Past Contest



Hourglass Literary Magazine – 2016 Writing Competition results

Our first, annual contest has now come to an end. We thank you all for submitting your works and for being a part of Hourglass Literary Magazine. Congratulations to the winners and to all the authors who made it to the shortlist. Once again, a big thank you for participating and for being an important part of our pioneering venture.

Please note – starting next week we will commence with contacting authors via e-mail, Skype or phone call regarding payment and receiving awards.

BEST POEM AWARD goes to John  Lee for “Lalo’s Walls”.
This poem (“Lalo’s Walls”) is spoken by a tourist but emphasizes the voice of a Peruvian doctor of archeology who is leading a tour of ancient structures, pointing out the amazing workmanship and durability of the walls. The free verse offers strong images with subtle and effective sound instrumentation.

BEST SHORT STORY AWARD goes to BCMS author Almir Alić who wrote “Pčelica u medu od cvijeta velike jabuke” and to Ms Claire Mulligan for story “Djinns”. Judge Sibelan Forrester said about “Djinns”: This beautifully crafted story starts slowly, from the point of view of a not-very-likable character, but important details accumulate until the narrative consciousness shifts at the end to a child, whose view of that character validates his vision of underlying reality (the djinns in a fire who grant three wishes).

BEST ESSAY AWARD goes to Petar Malobabić for “Mirisao je na slatkiše i tigrove (rani Borhes)” an essay about Jorge Luis Borges.

SPECIAL JURY AWARD goes to Michael Twist for short story “Weary Feat”. Sibelan Forrester: This story had way too much detail about basketball for me, but that is only part of what it does. I kept expecting the young hero to be shot or otherwise have his hopes for success as a basketball player dashed by inner city menace. It was wonderful to see his grandmother solve the dilemma by promising the new gang leader that if something happens she’ll take in his younger brother – as long as he protects the young hero. We learn of that bargain only once that child joins their household, underlining the old woman’s power to conjure a better fate through love and hard work.

FREEWRITE AWARD (E-paper digital typewriter, worth $499) goes to Karl Williams for short story “Buddy & Teemus”. A straightforward story with an unusual setting devotes unsentimental attention to different human beings’ ways of being and interacting, their various abilities and disabilities, and the ways they can evoke unexpected responses from one another.


“Value Menu” (poem) by PW CovingtonThe narrator carries out an irritating experiment by chatting for too long in the fast-food line – alongside lovely sound play, right up to “sack” and “sacrament” in the last two lines.

“Goldfish” (essay) by Kayla Provencher. This essay interweaves the story of an abusive relationship and complex subsequent recovery with facts about goldfish – what they can perceive or remember – to affirm the writer’s agency in her own life and awareness of ways to see what is important through limited frames of vision.

“The Cutting” (story) by Patrick GardinerA refugee stows away on a train in France and manages, incredibly, to hold on through the Channel Tunnel to reach safety in the UK. The topical theme is effectively conveyed with descriptions of the physical and psychological challenges and the protagonist’s toughness and determination.


“Climbing the Great Wall of China” (poem) by John LeeThis poem describes a famous place with strong and evocative images that connect the perceiving consciousness with the wall’s visible features and the deep history that underlies them.

“The Glass Hour” (poem) by Lynne ShapiroA wonderful Modernist piece of writing, evocative without narrative, and rich with adventurous sound play.

“Feeding the Governor” (essay) by Amanda Noble. A detailed and dispassionate description of an encounter between cultures, calmly and closely observed, with empathy all around.

“Posthumous Encounters with D.K.” (essay) by Michael BelevskySet in Novi Sad, where a big fan of Danilo Kiš has come to look at the city where the author was born – the narrator sees a man who looks exactly like him come into a restaurant, take a seat and light a cigarette, in a twist wonderfully appropriate to a piece about Kiš. The essay honors a writer who can truly change the lives of his readers.

