Congratulations to Kate Senecal, Our 2022 Dogwood Winner in Fiction!

The editors are pleased to announce that judge Charles Rafferty chose Kate Senecal’s story, “Fireworks,” for this year’s Dogwood Literary Award in Fiction. Ms. Senecal will receive $1,000 and her story will be published in Dogwood’s 2022 edition. Finalists for the award were Sam Jenkins and Steve Lautermilch, whose works will also appear in the Dogwood 2022, due out in late May.

In his citation, Rafferty writes,

“The author maintained a nice tension between Casey and her two friends throughout, and it was a surprise to see that Casey would be the one to win over Brian in the end. The story is full of pleasing details—like the ‘ten crucifixes that hung on the walls of the kitchen’ in Brian’s house, or intimate lines like ‘letting the damp stones that surrounded the river cool my feet.’ The story swings for the bleachers at the end, which is something all stories should attempt. I’m very much taken with the closing phrase: ‘desperate for something like God to be real.’”

Kate Senecal is a writer and Assistant Director of the Pioneer Valley Writer’s Workshop. Her work has been featured in The Laurel Review, The Foundling Review,, and The Waterwheel Review. She received her MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Vermont, USA in 2013. She is also the former fiction editor of Storychord, a fiction instructor for Grub Street, and an occasional lecturer at UMass Amherst. Kate also received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train’s 2019 Short Fiction Contest, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016. 

Charles Rafferty has published 15 collections of poetry—most recently A Cluster of Noisy Planets (BOA Editions, 2021). His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, O, Oprah Magazine, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac With Garrison Keillor, Prairie Schooner, and Ploughshares. His second collection of stories is Somebody Who Knows Somebody (Gold  Wake Press, 2021). His stories have appeared in The Southern Review, Milk Candy Review, Juked, Okay Donkey, and New World Writing. His first novel is Moscodelphia (Woodhall Press, 2021). Rafferty has won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commision on Culture and Tourism. Currently, he co-directs the MFA Program at Albertus Magnus College and teaches at the Westport Writers’ Workshop.

The editors would like to thank the hundreds of writers who entered the contest. This year we awarded $1,000 prizes in three genres; we are grateful to our many contest entrants, who by entering the competition make this rich compilation possible. We also thank our judges, Charles Rafferty (Fiction), Joanna Eleftheriou (Nonfiction), and Frederick-Douglass Knowles (Poetry) for their hard work in choosing the winners of this year’s Dogwood Literary Awards. The portal for the 2023 awards will open July 1st, and we encourage all interested writers to consider entering. Familiarize yourself with a back issue of the magazine or subscribe by clicking on the “buy” tab in the menu above.


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