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Announcing Our 2021 Pushcart Prize Nominations

Each year, Pushcart Press accepts nominations from magazine and small book press editors throughout the world for the Pushcart Prize. Editors can nominate poetry, essays, short stories, memoirs, or standalone novel excerpts, including translations, reprints, and both traditional and experimental writing. Selected pieces are then published in the annual Pushcart Prize anthology.

Our 2021 Pushcart Prize Nominations

Capsule Stories nominated the following six stories, essays, and poems for the Pushcart Prize:


“Family Tree” by K-Ming Chang in Capsule Stories Spring 2021 Edition

K-Ming Chang / 張欣明 is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree. Her debut novel Bestiary (One World/Random House, 2020) was longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. More of her writing can be found at

“First Date Sonata” by Emily Polson in Capsule Stories Summer 2021 Edition

Emily Polson holds a BFA in creative writing from Belhaven University and has been published in Catfish Creek, FEED, 433 Magazine, and The Brogue. Originally from Central Iowa, she now lives in Brooklyn and works in book publishing. You can follow her on Twitter at @emilycpolson.

 “What Lives Beneath the Buried” by Kara Knickerbocker in Capsule Stories Autumn 2021 Edition

Kara Knickerbocker is the author of the chapbooks The Shedding Before the Swell (dancing girl press, 2018) and Next to Everything That Is Breakable (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her poetry and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from Poet Lore, Hobart, Levee Magazine, and Portland Review and the anthologies Pennsylvania’s Best Emerging Poets, Crack the Spine, and more. She lives in Pennsylvania where she writes with the Madwomen in the Attic at Carlow University and co-curates the MadFridays Reading Series. Find her online at


“The Desecrated Wood” by Mallory Pearson in Capsule Stories Summer 2021 Edition

Mallory Pearson is an artist and writer living in Queens, New York. She writes about themes of folklore, femininity, and loss, and how these elements interact with the Southern United States.

“I Can’t Even Find It in Me to Water the Flowers” by Teya Hollier in Capsule Stories Second Isolation Edition

Teya Hollier (she/her) is a mixed raced Black woman living in Toronto, Ontario. She is a recent graduate of York University’s creative writing program, in which she won both the Babs Burggraf Award and the Judith Eve Gewurtz award during her studies. Her writing aims to confront racial oppression, mental illness, and generational trauma. She loves horror movies and is currently working on a collection of short horror stories that are allegorical explorations of the Black experience.

“Potato Season” by Wendy BooydeGraaff in Capsule Stories Winter 2021 Edition

Wendy BooydeGraaff has fiction, poems, and essays included in Not Very Quiet, Another Chicago Magazine, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, NOON, and elsewhere. Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, she now lives in Michigan.

It was difficult to narrow down our list of 2021 Pushcart Prize nominations because we published so many fantastic authors this year across five editions of our literary magazine. Thank you to each and every one of our contributors for sending us your work. We are so grateful to publish it!