“A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Imam” (story) by Tanjil RashidMost of the story treats the hero Tipu’s interactions with a matchmaker in parallel with his vexed work towards a doctorate in theology. In the end he abandons that study to become a writer and proposes to the woman he loves. It affirms the spiritual value of storytelling, the connection of artistic and other kinds of creation, and the power of stories to reach deeply into the understanding of their hearers.

“Life Skills” (story) by Fikret PajalicA matter-of-fact story of a young woman growing up, learning her place in a world whose complexity does not daunt her, choosing her guides, and confirming her own sexuality.


“My Gay Jesus” by Dennis Bensie; “Lobotomising Josef Stalin” by Daniel Melling; “From Cihangir to Grand Bazaar” by Dora Šustić“; “Destroyed Not Defeated” by Savo Bojovic; “Olympic Hall Zetra, Sarajevo, 1993” by Sneha Madhavan-Reese; “Step-Families of Daytime Television” by Seker Hartseer; “Touching The Peacock” by Jose Varghese; “Besa” by Vesna Perić; “Ipak” by Edi Matić, “Drina bez filtera” by Darko Tuševljaković; “Zatvorenik” by Marija Milosavljević and “Slučajnosti” by Dragan Dimitrijević.


A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Imam – Tanjil Rashid

Familial Snag – Kierstin Bridger

Chrysopoeia or How to Think of Yourself as a Nonfiction Writer – Ardith Bravenec

Destroyed Not Defeated – Savo Bojovic

Walls and Windows – Carli Lowe

The Garden – Adrienne Yeung

The Meteorologist – Adrienne Yeung

The Glass Hour – Lynne Shapiro

Lemons – Miriam Green

Waitress – Nancy Lind

Sandwiches Or: There Is Only One Reality – Jordan Ellingwood

Goldfish – Kayla Provencher

Premonition – Daniela Norris

Weary Feat – Michael Twist

Posthumous Encounters with D.K. – Michael Belevsky

Bums – Andy Bailey

Step-Families of Daytime Television – Seker Hartseer

From Cihangir to Grand Bazaar (Istambul Streams) – Dora Šustić

Touching The Peacock – Jose Varghese

Djinns – Claire Mulligan

The Cutting – Patrick Gardiner

Balkanized – Matea Kulic

Value Menu – PW Covington

What West Did – Samantha Stier

Olympic Hall Zetra, Sarajevo, 1993 – Sneha Madhavan-Reese

Lobotomising Josef Stalin – Daniel Melling 

Life Skills – Fikret Pajalic

Buddy & Teemus – Karl Williams

Airport diaries – Rochelle Potkar

Feeding the Governor – Amanda Noble 

My Gay Jesus – Dennis Bensie 

Be Beautiful – Jill Dyer

Lalo’s Walls, Climbing the Great Wall of China – John Lee


We apologise for having kept you waiting for this very important bit of news from Hourglass Literary Magazine’s contest desk. The jury comprising Jelena Lengold, Sibelan Forrester and John K. Cox has read and re-read all the submissions, and finally, we are delighted to announce the preliminary results (the long list). Below are the titles of the submitted works who made it to the penultimate round of selection, with the names (“codes”) of authors writing in BCMS on the left, and those writing in English on the right. There is no particular order of merit – the list has been sorted by submission dates.





Siromaštvo – “code” Dani

Ptica – “code” Boonnie

Potemkinova sela – “code” Kobilvoda

Unapred – “code” Vijadukt

Dobrovoljni davalac spretnih okolnosti – “code” Mystic

Brodski na Vračaru – “code” Markoniju 2015.

