Indiana Collegiate Press Association Literary Magazine Winners

Rank Literary Magazine Points
1st place (tie) genesis Literary & Art Magazine, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis 22 points
1st place (tie) The Juggler, University of Notre Dame 22 points
2nd place Etchings, University of Indianapolis 12 points
3rd place (tie) Manuscripts, Butler University 6 points
3rd place (tie) Red Cents, Goshen College 6 points

Best Artwork

to be, to exist

Judges' comments: “I literally said "wow" out loud when I first opened this submission, then I couldn't get it out of my mind. Deceptively complex — appears 'simple' on the surface, but the longer you spend in this work, the more intense the relationship grows to the movement and presumed intent of the artist. What a special piece. Well done indeed.”



Judges' comments: “This is a piece I would buy if it were available at an exhibit. Whimsical and yet tailored, I loved everything about this.”


Paint Me a Prison

Judges' comments: “Lovely piece.”

Best Cover Design

Red Cents Cover

Judges' comments: “Arresting drawing of a woman's face. What makes this cover effective is its simplicity and the woman's expression. What she is feeling is open to interpretation by the reader.”


genesis Literary & Art Magazine spring 2020 cover

Judges' comments: “Effective impressionistic representation of "genesis." Nice use of earthy colors. Simple yet powerful.”


Powderhorn Pines

Judges' comments: “Gorgeous, yet stark, photo seems symbolic of the isolation caused by the pandemic. The size and the placement of the text provides balance and contrast.”

Best Hand-Drawn Illustration


Judges' comments: “This oil on carvas is just beautifully rendered. Strong brushwork and a delicious color palette where a viewer can almost simultaneously feel the warmth of the sun and the the coolness of the water enveloping a child who is perhaps seeking or has found the solace of the title. Impressive work.”



Judges' comments: “Bold, rich use of color adds to the emotional impact of this dramatic piece. The viewer is drawn into the eye, the door, the vortex pulling us into the realm of ... what? Fantasy, hallucination, a dark fairytale? Well done.”


Dhyan Ko Khel

Judges' comments: “A strong, uncompromisng drawing. The low angle, unwavering eye contact of the subject, unexpected incorporation of color all make it impossible to look away from this powerful piece. Excellent.”

Best Overall Design

The Juggler Fall 2020 Volume 91

Judges' comments: “Such a lovely mix of words, use of type and images.”


Etchings Magazine Vol. 33.1

Judges' comments: “Ample, interesting choice of artwork throughout. Font choice and use of rule lines as a unifying element give a retro feel (align and might lighten weight so they don't overwhelm). QR codes leading to music is a fun feature.”


Manuscripts Volume 85

Judges' comments: “Simple but elegant in its use of spacing, typeface and images.”

Best Photo


Judges' comments: “Beautiful use of light and water to "reflect."”


The Encroaching Darkness

Judges' comments: “Haunting, but an excellent use of light.”


Traveling into the Unknown

Judges' comments: “Just lovely.”

Best Single Issue

The Juggler Fall 2020 Volume 91

Judges' comments: “The intentionality and thoughtfulness of this journal is evident and apparent from cover to cover. The pacing and diversity of the works included in the piece carry the reader on a lovely ride that ends far too soon. Just lovely.”


genesis Literary & Art Magazine volume forty-nine issue one spring 2020

Judges' comments: “A lovely piece of work this.”


Etchings 33.1

Judges' comments: “Nice work.”

Best Creative Non-fiction

Shame and Queer Desire: A Storied Reading of Lady Audley's Secret

Judges' comments: “A wonderful blend of personal essay, literary critcism and cultural commentary. The writing is lively, distinct and direct, with elegant lines like "the collapse of every dusty year coming to bear on that moment." This piece is interwoven and complex without seeming forced. Very well done.”


How To Tell A Lie

Judges' comments: “This essay is a like a firehose of ideas and images and narrative, in a good way. The narrator doesn't answer our every question, but places us in their shoes with the use of "you" and leaves us with a sense of frustration, anger and confusion that parallels their own.”



Judges' comments: “The use of the third person adds an interestingly deceptive distance to what is really a very personal essay. We get a sense of this character's needs, desires and frustrations from the snippets of memory and daily life, especially the bond with the cat that pushes up against the lack of bond with the boss.”

