The Spring Issue of 3rd Wednesday

SmallCoverSpring2023The spring issue is our annual contest issue. This year we were pleased to have David James to judge our contest. David currently serves as the president of The Poetry Society of Michigan. He recently retired from teaching at Oakland Community College where his popular courses included Composition I and II, Creative Writing, Advanced Creative Writing, Introduction to Playwriting and Screenwriting, Advanced Screenwriting, and Introduction to Literature: Poetry and Drama. In 2006, David was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award for teaching excellence.

David’s books include Alive in Your Skin While You Still Own It, 2022, Wiping Stars from Your Sleeves, 2021, A Gem of Truth, 2019,

Nail Yourself into Bliss, 2019, Going Down, Friend, 2017 (chapbook) and My Torn Dance Card, 2015.

David was charged with picking 3 winning poems and a handful of honorable mentions from nearly 200 entries of up to 3 poems each, a monumental task, and he made excellent choices for us.

In addition to our editors’ picks from regular submissions, many of the poems in this issue came originally from contest entries. We offer everyone who enters the contest a second chance opportunity for publication as a regular submission. David James had to eliminate a lot of poems to get to his final choices and among those poems that didn’t make the final cut we found many gems.

The Greyhound / Graham C. Goff

Graham C. Goff is a college student in rural central Texas (two hundred miles from Nowhere). He collects and repairs typewriters, avidly consumes Russian literature, and plays tennis. Graham anticipates a future career in writing, law, professorship, or diplomacy— depending on who’s asking. He is an editor at “Kitchen Sink Magazine” and has been previously published in “Kitchen Sink Magazine”, “Evening Street Review”, “The Literatus” and “Die Leere Mitte”.

Growing Gone / Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown has published two short story collections, Death Roll and Ink On Wood, and has had Fiction, Non-fiction and Poetry published in over 200 Literary Journals, Magazines and Anthologies. He won numerous writing competitions, fellowships, and grants, and was nominated for multiple prizes and awards, including three Pushcart Prizes, The Best American Short Stories, a Governor Award, and a Journey Award.

You’re in the Wrong Place / Joseph Harris

(Wayne State University Press, September 15, 2020)

YoureInWrongPlaceCoverIn a thrilling interconnected narrative, You’re in the Wrong Place presents characters reaching for transcendence from a place they cannot escape. Charles Baxter stated that “Joseph Harris has a particular feeling for the Detroit suburbs and the slightly stunted lives of the young people there…You’re in the Wrong Place isn’t uniformly downbeat-there are all sorts of rays of hope that gleam toward the end.”

The book, composed of twelve stories, begins in the fall of 2008 with the shuttering of Dynamic Fabricating-a fictional industrial shop located in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale. Over the next seven years, the shop’s former employees-as well as their friends and families-struggle to find money, purpose, and levity in a landscape suddenly devoid of work, faith, and love.

Vivid, gritty, and original; You’re in the Wrong Place is a love letter to the city of Detroit. A terrific book. (Julie Schumacher Thurber Prize–winning author of Dear Committee Members)

These stories come to us from the front lines of urban decay and renewal, telling us news that stays news. The book is compassionate in its understanding of an entire population group that is proud even in defeat, and the writing often rises to wonderful eloquence. This is a very powerful book. (Charles Baxter author of There’s Something I Want You to Do)

Like the city they struggle to live in, the Detroiters in Joseph Harris’s short stories lead lives ravaged by loss-lost jobs, lost homes, lost loves, lost lives, lost dignity, and lost worlds. And yet even among ruins, with the help of Harris’s artful prose and redemptive imagination, his characters salvage fleeting moments of makeshift grace. Here is a new voice worth listening to. (Donovan Hohn author of The Inner Coast)

Author Bio: Joseph Harris is the author of the story collection You’re in the Wrong Place (Wayne State University Press, 2020). His stories have appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Midwest Review, Moon City Review, Great Lakes Review, Third Wednesday, Storm Cellar, and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in Oak Park, MI.

Story that first appeared in Third Wednesday: “Easter Sunday.” Third Wednesday Vol. X, No. 1. Winter 2017.

Purchase At:  Wayne State University PressBookshop, Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, & Amazon.

Mannequin / Ron Koertge

Something special from the just released Autumn issue of 3rd Wednesday: A flash piece by Ron Koertge (yes, that Ron Koertge). Ron is a poet and novelist specializing in youth fiction. His latest poetry collection is Yellow Moving Van. His flash fiction collection, which he told me that wrote “one-a-day” is titled Sex World. I suspect Ron, like the Canadian rockers Barenaked Ladies, thought the name would mean a big seller.

You can read the issue free at our website and print copies are on sale at

Winners of the 2020 George Dila Memorial Flash Fiction Contest Announced

These winning stories are all so good, in different ways, and I can tell the writers put a lot of work, love, talent and craft into them. Judging is subjective but I wish it wasn’t. The difference between a winner and a non-winner was sometimes slight. I know that when the editors or judges of contests I’ve entered say “there were so many excellent entries, it was hard to choose,” that they aren’t just saying that to be nice. I feel very much the same.

Here are the winners:
Concession Girl byDiana Spechler
Handling This by Susan Rodgers
The Last Love Song of Johnny Mascerone by Gordon Brown

Four additional authors worthy of Honorable Mention: Damon Macias Moreno, Alan Sincic, Nancy Quinn & Julie Gard.

– Lisa Lenzo, Contest Judge.