The Plaza Microfiction Prize Winners

The Plaza Microfiction Prize Winners

Meg Pokrass

Top 4 Microfiction Entries
(titles listed order)

All the comments in quotes below are from our judge, Meg Pokrass.

‘It was great to see the many wonderful examples of great microfiction represented in the The Plaza Prize, and to be reminded of what we long for when we turn to a story, no matter how tiny. It is the feeling of becoming alive in a new body— the moment when someone else’s way of seeing the world becomes a real place inside our minds. Every microfiction story on The Plaza Prize Microfiction contest shortlist was memorable, making it painful to choose, but in the end, these 3 winning stories swept me off my feet and I found it impossible to resist their narrative charms.’


‘The winner, “Tiny Spines”, is a story that I couldn’t unglue from my thoughts. Stories of such a tragic subject matter are notoriously tricky and often an author will lean toward sentimentality, but here the author relied on their gift with emotional detail and the payoff was big. I admire how the narrative is built from a character’s specific reactions to an object, and the way their view of that object changes from silly and light to profound and tender. I found the story to be quietly haunted and super-charged from the inside out, with an expert eye on life’s ordinary beauty. This was a story I could not turn away from, as if it selected me as much as I selected it. A stunning story.’


‘“Where They Hide” is a seemingly simple story about how childhood vulnerability can scar us for life. Here, we’re shown the tenuous landscape of a child and treated to a personal vision of a landscape filled with both familiar and unfamiliar “snakes”. A marvelled at their exquisite use of language, and the creative way the story unfolds as told through a child’s perspective. The writer trusts the reader implicitly, and without hitting us over the head with who the real snake is, it becomes clear that this child will be brutally struck.’


‘“Head in the Clouds” is a surreal delight. In this innovative piece of writing a group of neighbourhood dads become grotesques of their careers. The author shows us that life in a community is complicated, no matter how friendly it seems, and we’re treated to the crazy world of overly-enthusiastic males trying to out-do each other in the ways they know, and as shown through the child’s perspective. Hilariously weird and darkly funny— I wanted to read this story again and again.’


‘“How to Catch Lampuki” is filled with internal conflict and told with urgent attention to sensory detail. The effect left me breathless. A young woman’s feelings of darkness about her upcoming marriage are explored by her observations of her fianace, father and the village men catching and graphically killing lampuki in the particular way they do it. The metaphor for what men do to women is brilliantly explored.’

Congrats to the winners. They will be awarded their prizes at our awards ceremony in Malta in October 2024, and published in The Plaza Prizes Anthology 2.

The NEW 2024 Plaza Poetry Prize (40 lines max) is open to enter. Judge: Moniza Alvi. 1st prize: £1,000. Deadline: 31st May 2024.