Best Flash Fiction (500 words or fewer)


Judges' comments: “It has good imagery; topical and relatable with a coherent narrative; I like the circular construction.”


29 Days and Counting

Judges' comments: “Clever style, just this side of unreadable; the playing with numbers was a good idea but overused. A strong narrative. I didn't like the last line: "They are all living in a dream." It's not a dream — we're all going through it, and the third-person point of view just distances us from that commonality even further.”


Torn Down

Judges' comments: “This was the most "traditional" in format/narrative but I felt like it was missing some pieces. Vivid descriptions, interesting idea. It is well-written though; seems like a chapter from a larger work.”

Best Formal Poem (Max. 50 lines)

Apology: masculinity

Judges' comments: “A free-wheeling narrative chronicling a journey of self awareness and doubt, the contradictions of the human heart and mind. There are surprises here at different turns in the imagery, vulnerability and sharp edges. Urgent pacing. Well done.”


the poverty line sestina

Judges' comments: “A sprawling, impressive examination of poverty and otherness that unfolds in the frame of a bus ride. Gentle, sophisticated rhymes and structure.”


Mannered Rejection

Judges' comments: “A pithy, sardonic exploration of rejection. The stoic exasperation is comically delivered. Any young person will feel the wacky metaphorical excuses for a "no."”

Best Free Verse Poem (Max. 50 lines)

For Otis

Judges' comments: “Strong imagery & attention to sensory detail. I loved the repetition of "Black," and the word choice throughout.”


Did You Have Your Conversation with the Moon?

Judges' comments: “Love the references in this poem and the language used to give it an ethereal feel. It reads as playful, while reverent in a way.”


They're Building a House Next Door

Judges' comments: “I really enjoy the perspective of this poem, as well as the descriptive language: "clay tiles on weathered rafters." This poem explores the realtionships and backstories of the people working on this house. I especially love the last line: "Don't worry kid, this place may get built in spite of us."”

Best Short Poem (Max. 20 lines)

land of the free

Judges' comments: “So brief, yet so powerful. The imagery of "cracked lips" and "bienvenidos in Sharpie." Strong perspective.”


Fragment from a Weekday Morning

Judges' comments: “There's so much to love about this poem, from the imagery of a cool morning, to the lines, "If I were to start a religion, / That is to say, if I had time to start a religion, / It would be a religion of hot beverages." It's meditative while irreverent.”


Sonnet One Point Five

Judges' comments: “The language of this poem is beautiful and moving: "carved a place where I may number the freckles on your / skin." It evokes feelings of possible loss/holding tightly, and it highlights the beauty in these stolen moments.”

Best Short Story (500 words or more)


Judges' comments: “Great use of small or subtle details to give readers insight into these characters' personalities and histories. Some clever figurative langauge: "Outtalk a televangelist," "willing to go snorkeling in a landfill," "Distractions were like moths wandering into a zapper." The story is dialogue-heavy — a lot of the dialogue is natural and snappy, but some is a little too self-aware (though I suppose in the texting age, a lot of young adults are hyper-aware of how they sound). The cave setting adds a sense of danger and a bit little symbolism and makes the familiar plot of a friend recognizing another friend is in crisis feel fresh.”


Snakes on a Brain

Judges' comments: “Funny from the outset. I've never thought of what Medusa might feed her hair-snakes before, and the idea of her making raccoon statues to sell on Etsy is fabulous! Great contrast between who Medusa really is and who she tries to be in public — it works for her as a character, and it works on a broader level for anyone who's ever felt like they can't be themselves. Good sensory details, especially inside Target. I admire the willingness to try a twist ending and leave readers in a moment of uncertainty, but it reminded me too much of Percy Jackson and pulled me out of this world (which I suppose is a risk with any mythology-related story these days).”



Judges' comments: “Good sensory details, especially use of color to evoke a mood. The dialogue is mostly realistic, and I have a good picture in my head of the characters. The plot is familiar, but the details rescued it from being cliche. I had trouble suspending disbelief and believing that a hospital visitor could ever get access to morphine like this. I love the plain image of vending machine pretzels at the end, contrasting with the drama of the rest of the story.”