Short Forms Contest 2023: The Winners

We are thrilled to announce the winners of our 2023 Short Forms Contest. A huge congratulations to the following three authors whose brief and beautiful works were handpicked by esteemed judge, Tsering Yangzom Lama. We won’t keep you waiting any longer: here they are!

FIRST PLACE: Zigsa Tells Her Story,by Rimi B Chatterjee

Rimi B. Chatterjee is a screenwriter, novelist and academic from Kolkata, India. Since 2005 she has been working on the Antisense Universe, a storyworld focused on climate action and civilisational redesign. This story is set in the Antisense Universe.

The dry horror of the opening of this story is perfect. As the lines proceed with unpredictable beauty and strangeness, this story works like a Rorschach test, revealing multiple meanings, each as likely as the one before. I love this story’s orientation toward power, domination, and liberation. — Judge Tsering Yangzom Lama


SECOND PLACE: Godhead,by Aldona Dziedziejko

Aldona Dziedziejko is a first-generation immigrant writer and educator. Her poetry and creative nonfiction have appeared in CV2, subTerrain, Poetry is Dead, The Capilano Review, Fiction Southeast, Pulp Literature, PRISM international, Off Topic Publishing, and others. You can find her @mushka_writes.

Mesmeric and ecstatically written. This is a story as large as the cosmos, as unknowable as memory. It’s a pleasure to read a writer so skilled with rhythm and so free with their imagination. — Judge Tsering Yangzom Lama


THIRD PLACE: maskihkîwiwatby Jennifer Adese

Jennifer Adese (otipemisiwak/Métis) (she/her) is a poet, academic author, and professor. Her poetry has appeared in Room Magazine, Arc Poetry Magazine, and Arboreal Literary Magazine. She is also a Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Mississauga and is the author of Aboriginal™: The Cultural and Economic Politics of Recognition.

A story is a communal practice and artifact. This story carries a whole community and loves that community deeply. With rare gracefulness, these lines carefully undo the master’s house — reminding everyone that there is a difference between understanding the world’s injustice and living through, within, and despite that injustice. — Judge Tsering Yangzom Lama

You’ll be able to read Rimi and Aldona’s beautiful pieces in Room 47.2, to be published in June 2024. Jennifer’s excellent piece is available for you to read now, via the link above!

As we always say, a big thank you to every writer who trusted our collective, and our judge with their writing. Whether it is 500 words or 2,000, submitting your writing anywhere at all takes courage, and we are so grateful for all those who chose Room to make that leap.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to Tsering Yangzom Lama, for the time and care put into selecting a shortlist and three winners – a decision that does not come easy! We are so grateful for your quick turnaround, thoughtful comments, and careful consideration.

In case you missed the previous announcements, you can check out our 2023 Short Forms longlist and shortlist, here.

Room‘s annual Short Forms Contest will open again in September 2024.


Currently on Newsstands

ROOM 47.2 Seedpod
“Maple keys are built by nature like helicopter blades, which allows them to propel as far as possible from the mother maple… In these pages, we see the brave, touching, true ways we, too, must embrace the fear and the excitement that comes with leaving where we are rooted.”

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