Melanie Bishop


Thank you to the Florida Review!

Melanie Bishop Wins the 2022 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award

The Florida Review is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021-2022 Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award: Melanie Bishop, for Home for Wayward Girls.

Bishop’s chapbook will be released in Spring 2023. The contest was judged by Jill Talbot, whose chapbook A Distant Town: Stories was last year’s winner and is available for sale.

Talbot had this to say about the prize-winning entry:

It’s after Noreen leaves that my father starts calling our house The Home for Wayward Girls, and we start collecting girls with problems. It’s New Orleans, 1970, and thirteen-year-old Amelia Snyder keeps the secrets of the wayward girls around her and an eye on her father’s drinking. In this beautiful, at times heartbreaking fiction, a family opens their home, already brimming with four daughters and a son, to a girl on the run and a girl in a bad marriage. The young, wise narrator learns about life from the older girls around her—girls who want, but don’t get what they’re after, girls who don’t realize what they deserve. A captivating, tender story that shows how some people rush into our lives as quickly as they rush out, leaving us to wait for the next thing to happen.”

Melanie Bishop is Faculty Emeritus at Prescott College in Arizona, where for 22 years she taught creative writing, and was Founding Editor, and Fiction/Nonfiction Editor of Alligator Juniper, a national literary magazine, three-time winner of the AWP Directors’ Prize. Her young adult novel, My So-Called Ruined Life (2014) was a top-five finalist for both the John Gardner Award in Fiction and CLMP’s Firecracker Awards. Bishop has published fiction and nonfiction in The New York TimesGlimmer TrainGeorgetown ReviewGreensboro ReviewFlorida ReviewVelaEssay DailyNext AvenueCarmel MagazineHuffington PostNew York Journal of Books, and Family Circle. Currently, Bishop teaches occasional classes for Stanford Continuing Studies, and offers instruction, guidance and editing through her business, Lexi Services. “Home for Wayward Girls” is the title story of her short story cycle. For more, visit:

Thank you to the many writers who submitted their strong work for consideration. The full list of finalists is below, and the 2022-2023 contest is now open!


David Preizler, Racetrackers


Jenna Abrams, Mama Shark

Laura Biagi, The Fair Day

Michael Colbert, Sea Monsters

Sharon Hashimoto, Containment and Other Stories

DS Levy, American Fare

David Schwartz, Sleight

Joan Sidney, I Married a Mathematician

Julie Marie Wade and Denise Duhamel, 50 States

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Back by popular demand: Playa Summer Lake opens a Second Modern Love Retreat in October


October 21 @ 4:00 pm – October 24 @ 10:00 am


Over the last fifteen years, the reader-submitted essays in the The New York Times Modern Love column have elevated many writers’ careers, leading some to agents, book deals, and even film adaptations. The column has led to a Modern Love Podcast (2015) and, most recently, a web-based anthology series on Amazon (2019), evidence of its continued popularity. With all that it has spawned, the column has become something of a cultural phenomenon. With 2.6 million readers, there is no greater exposure for a writer than The New York Times. This three-day retreat will provide plenty of time for immersion in the Modern Love column, while also giving participants unstructured time to work on their ideas and drafts. In our first class, we will study essays published in the column, analyzing them to discover their range of topics, writing styles, and narrative strategies. Each of us has within us the material for an essay appropriate to the column. (More likely, we all have several.) Once we’ve become more knowledgeable about essays that found their way into print, we’ll devote our second class to generating ideas through in-class exercises to discover our own Modern Love material. The love we explore can be romantic, platonic, unrequited, or familial. With feedback from peers and guidance from instructor, we will get started on a first draft. On our last evening together, before and after a shared dinner, we will have read-aloud workshops of essays-in-progress.

Open to writers of all levels. Some familiarity with the Modern Love column is assumed.

$575 includes instruction, lodging, welcoming Meet&Greet, one dinner, one lunch. (All cabins have kitchens and participants bring provisions for other meals.)

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Rest, Write and Reboot in Your Private Cabin

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Shed Worries from Home on These Walking Paths


Find Your Muse by the Pond

Learn more and register here.