The Vincent Brothers Review editors choose all of our issue selections with our eyes toward Pushcart Prize and Best American Short Story anthology nominations. We aim for a long shelf life for the content of both our website and short-run print issues, and aim to publish short stories, essays, and poems that are timeless and crafted to resonate with audiences from the unknown future as much as possible. Taking the time to consider and discuss how individual stories and poems work to achieve broad audiences is one of the perks of editing a literary journal.
We send each of our print issues to Best American Short Stories readers so all of the stories we publish in print are nominated. The Pushcart Prize nominations are limited to only six selections from a magazine’s yearly output (from both print and online publications), which makes them more difficult to choose. Pushcart Prize nominations must be made via surface mail, too, which is a charming throwback to how we did things in the Old Days, as well as a testament to Pushcart’s dedication to their original and highly regarded labor of love.
TVBR published dozens of new-to-us writers in 2020 in our print Issue #24—themed “Changes”—so it was difficult to choose only six nominees. TVBR editors are pleased to announce the three poems and three short stories we nominated for the 2020 Pushcart Prize.
“Wild Pitches” by René Houtrides, “House of Rain Flies” by Feng Gooi, and “Stuck” by Will Winkle received our nominations in the short fiction category.
“Leaving Jail” by Benjamin Pryor, “Rain and Love” by Susan Jelus, and “All the Wretched Unsaved of the Avenue” by Roy Bentley received our nominations in the poetry category.
TVBR editors plan to launch a Substack newsletter soon to flesh out and detail what we look for in both selections for our issues and possible nominations for Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. We’ll use selections from our current and back issues to reference and quote from as concrete examples of what we’re looking for in a story or poem. We’re always looking to broaden the audience for our writers and look forward to giving our writers another read via the Substack pieces. First up will be a review of “The House of Rain Flies” by Feng Gooi from Our Issue #24. Stay tuned!