Results: The Nasiona Writing Prompts Tournament #6

WHEN I LEARNED I WAS DIFFERENT

View results of each tournament and read the best submissions here.

TOP-6 SUBMISSIONS

1. Stephanie Tan

self-alienation 

i learned i was different
glaring nude into the mirror which i wished
would stop showing me tits and ass nonstop,
praying for my training bras to flatten each of my breasts,
seeing (especially when i put makeup on)
this flagrantly unfeminine, sad excuse for a girl
who worried nonstop that she’d tainted herself
living this bodily lie:
she often felt more man than woman and
actually seemed more monster than man.
i still don’t know who (what) the alien in my reflection
wants, even after 20 years of staring.
it still feels unspeakably unlike
anyone (anything) i’ve seen.

2. Haven Sory Steel

for liberty

I don’t remember much of fifth
grade. The year passed

in a haze of “supervised visitations”
and court-ordered therapy sessions. Yet

I remember the glint of your canines
as you told your favorite lie.

That was when I learned that
Sodom and Gomorrah was more

than a cautionary tale—
that Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”

was sent from the devil
to creep past little girls’ defenses

and doom them to h-e-double-hockey-sticks.
You want to live with God forever, don’t you?

Well, I didn’t know God all that well.
But I knew you—and that was enough.

3. Jeddie Sophronius

Self-Portrait as a Failed Chinese Lover

 

                                               When I saw the picture of you

together at the park, 

                                two entangled swans by the lake, 

       I noticed the hearts and wishes from your friends, 

                                                                        the blessings

                                          that eluded me for seven years.

It was his skin, I figured,

                                                                                       perfectly matched

                                                                        with yours. 

                           My body was a forbidden song,

a tune you could only 

                                                                   hum in the dark.

4. Jessica Archambeau

Live from Laramie
–    For Matthew Shepard

A boy bound to a barbed-wire fence.
A mother made martyr.

Forty minutes away from Angel Action,
I’m fourteen, shrinking on mom’s bed.
She’s holding my phone in her hand. 

“Who’s Rae?”

She saw my texts. My stomach
drops without a net. I shrug.
A friend. 

“Is Rae… a girl?”

So I stumble from the closet on fawn legs.
She begs for discretion.
We fight. 

I hear about a boy:

blood-stained everywhere but his cheeks,
pistol-whipped skull,
a lonely night under stars.  

I want to be iridescent.
She wants to remain a mother.

5. Anri Wheeler

Bilingual

They would lean in ever so slightly, speaking louder, over-enunciating, assuming she didn’t understand. I’m sorry, can you repeat that? I was perplexed each time my mother was asked this question. Each time I had to translate, even though she was speaking English.

In Japan, a different version of the same story. My fluency met with patchy English, remembered from bygone middle school classrooms. Store clerks could not reconcile my multiracial features with my fluid Japanese, just like those who couldn’t hear through my mother’s accent.

Now, Mama and I text. GIFs and emojis transcend her pronunciation, my fading Japanese.

6. Amy London

When the Salve Stopped the Bleeding

CLICK. REWIND. The VCR whirs and my mind starts mediating.

Just one more time.

The actress captures my eleven-year-old mind. Her porcelain skin—exquisite; long black hair—luxurious; strong sullen voice—sensuous.

My eyes bounce around and behind me; take the temperature. Check for fluctuations around the room.

Mother approves of changing appearances. Father overlooks what we were like before.

Fingers tremble toward the PLAY button.

Why does my stomach flutter?

Six years later the word lesbian seeps out sideways like lava. Mother denies it; Father ignores it; I try to outrun it.

For now I bury it.

TOP-6: Author Bios

Stephanie Tan is a 3rd-year student at Cornell University studying Communications and English. As an Asian-American woman, most of her writing focuses on the intersection between intergenerational trauma and the struggles that come with being a feminine presenting individual.

As a student at the University of Florida, I enjoy developing my writing skills in any way I can. Poetry has been a topic that I was once too scared to approach, but is now one of my favorite hobbies. I love writing as a method of de-stressing and working through complex emotion.

Jeddie Sophronius was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Virginia and the poetry editor at Meridian. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, and elsewhere.

Jessica Archambeau is a queer writer from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Currently an undergraduate student at Bradley University, their work blurs the lines between social advocacy and art. In addition to their creative writing work, they are a proud activist, illustrator/painter, and lover of all animals (even the slimy, scaly ones!).

I am a multiracial writer and a diversity, equity, and inclusion educator at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A graduate of GrubStreet’s memoir incubator and VONA, my writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Independent (UK), Cognoscenti, Hippocampus, The Seventh Wave, and Memoir Mixtapes.

Amy London is an award winning writer and storyteller. After surviving a traumatic brain injury in 2015, she turned to creative writing as part of her recovery. Her first non-fiction essay on brain injury was published in the anthology, Surviving Brian Injury: Stories of Strength and Inspiration. She followed by winning The Storyline Slam telling her disability story within the theme of “Magic.” She can be found online at www.amylondon.com.

