Fifteen Adroit Moments of 2015

1: The Adroit Journal transitioned from a biannual publication to a quarterly publication. 

And featured a stronger contributor batch than ever before—Dennis Hinrichsen, Alex Dimitrov, Tyler Mills, sam sax, Alexandra Teague, Joseph Fasano, Nick Narbutas, Meghan Privitello, Brian Tierney, Zach VandeZande, Claudia Cortese, Ocean Vuong, and so many more.

2: The journal’s network of staff readers, contributors, and summer mentorship students hit a collective home-run at the YoungArts Awards. They filled an astounding fourteen—out of twenty-four—Finalist seats, three Honorable Mention seats, and five Merit Award seats. 

Special congratulations to the 2015 journal-affiliated finalists—Bindu Bansinath (Short Story), Walker Caplan (Short Story), Carissa Chen (Poetry), Noah Dversdall (Poetry), Julia Falkner (Poetry), Nancy Huang (Short Story), Hannah Knowles (Short Story), Adina Lasser (Creative Nonfiction), Aaron Orbey (Creative Nonfiction), Maia Rosenfeld (Short Story), Audrey Spensley (Poetry), Talin Tahajian (Poetry), and Oriana Tang (Poetry & Short Story).

3: For the first time in its history, The Adroit Journal was represented in the Best of the Net 2014 anthology. Twice. 

Richie Hofmann’s poem “Midwinter” was selected by Kathy Fagan for inclusion, while Madeleine Cravens’ essay “Girls and Boys: Growing Up in Four Parts” was selected by Michael Martone for inclusion. As an eighteen-year-old college freshman, Cravens is the youngest inclusion in the Best of the Net series to date.

4: Another first in the journal’s history: the staff and contributor network of The Adroit Journal met and united at the 2015 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Minneapolis, MN. 

Poetry Editor Talin Tahajian & Founder and Editor-in-Chief Peter LaBerge recounted the most priceless moments here in their collaborative post “Overheard @ AWP 2015.”

5: India Carney, interviewed by Peter LaBerge for the Beat Converses blog series, placed fifth on the eighth season of The Voice

Click here for the interview, and click here for our favorite bits of India’s time on The Voice.

6: Summer mentorship students Oriana Tang and Christina Qiu were named 2015 United States Presidential Scholars in the Arts….

…and became the first two students to ever be simultaneously named Presidential Scholars from the same non-arts public high school for the same genre and sub-genre. Oriana, who studied poetry with founder and editor-in-chief Peter LaBerge in the 2015 summer mentorship program, was named a Presidential Scholar in Writing (Poetry & Short Story). Christina, who studied fiction with then prose editor Kaitlin Jennrich in the 2014 summer mentorship program, was named a Presidential Scholar in Writing (Short Story). Click here for the announcement of the designations.

7: Prose Reader Julia Falkner successfully completed her time as a National Student Poet for the Western Region of the United States. 

We’re so proud of Julia, and especially love her emphasis on LGBT poetry and poetics. She joins Adroit-affiliated National Student Poet Program (NSPP) alums Michaela Coplen, Nathan Cummings, Aline Dolinh, Luisa Banchoff, Miles Hewitt, and Claire Lee.

8: The Adroit Journal completed another successful online mentorship program, which paired 42 high school poets, fiction writers, and journalists from around the world with mentors for the summer. 

Truly an unforgettable, fantastically talented bunch! For more information, visit the mentorship program online here. If you are an adult poet or writer, check out our call for mentors for the summer of 2016 here.

9: The Adroit Journal‘s 2015 Adroit Prizes for Poetry and Prose, designed to recognize the best student (secondary or undergraduate) writers, were selected from thousands of merited submissions by Tarfia Faizullah and Alexander Maksik. 

Congratulations to poet Ian Burnette (of Kenyon College, selected by Richie Hofmann as the runner-up for the 2014 Adroit Prize for Poetry) and prose writer Lydia Weintraub (of Princeton University). Read Ian’s prize-winning poem “dear radio” here, and read Lydia Weintraub’s prize-winning fiction work “Feelies” here. And click here for submission guidelines for the 2016 Adroit Prizes, which are open to submissions until February 1st!

10: And speaking of the best, staff readers, contributors, and summer mentorship students took The Best Teen Writing of 2015 by storm. 