Dugovi – “code” Zizi0001

Ruski rulet – “code” 1107 JN

Evo na primer ja – “code” Morska

Ipak – “code” Madagascar

Moderno – “code” ZERO-G

Nečiste sile – “code” Otto

Vrabac – “code” Vrabac 2

Tako zamišljam hronosa – “code” Razlistavanje

Trebalo bi – “code” Jedanaesti

Nikad neću zaboraviti – “code” Lenja pita

O starosti – “code” Lenja pita

Dan je mirisao na cimet – “code” Lenja pita

Buđenje – “code” OvaĐifraJeBilaNajtežiDeoPisanja


The Catcher in the Rye Jerome David Salingera po ko zna koji put – “code” Čitajući Salingera

O nacionalizmu – 30 godina kasnije – “code” Steampunk

Fenomeni seksualnosti u djelu “Šumski duh” Gorana Samardžića – “code” Žan Baptistova priča

Misao – “code” Navika

Mnoga lica istine – “code” Suncika

Mirisao je na slatkiše i tigrove – “code” Amur

Žanr tragedije i razrešenje Orestije – “code” La Cérémonie

Kliše: kliševnost: perpetuum mobile – “code” Rejkjavik991

Kako je Frojd čitao bajke – “code” Fondu au noir

Komparativna analiza romana Meri Šeli “Frankenštajn, moderni Prometej” i njegove filmske adaptacije – “code” Monkey451

O trpljenju, patnji i traganju za smislom – “code” PMD13101945

O šetnji i šetanju – “code” Cat-3.2.

Bicikl u pet slika – “code” Russell Boulevard

Gradu orijentalnog imena i nemiru u njemu – “code” Krotki Velizar

Laž kao dramski zamajac u filmu “Slučajni ljubavnici” – “code” Praksa

Disova pesnička putovanja i tišina – “code” Glasovi


Slučajnosti – “code” Odsad će sve biti dobro

Rečenica – “code” Akvarel

Chicago – “code” Coconino

Božje ukazanje Pijetru Salvatoreu – “code” CloudAtlas0503

Kako sam postao zao – “code” Lopov i ubojica

Osvajanje slobode ili kako se M.N. otarasio bolesti – “code” Soli

Poslije smrti – “code” Hyacinth

Sinoć, kad sam je vidio – “code” Madagascar

Šišmiš – “code” Miner

Kraj visokog prozora – “code” LMTT89

Jedna kratka čajanka na kraju sveta – “code” Thin white duke

Zatvorenik – “code” Misfits

Misaoni eksperiment – “code” Duhovni internet

Moglo je i drugačije – “code” Hangwoman

Predbračni ugovor – “code” DaFraDo

Antonietin vrt – “code” Fehmi

Menjanje – “code” Lord Zenza

Spasitelj – “code” Poslednji Utorak

Crni petak – “code” Billy Pilgrim

Pronađi me – “code” Ben Hur 1959

Petak boje urmi – “code” PregalacIzMagle

Bijelo – “code” Kaspar

U vreme poluraspada bola – “code” Amplitude 16

Pčelica u medu od cvijeta Velike Jabuke – “code” A183914

Školjka – “code” Jedinorodna

Drina bez filtera – “code” Estraven

Babica – “code” Vitalija

Poplava, dječak i pas – “code” Globalne klimatske promjene

Besa – “code” Emotional bankruptcy

Bića iz moje mašte – “code” Beli tigar

Vrana (Kuća nema nebo) – “code” Kaze

Lutke – “code” Periskop 73

Podnevni voz za sever – “code” Konstantin

Neko je ukrao more – “code” OvaŠifraJeBilanajtežiDeoPisanja

Vrtlog – “code” Klen

Čovjek može da leti – “code” Aurora borealis

Dijagnoze – “code” 1231922

Cocteau twins: Zrnca iz klepsidre – “code” The spangle maker

Povodom smrti gospodina Šešira – “code” Belerofont76

Poziv na čaj – “code” Palm tree 1728

Nešto kao ljubav – “code” Fade.Into.You.May2016

Nestalisubmitted via Submittable















Wednesday,  During The Hurricane
Blow Up
Same old
Be Beautiful
Climbing the Great Wall of China
Lalo’s Walls
My Gay Jesus
For a Child Beaten
Deacon Blues
The Historical Record
In the Catacombs of St. Francis, Lima, Peru
Bringing Music to Iraq
Pickpocket in Paris 11/13/15
Berlin Precession
To a Tree in Winter

