Third place: “Frank” by Kathleen Olp

2020 Winners – Judged by Hester Kaplan

  • First place: “Any Good Scientist” by Jacqui ReikoTeruya
  • Second place:  “Thug” by Edvin Subasic
  • Third place: “Heirlooms” by Rory Mehlman

2019 Winners – Judged by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

  • First place: “Ghost Story” by Becca Anderson
  • Other finalists: Jacqui Reiko Teruya and EJ Pettinger

2018 Winners – Judged by Ridley Pearson

  • First place: Stephen Miller
  • Other finalists: Mark Wood and Natalie Disney

2017 Winners – Judged by Wiley Cash

  • First place: “Current” by Ariel Delgado Dixon
  • Other finalists: Natalie Disney and Timothy Griffith