Christopher TradowskyScott Heim has selected Mountain Cousins by Christopher Tradowsky for the 2013 BLOOM Fiction Chapbook Prize. Tradowsky will receive 25 copies of the chapbook and a $100 honorarium.
 
Judge’s citation: “The Mountain Cousins is so wickedly original, so inventive and assured and downright strange, that it’s hard to believe it wasn’t written by a seasoned literary star with several novels under his belt.  Christopher Tradowsky seems as much a descendant of Tennessee Williams and Flannery O’Connor as he does of Stephen King, and his inventive, grimly visionary story is unforgettable.”
 
Tradowsky elaborates on the story’s origins: “It’s actually a rewrite of a myth from Ovid’s Metamorphosis, the battle of the Lapiths and the centaurs. Ovid’s version is a bit more gory than mine: lots of descriptions of centaur entrails hanging from tree branches and the like. Anyway, being an art historian, I have a deep love of classical mythology, and since I grew up on a horse farm in rural Ohio, I just thought I’d see what sort of bizarre hybrid would emerge from setting Ovid in a rural American/Appalachian setting.”
 
Christopher Tradowsky lives in Saint Paul, where he writes stories and makes visual art. He has a PhD in Art History from UCLA, and teaches at St Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. His stories have appeared previously in Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, The Battered Suitcase, and Spontaneous Combustion. His criticism has appeared in the CAA Art Journal. You can see more of his visual work and read more at www.christophertradowsky.com.
 
Heim has also selected Where Your Children Are by Wayne Johns as runner-up: “Where Your Children Are is an exquisitely detailed coming-of-age story, made more darkly compelling through the author’s insights into Southern race relations and the terrible torments of childhood.  With elegant, composed prose, Wayne Johns illuminates one poignant summer in two young boys’ lives.  He has written a beautiful story, from its enchanting opening to its unforgettable final paragraph.”