Virginia Ewing Hudson has won the 2017 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story "Mother." She will receive $1,000 and possible publication in the Thomas Wolfe Review.
Final judge Wiley Cash commented: "This atmospheric, haunting story is a portrait of childhood grief and the ways in which children wade through it. Rooster, a young boy who cares for his dying mother while yearning for the mysteries of the world outside their home, is sensitive and beautifully drawn. The writing reminded me of the best of Elizabeth Spencer and Donald Ray Pollock."
Jane Shlensky recieved an honorable mention for her story "Clean Burn." Cash said about it: "Waitsel fancies himself a fire-conjuring Robin Hood, and the reader doesn't know whether to respect him or fear him. This story was as brief as a match strike, but its portrait of small-town life and the lives that go unnoticed is seared into my memory."