Sarah Goad Memorial Prize Winners 2021

The Sarah Margaret Goad Memorial Prizes in Fiction and Poetry are named in honor of Sarah Goad, an alumna of the College who graduated in 2013 with a concentration in creative writing and who worked at the Writing Lab for three years. She passed away in 2018.


  • First place: Elizabeth Quarles, “Peach Fuzz”
  • Second place: Matt McElhinney, “The Copper Thief”
  • Honorable mention: Tony Ferrese, “Cruel Prison”

About the Fiction Judges

Joanna Pearson’s second collection of stories, Now You Know It All, was selected by Edward P. Jones as the winner of the 2021 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and is forthcoming with the University of Pittsburgh Press in October 2021. Her first collection of stories, Every Human Love (Acre Books, 2019) was a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Awards, the Foreword Indies Awards, and the Janet Heidinger Prize for Fiction.  Her fiction has appeared widely and has been anthologized in The Best American Mystery and Suspense 2021The Best Small Fictions 2019, and The Best of the Net 2016.  Her stories have also been listed among the year’s most notable in Best American Short Stories 2020, 2019, 2018, and 2015.


  • First place: Elizabeth Quarles, “A Very Precocious Thought You Will Never Hear” 
  • Second place: Connor Simonson, “The Desert Show” 
  • Honorable mention: Mat Caceres, “The Biography in the Colophon”

About the Poetry Judge

Blas Falconer is the author of Forgive the Body This Failure (Four Way Books, 2018); The Foundling Wheel (Four Way Books, 2012);  A Question of Gravity and Light (University of Arizona Press, 2007);  andThe Perfect Hour (Pleasure Boat Studio: A Literary Press, 2006).  He is also a co-editor for The Other Latin@: Writing Against a Singular Identity (University of Arizona Press, 2011) and Mentor & Muse:  Essays from Poets to Poets (Southern Illinois University Press, 2010). He teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University. Falconer’s awards include a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award from Poets & Writers, a Tennessee Individual Artist Grant, the New Delta Review Eyster Prize for Poetry, and the Barthelme Fellowship. Born and raised in Virginia, Falconer earned an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland (1997) and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston (2002).  He currently lives in Los Angeles, California with his family.