RESULTS

 Matches playedWinsLossesWin %Average Vote %# of votes# of possible votes1st Place2nd Place3rd PlacePrize winnings $ in USD
Stephanie Tan12120100.00%97.22%35361  $36.40
Haven Sory Steel1110190.91%87.88%2933 1 $15.60
Jeddie Sophronius128466.67%63.89%2336  1 
Jessica Archambeau108280.00%73.33%2230    
Anri Wheeler96366.67%62.96%1727    
Amy London85362.50%66.67%1624    
Cleo Aukland85362.50%62.50%1524    
Donna Weaver95455.56%48.15%1327    
Tanner Armatis94544.44%44.44%1227    
Maya Svevak83537.50%33.33%824    
Karen Poppy42250.00%66.67%812    
Lee Parpart42250.00%50.00%612    
Dominique Margolis82625.00%25.00%624    
Katherine Isaacs82625.00%20.83%524    
Nathaniel Wander31233.33%44.44%49    
Liz Bolton31233.33%33.33%39    
Bili Nwaka31233.33%22.22%29    
Kimm Stammen31233.33%22.22%29    
Bailey Henderson41325.00%33.33%412    
Shane Vande Brake41325.00%25.00%312    
Karina Dove Escobar DuBois3030.00%33.33%39    
Daniel Grim3030.00%22.22%29    
Nelson Calles3030.00%22.22%29    
Jessica Cabrera3030.00%0.00%09    
Leah Fisher4040.00%0.00%012    
Michael Todd Cohen4040.00%0.00%012    

ROUNDS

Group A/Round 1: ResultsWinsLossesVotes Group AA/Round 2: ResultsWinsLossesVotes Semifinal Round ResultsWinsLossesVotes
Jessica Archambeau4010 Haven Sory Steel5015 Stephanie Tan103
Jeddie Sophronius319 Jessica Archambeau4111 Haven Sory Steel103
Karen Poppy228 Tanner Armatis237 Jeddie Sophronius102
Shane Vande Brake133 Amy London237 Jessica Archambeau011
Michael Todd Cohen040 Donna Weaver235 Anri Wheeler010
     Dominique Margolis050 Tanner Armatis010
Group B/Round 1: ResultsWinsLossesVotes          
Stephanie Tan4012 Group BB/Round 2: ResultsWinsLossesVotes Final Round ResultsWinsLossesVotes
Donna Weaver318 Stephanie Tan5014 Stephanie Tan206
Lee Parpart226 Jeddie Sophronius4111 Haven Sory Steel112
Bailey Henderson134 Anri Wheeler328 Jeddie Sophronius021
Leah Fisher040 Cleo Aukland238     
     Maya Svevak144     
Group C/Round 1: ResultsWinsLossesVotes Katherine Isaacs050     
Amy London309          
Maya Svevak214          
Liz Bolton123          
Nelson Calles032          
              
Group D/Round 1: ResultsWinsLossesVotes          
Cleo Aukland307          
Dominique Margolis216          
Kimm Stammen122          
Karina Dove Escobar DuBois033          
              
Group E/Round 1: ResultsWinsLossesVotes          
Haven Sory Steel309          
Katherine Isaacs215          
Nathaniel Wander124          
Jessica Cabrera030          
              
Group F/Round 1: ResultsWinsLossesVotes          
Anri Wheeler309          
Tanner Armatis215          
Bili Nwaka122          
Daniel Grim032          
              

BRACKETS

Round 1  Round 2  Round 3  Final Round  
 BracketsVotes BracketsVotes BracketsVotes BracketsVotes
Group A  Group AA  Semifinal Group  Final Group  
Jeddie SophroniusJeddie Sophronius2Jessica ArchambeauJessica Archambeau3Haven Sory SteelHaven Sory Steel3Haven Sory SteelHaven Sory Steel2
Karen Poppyvs Donna Weavervs Anri Wheelervs Jeddie Sophroniusvs 
Shane Vande BrakeKaren Poppy1Amy LondonDonna Weaver0Jessica ArchambeauAnri Wheeler0Stephanie TanJeddie Sophronius1
Michael Todd Cohen  Dominique Margolis  Jeddie Sophronius     
Jessica ArchambeauJeddie Sophronius3Haven Sory SteelJessica Archambeau3Tanner Armatis   Haven Sory Steel0
 vs Tanner Armatisvs Stephanie Tan   vs 
 Shane Vande Brake0 Amy London0 Jessica Archambeau1 Stephanie Tan3
       vs    
 Jeddie Sophronius3 Jessica Archambeau3 Jeddie Sophronius2 Jeddie Sophronius0
 vs  vs     vs 
 Michael Todd Cohen0 Dominique Margolis0    Stephanie Tan3
            
 Jeddie Sophronius1 Jessica Archambeau0 Tanner Armatis0   
 vs  vs  vs    
 Jessica Archambeau2 Haven Sory Steel3 Stephanie Tan3   
            
 Karen Poppy3 Jessica Archambeau2      
 vs  vs       
 Shane Vande Brake0 Tanner Armatis1      
            
