Jan/Feb 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 1 2018 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest |

Short Fiction Contest Introduction

“Sine Qua Non,” writes Short Fiction Contest runner-up Tyler Barton. “This is a designation the French use to mean: without which, there is none. The essential ingredient. Say, a chili with no tomato. A Manhattan sans whiskey.” What is the essential ingredient for a successful short story? Some years we see one theme coursing through all three of the top stories in our Short Fiction Contest, but this year each story has a distinct strength. In Laura Roque’s winning story, “Dientes for Dentures,” we fall for the protagonist’s Abuela, a complicated woman who resists easy categorization. Her daughter and granddaughter don’t always understand her choices — her loyalty to Castro, her decision to remove her teeth — but their love and loyalty shows in the way they care for her in her old age. In “Spiritual Introduction to the Neighborhood,” a runner-up by Tyler Barton, it’s both the relationship to a place and the unconventional form the author has c

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