Guild Complex announces finalists for the 2013 Prose Awards


Statewide contest celebrates Illinois writing talent with $500 in prizes and reading


CHICAGO, IL – The Guild Literary Complex supports divergent and emerging literary voices with our Annual Prose Awards. Every fall we recognize outstanding short fiction and non-fiction from across the State of Illinois and award $250 cash prizes to one outstanding writer in each category. Please join us on October 23, 7:30 pm, at the Chopin Theater, located at 1543 W. Division Street, as we celebrate the authors at a special reading and award event featuring all six finalists.



Benjamin Capps for “Pigs, Dogs, and Guns”

JH Palmer for “How to Rescue a Feral Cat”

Gina P. Vozenilek for “Waxwing”



Joseph Arzac for “Legacy”

Rebecca Keller for “Short Meals of a Lifetime”

Cyn Vargas “That Girl”


The 2013 Prose Awards were judged by Cristina Henríquez (fiction) and Miles Harvey (non-fiction). This year’s Prose Awards is sponsored in part by Wicker Park Bucktown, SSA #33. WPB SSA#33 is administered by the WPB Chamber of Commerce.




Joe Arzac lives in Highland Park with his wife and two children and works as a strategic planning professional. He earned a law degree from the University of Chicago and is currently hard at work on a novel, an excerpt of which is titled “Legacy.”


Benjamin Capps studied theatre, coming to Chicago in 1999 to pursue stage, music and film.  He has produced seven short-films and several works on stage under the moniker, The Inner Below.  Benjamin also penned a collection of non-fiction works based on childhood traumas, of which his current piece is a part.






Rebecca Keller is an artist and writer. Her art is shown internationally, including next month at Chicago’s MCA. Her artwork and essays are featured in “Excavating History” (Stepsister Press). Her fiction has appeared in several literary journals, and earned the Joan Jakobsen Award (Wesleyan) and the Betty Gabehart prize.


J.H. Palmer co-produces the live lit series That’s All She Wrote, and has appeared at a number of live lit venues including: Story Club, Guts & Glory, 2nd Story, SKALD, Mortified, WRITE CLUB! and The Moth GrandSLAM. She is pursuing a Certificate in Creative Nonfiction at the University of Chicago.


Cyn Vargas holds an MFA in Creative Writing- Fiction from Columbia College Chicago.  She received two top citations from Glimmer Train in their Short Story Award for New Writers contests. Her work's appeared in Word Riot, Curbside Splendor, and elsewhere.  Writing's her way of legally exposing herself in public.


Gina P. Vozenilek has an MFA from Northwestern and MA from U Iowa. One of her essays won the 2012 AWP Intro Journal Award and another was nominated for a Pushcart and was named Best of the Net by Sundress Publications. "Waxwing" is from her thesis, a collection of essays about place and identity.






The Guild Literary Complex (GLC) is a community-based literary organization that presents and supports diverse, divergent, and emerging voices through innovative programs including performances and readings. GLC believes that vibrant literature contributes to society and community, and that people should have access to quality literary experiences that engage them with dynamic juxtapositions of voices and ideas. GLC programs include Palabra Pura (bilingual poetry); the Poetry Performance Incubator (collaborative theatre and poetry); and open-submission writing contests such as the Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award and Prose Awards for short fiction and non-fiction. Since its formation, GLC has established itself, in the words of the Illinois Arts Council, as “Chicago's premier literary center.” GLC has been twice selected as a model literary center by the National Endowment for the Arts. More information at





--Courtesy of Anthony Romero

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