TIFERET 2019 Writing Contest Results

TIFERET is pleased to announce the 2019 Writing Contest Winners and Finalists!

Thank you to all who entered, and to our editors and judges for reading and selecting submissions.


Non-Fiction Finalists

Winner: Gods for Other Lives by Laura Marshall

Honorable Mention: In the Lake, Before Dark by Joshua Bernstein

Honorable Mention: The Deep Limitless Air by Mary Allen


  • Transfiguration by Beth Walker
  • Turning Our Backs to Apps: The New Work of Gay Liberation by Benjamin Bagocius
  • In Search of Lost Judaism by Sharon Separ
  • Listening in Tongues by John Backman
  • Anonymous Together by Michael Hahn
  • What Dying Doesn’t Look Like by Joanna Laufer

Poetry Finalists

Winner: Outside Grenoble by Jennifer Barber

Honorable Mention: Six Ways of Looking upon Buddha Nature by Beth Walker


  • A Scavenging Song by Sam Illingsworth
  • Attention Deficit by Laura Wisniewski
  • Ubi Caritas by Mary P. Curtis
  • Grateful by Lois Roma-Deeley
  • Red Currents by Mary Ames
  • Dust by Kathleen O’Toole
  • Come out of the House by William O’Daly

Fiction Finalists

Winner: What’s Left by Mary Grimm

Honorable Mention: My Mother & The Kamikaze by Rosanna Staffa

Honorable Mention: Philip Waning by Grant Jarrett


  • Peace Criminals Don’t Do Time by Craig Kenworthy
  • The Kind You Can Ride by Eric Reitan
  • The Yo-Yo Man by Robert Sachs
  • Living Kaddish by Sarah Niebuhr Rubin
  • In the Night Kitchen by Julie Marie Wade
  • A Rose among the Thorns by Merav Fima
  • Living the Gospel Message by Angela D’Agostino
  • Prayer 2.0 by Seth Freeman


Non-Fiction Judge

Lisa Romeo is the author of the memoir Starting with Goodbye (University of Nevada Press, 2018). Her work is listed in Best American Essays 2018 and 2016, and has appeared in the New York Times, Longreads, Under the Sun, Brevity, Hippocampus, Harpur Palate, and other places. She teaches with Bay Path University MFA, The Writers Circle, at conferences and literary events. Lisa is an essays editor for Cleaver Magazine and was creative nonfiction editor for Compose.

Poetry Judge

A Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poet in the Schools, Charles H. Johnson was a second-place winner of the 2013 Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards for his poem “Sunday Comics” and won the 2011 New Jersey Poets Prize for his poem “Leaving.” He received the 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize for Literary Excellence for his third book “Smoke Signals.” He is a high school poetry instructor for the N.J. Arts & Education Center, a visiting poet for the Paterson, N.J., school system and a poetry judge for the New Jersey Teen Arts Festival. His website is www.charleshjohnsonpoet.net

Fiction Judge

Susan Tepper is the author of seven published books of fiction and poetry. Her stories, poems, interviews and essays appear in journals and zines worldwide. Honors and awards include the Zoetrope shortlist for a Novel (2006), Second Place Winner in The Million Writers Award, Best Story of 17 Years of Vestal Review (2017), eighteen Pushcart Prize Nominations, and a Pulitzer Prize Nomination for the Novel. Her latest book WHAT DRIVES MEN is forthcoming from Wilderness House Press.

The winner in each category will receive a check for $500 and be published in a future issue of TIFERET!

We will make an announcement about the dates for the 2020 Annual Writing Contest as soon as they become available.