Bacchus in Toxteth, 1981
Lobotomising Josef Stalin
Olympic Hall Zetra, Sarajevo, 1993
Tragedy of the Thinker
Back Yards, Lancashire
Dinner, Winter, 1984
Genetic Tendencies
Border Baby
Value Menu
Laundromat Blues
It is Time to Write a Poem
The Solidarity Club of the Red Ribbon
From Cihangir to Grand Bazaar
Come As You Are
At Low Tide in Maine
kundiman on a text message in the sky, before seizure
the puberty of lapis lazuli
shale dreams of contraception
A Prize of Listening
Your Extra Time and Your…Kiss
Ice Cream; A Way of Happening (and a Nod to Auden’s Homage to Yeats)
Ojus, Florida Elementary School — 1945
Mother’s Bedtime Routine
A Love Supreme
Coffee Dust
Stone Lion
The Garden
The Meteorologist
Meet Unknowing
early boat to Ossabaw
Summer of Snakes
The Glass Hour
Familial Snag
Airport diaries
Marital triptych


All the Advice Given to Me After the Break Up
Rat Patrol
Feeding the Governor
The Tale of Two Tables
Tissues and the Art of Taking It Easy
Is Islam Compatible with Western Society?
The Coffeebrewers’ Guild
A is for Assia (The Capriccio Poems of Ted Hughes)
Eating Florida
Remover of Obstacles
Tulips, Decapitated
Posthumous Encounters with D.K.
CPAC: Conservative Cathedral
Nothing Has Changed From How It Wasn’t
Chrysopoeia or How to Think of Yourself as a Nonfiction Writer


Destroyed Not Defeated
Beauty Weekly
Dust until the End
Walls and Windows
The Pillow Man
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Refashioning Jezebel
Sandwiches Or: There Is Only One Reality,
Anyone Can Explode
The Dream Makers
Invisible Line
The Coffin
The Apartment
Weary Feat
Crucifying Gerry
Shiny New Things,
A Quiet Man
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Imam
Red Bowl
Monument Square
Swan Dive
The Cheese Stands Alone
Step-Families of Daytime Television
A Tale of Two High Streets
Splitting the Pole
Such a Laugh,
Eyes Wide Shut
aortic apology
Christmas in Pacoima
Touching The Peacock
Dumpster Dive
The Cutting
The spaces in between
What West Did
The French Exit
Belgrade, Olga, and Jade Earrings
A Universal Prayer
Washing Machine Wars
The Philanthropist
The Legend of Zaramarouq
Rhyl 1945
The Winter They Widened the Road
Life Skills
A Bitter Ghost
Buddy & Teemus
Apricot House
Symbols of a life
Graduation Day
A Eulogy For Boo
First Name Basis
The Yellow Wasp
Another Birthday In Skopje
Black Man Running
The Eighth Day
Snow Day
When Soldiers Come
Her Mother
Portrait of her Father
The Two Trials of Aller

Come August, we shall devote the first two weeks to seek out the short listed names, and in the final weeks we shall progress to selecting the winners and the authors to be featured in our inaugural issue.

If you do not find your name in the list above, please do not lose heart. We were really surprised by the overall quality of submissions and are now seriously considering publishing an anthology of “unlisted” stories, just to make sure that other deserving entries are not lost in the sea of stories. But more on that later.

Voki Erceg
Hourglass Literary Magazine


Hourglass Literary Magazine with the cooperation, support and patronage of Krajina klassBLC (Banjaluka College), software company Literature and Latte, The Literary Encyclopedia and Astrohaus announces its maiden competition for:








  • The winning entry in each category (short story, essay and poem) will receive US$1000 as prize money, apart from a symbolic artifact (clepsydra), digital stamp and diploma.
  • Winning entries will be published in the first issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine, in the original language (English / BCMS languages) and translated (BCMS/English).
  • Authors will also receive three printed copies of the first issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine.