And—of course—it was guest edited by Issue Eleven critical reviewer Michaela Coplen. Congratulations to the following journal-affiliated inclusions: Sophie Evans, Aidan Forster, Henry Heidger, Emily Mack, Isabella Nilsson, Rachel Page, Maia Rosenfeld, Audrey Spensley, Caroline Tsai, and Emily Zhang. To even be considered for  the anthology, contributors had to receive national Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, so congratulations to them for that, as well. Special congratulations to Grant McClure, recipient of the top honor—a $10,000 Writing Portfolio Gold Medal from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Click here for the journal’s original announcement.

11: In addition to being named a United States Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Adroit‘s very own Oriana Tang was named a 2015 Davidson Fellow in Literature for her writing thesis Writing Tears from the Stars: A Linguistic Revitalization of Human Empathy

After being selected by Richie Hofmann as an Honorable Mention for the 2014 Adroit Prize for Poetry, Oriana studied (as previously stated) with Peter LaBerge in the 2014 summer mentorship program, and subsequently joined the journal’s prose staff and body of summer mentorship prose mentors. As a 2015 Davidson Fellow, Oriana received $25,000, and was honored in Washington, DC. Currently, she is a Yale University freshman, and needless to say, we’re fans. Click here to visit her project online—you’ll be a fan, too.

12: The Adroit Journal shared work from four contributors at the New York City Poetry Festival for the third year in a row.

 From left to right: Laura Romeyn, Keegan Lester, Jeanann Verlee, Peter LaBerge, & Joseph Fasano. From left to right: Laura Romeyn, Keegan Lester, Jeanann Verlee, Peter LaBerge, & Joseph Fasano.

Despite nerve-wracking reports of rainfall for the day, we’re happy to report that our reading was a success! Click here to watch recordings of the reading, which featured poets Joseph Fasano, Laura Romeyn, Keegan Lester, and Jeanann Verlee.

13: Last year, The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom recognized ten Adroit-affiliated students in its 2014 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Awards. And this year, we matched it. 

Congratulations to Ben Read, of Spokane, Wash., whose poem “Mario Kart: Brain Circuit“—published in The Guardian, and penned while studying poetry with poetry editor Jackson Holbert in the 2015 summer mentorship program!—was selected by judges Liz Berry and Michael Symmons Roberts as one of 15 Overall Winners for the 2015 Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award. Further congratulations to the staff readers, contributors, and summer mentorship students commended in the 2015 FYP Awards: Rebecca Alifimoff, Ava Goga, Alex Greenberg, Kathryn Hargett, Mia Nelson, Audrey Spensley, Caroline Tsai, Lucy Wainger, and Chelsy Jiayi Wu. For more, visit the announcement here.



14: Ian Burnette’s poem “Harvests,” originally published in The Adroit Journal, was selected by guest judge Tracy K. Smith for inclusion in the Best New Poets 2015 anthology.

“Harvests” was also selected by Richie Hofmann as the runner-up for the 2014 Adroit Prize for Poetry, and was selected for inclusion in plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing of 2014. Joining him in BNP 2015 are eleven other journal staff readers and contributors: Mary Angelino, Leila Chatti, Tiana Clark, J. Jerome Cruz, Jaydn DeWald, Cody Ernst, J.P. Grasser, Trevor Ketner, Eduardo Martinez-Leyva, Elizabeth Onusko, and sam sax, whose Adroit poem “fraternity” was nominated for inclusion.

15: You might remember that in 2013, when we geeked out over receiving 8,000 cumulative submissions. You may remember that in 2014, we geeked out over receiving 16,000 cumulative submissions. Well, we’ve done it again—we’re proud to have once more doubled the amount of cumulative submissions received. 

As a plus, we’re thrilled to have snagged the #2 spot on Duotrope‘s Most Response Times Reported list. Thanks, Duotrope!


And thanks to our loyal readers, staff members, contributors, summer mentorship students—thanks to all in the Adroit family—for more than four years (!) of happiness, connection, and (if we may say so ourselves) some damn good writing

Stay tuned for Issue Fourteen, comin’ at ya next week. Don’t miss it; join our mailing list below. 

Peter LaBerge

Peter LaBerge founded The Adroit Journal in 2010, as a high school sophomore. His work appears in Crazyhorse, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, Pleiades, and Tin House, among others. He is the recipient of a 2020 Pushcart Prize.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply