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Essay Contest

Northwest Perspectives
Essay Contest 

We are no longer running the Oregon Quarterly essay contest, but are grateful to all those who have submitted in the past. Thank you for sharing your amazing stories with us. 

The 2016 winners of the Northwest Perspectives Essay Contest were as follows:

At School, A Shooting by Drew Terhune

Refuge by Valerie Rapp

A Forest Curator by Karen Kruger

Honorable Mention

Hurdles and Barricades by Noah Schultz


Territory by Kim Conolly

What Pulls You Through by Emily Edelman

Not Exactly the Teenage Dream by Rebecca Miles

The Gate on the Oregon Trail by Charley Roberts

[Untitled] by Corey Freer

Little Tumescent Water Droplets by Edward Engs

Two Truths and a Lie by Erin Kanzig

Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! selected the 2016 contest winners. Russell’s debut novel was chosen by the New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of 2011, long-listed for The Orange Prize, and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Russell has been featured in the New Yorker’s 20 Under 40 list, and was chosen as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists. In 2013 she was named a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” the youngest of the year’s 24 winners. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

Read the winning essays from 2015:


First Place "Water, Water, Everywhere," by Kristianne Huntsberger

Second Place "Vintage Keys," by Drew Terhune

Tied for Third Place "Moccasin's End," by Autumn Depoe-Hughes & "When the Lights Go Out," by Sue Lick


"The Aftermath of Loss – What Happens When a Hoarder Dies" by Melissent Zumwalt 

"Black Hole" by Jason Silverstein

"The Hobo Pirates of Portland" by Shannon Gadberry


First Place "155 Days," by Nysia Trejo

Second Place "A Temperate Mind," by Forrest Munro

Third Place  "Floater," by Max Rubin


"Anything Can Happen Now" by K.R. Sodikoff

"The Buzzing Space" by Carl Cacela

"Life in the Shadow of Death" by Nicole Krueger

Views expressed in these essays do not necessarily reflect the views of the UO administration.


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