 Karen Poppy3 Donna Weaver0      
 vs  vs       
 Michael Todd Cohen0 Amy London3      
            
 Karen Poppy1 Donna Weaver3      
 vs  vs       
 Jessica Archambeau2 Dominique Margolis0      
            
 Shane Vande Brake3 Donna Weaver0      
 vs  vs       
 Michael Todd Cohen0 Haven Sory Steel3      
            
 Shane Vande Brake0 Donna Weaver2      
 vs  vs       
 Jessica Archambeau3 Tanner Armatis1      
            
 Michael Todd Cohen0 Amy London3      
 vs  vs       
 Jessica Archambeau3 Dominique Margolis0      
            
 BracketsVotes Amy London0      
Group B   vs       
Lee ParpartLee Parpart1 Haven Sory Steel3      
Donna Weavervs          
Stephanie TanDonna Weaver2 Amy London1      
Leah Fisher   vs       
Bailey HendersonLee Parpart0 Tanner Armatis2      
 vs          
 Stephanie Tan3 Dominique Margolis0      
    vs       
 Lee Parpart3 Haven Sory Steel3      
 vs          
 Leah Fisher0 Dominique Margolis0      
    vs       
 Lee Parpart2 Tanner Armatis3      
 vs          
 Bailey Henderson1 Haven Sory Steel3      
    vs       
 Donna Weaver0 Tanner Armatis0      
 vs          
 Stephanie Tan3 BracketsVotes      
   Group BB        
 Donna Weaver3Jeddie SophroniusJeddie Sophronius0      
 vs Stephanie Tanvs       
 Leah Fisher0Maya SvevakStephanie Tan3      
   Cleo Aukland        
 Donna Weaver3Katherine IsaacsJeddie Sophronius3      
 vs Anri Wheelervs       
 Bailey Henderson0 Maya Svevak0      
            
 Stephanie Tan3 Jeddie Sophronius2      
 vs  vs       
 Leah Fisher0 Cleo Aukland1      
            
 Stephanie Tan3 Jeddie Sophronius3      
 vs  vs       
 Bailey Henderson0 Katherine Isaacs0      
            
 Leah Fisher0 Jeddie Sophronius3      
 vs  vs       
 Bailey Henderson3 Anri Wheeler0      
            
 BracketsVotes Stephanie Tan3      
Group C   vs       
Nelson CallesNelson Calles1 Maya Svevak0      
Liz Boltonvs          
Amy LondonLiz Bolton2 Stephanie Tan2      
Maya Svevak   vs       
 Nelson Calles0 Cleo Aukland1      
 vs          
 Amy London3 Stephanie Tan3      
    vs       
 Nelson Calles1 Katherine Isaacs0      
 vs          
 Maya Svevak2 Stephanie Tan3      
    vs       
 Liz Bolton0 Anri Wheeler0      
 vs          
 Amy London3 Maya Svevak1      
    vs       
 Liz Bolton1 Cleo Aukland2      
 vs          
 Maya Svevak2 Maya Svevak3      
    vs       
 Amy London3 Katherine Isaacs0      
 vs          
 Maya Svevak0 Maya Svevak0      
    vs       
 BracketsVotes Anri Wheeler3      
Group D           
Kimm StammenKimm Stammen0 Cleo Aukland3      
Dominique Margolisvs  vs       
Cleo AuklandDominique Margolis3 Katherine Isaacs0      
Karina Dove Escobar DuBois
           
 Kimm Stammen0 Cleo Aukland1      
 vs  vs       
 Cleo Aukland3 Anri Wheeler2      
            
 Kimm Stammen2 Katherine Isaacs0      
 vs  vs       
 Karina Dove Escobar DuBois1 Anri Wheeler3      
            
 Dominique Margolis1         
 vs          
 Cleo Aukland2         
            
 Dominique Margolis2         
 vs          
 Karina Dove Escobar DuBois1         
            
 Cleo Aukland2         
 vs          
 Karina Dove Escobar DuBois1         
            
 BracketsVotes         
Group E           
Katherine IsaacsKatherine Isaacs2         
Nathaniel Wandervs          
Haven Sory SteelNathaniel Wander1         
Jessica Cabrera           
 Katherine Isaacs0         
 vs          
 Haven Sory Steel3         
            
 Katherine Isaacs3         
 vs          
 Jessica Cabrera0         
            
 Nathaniel Wander0         
 vs          
 Haven Sory Steel3         
            
 Nathaniel Wander3         
 vs          
 Jessica Cabrera0         
            
 Haven Sory Steel3         
 vs          
 Jessica Cabrera0         
            
 BracketsVotes         
Group F           
Daniel GrimDaniel Grim1         
Bili Nwakavs          
Tanner ArmatisBili Nwaka2         
Anri Wheeler           
 Daniel Grim1         
 vs          
 Tanner Armatis2         
            
 Daniel Grim0         
 vs          
 Anri Wheeler3         
            
 Bili Nwaka0         
 vs          
 Tanner Armatis3         
            
 Bili Nwaka0         
 vs          
 Anri Wheeler3         
            
 Tanner Armatis0         
 vs          
 Anri Wheeler3         
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