Special Awards

  • The jury, comprising highly respected authors Sibelan Forrester, Jelena Lengold and John K. Cox has the right to give a special prize (US$ 500 for entry in each category).
  • Up to ten finalists in each category will be published in the first issue of the literary magazine.
  • All published works will be financially compensated and finalists will be provided with one copy of the printed edition of the Hourglass Literary Magazine .

Scrivener Award


  • Special prize of the Literature and Latte – Scrivener Award – consisting of the three licensed software solutions “Scrivener”.
  • Scrivener is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.

Freewrite award



  • Special prize of the Astrohaus – Freewrite Award – E-paper digital typewriter, worth $499, will be given to one author whose work we want to emphasize.
  • Learn more about Freewrite by Astrohaus.

The Literary Encyclopedia Award



  • Special prize of The Literary Encyclopedia consisting of three 2-year subscriptions and three 1-year subscriptions to LE for shortlisted authors.
  • The Literary Encyclopedia is an online reference work for English-language readers interested in broad literary and cultural matters. It offers a new kind of scholarly resource: contributor-owned, committed to integrating literature and culture, providing detailed and comprehensive historical context, and furthering coverage of international literatures. LE articles are usually solicited by invitation, then refereed by one or more of the subject editors on our Editorial Board. They cover biographies of major and minor writers (and other culturally-important figures); scholarly descriptions of all interesting texts written by these authors; and a variety of critical essays on literary, cultural and historical matters.


…will be officially awarded in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Hercegovina (September 1, 2016). The event winners and finalists will be informed via e-mail/phone. If an author cannot attend the awards ceremony, sponsors of the contest will provide the video conference; funds will be paid via PayPal or bank transfer.

General criteria of the competition

  • Final closing date: 11:59 P.M. May 31st 2016 (US Central time).
  • Jury/Judges: Sibelan Forrester, Jelena Lengold and John K. Cox.
  • The competition is international and is open to all authors writing in English or any of the BCMS languages (comprising Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, Montenegrin.)
  • Authors who write in BCMS may submit their entries in Latin or Cyrillic script.
  • There are no theme, or genre limitations and boundaries.
  • Work must be original and unpublished.
  • One author can compete in all categories, for all three awards respectively.
  • Multiple submissions are allowed (as well as simultaneous  submissions).
  • By participating in the contest of the Hourglass Literary Magazine authors agree that their work which they submitted in the contest is to be published in the first issue of the Hourglass Literary Magazine (in print and digital form).
  • Short stories, essays and poems by writers who write in English will be translated in one of the BCMS languages and vice versa.
  • Participants retain the copyright of their works.
  • Names of finalists will be published on the Internet at: and/or the Hourglass Monthly Newsletter and also through our media sponsor (ELTA TV) at the official press conference scheduled for July 2016.
  • Works can be sent in .doc, .docx, .rtf, .odt and .pdf format, with font size not exceeding 12 points.
  • Contest is anonymous and will be blind judged.
  • Please prepare your text document(s) accordingly to avoid disqualification. The document should only contain the name and text of the story, poem(s), essay. Personal details should be included in the Cover letter of the submission tool.
  • Participants at any time may contact the editorial office via email: contest {at}
  • “Manifesto” of the literary magazine can be found here.


  • Due to colossal differences in regional (BCMS) and international (more specifically English-speaking area) standards, all shortlisted  authors (including the winners), will be contacted separately regarding the contract via e-mail or phone before we commence work on the inaugural issue of Hourglass Literary Magazine.
  • The Early deadline is open from October 20 2015 to 11:59 P.M. December 31,  2015 (US Central time).

Detailed instructions for submissions:


We only accept submissions online via Submittable.



Text for a short story should not exceed 7000 words or be less than 700 words. Entry fee: 13.59 USD.



There are no strict limits, provided that poems should not have more than 3500 words. Author, writer competing in the category for the best poem can submit up to three works. Entry fee: 13.59 USD.



Essays should not exceed 9000 words or be less than 1000 words. Entry fee: 13.59 USD.



Entry fee for authors who want to compete with more than one work in the category for the best essay, best short story is 20 USD for three works.



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