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  • Bibiana Ossai

Announcing PhotoFinish Winner & Finalists

We are happy to announce the winner, runner-up, and finalists of our PhotoFinish competition. Iron Horse Literary Review’s annual PhotoFinish is an invitation for writers to respond to a photo prompt with a well-crafted and very brief ekphrastic work that pushes beyond a literal read of the image we provide. Each year, we dedicate an entire issue to our photo prompt responses, with the winner, runner-up, and all finalists being published.

This time, we selected Aimee LaBrie’s "Shadow Stories" as the 2023 IHLR PhotoFinish winner. Aimee LaBrie’s short stories have appeared in the Minnesota Review, StoryQuarterly, Cimarron Review, Pleiades, Beloit Fiction Journal, Permafrost Magazine, and anthologized in A Darker Shade of Noir, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, Fractured Lit Anthology, Vol. 3, and Philadelphia Noir. Her second short story collection, Rage and Other Cages won the Leapfrog Global Fiction contest, and will be published in December 2023. In 2007 her first short story collection, Wonderful Girl, was awarded the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction and published by the University of North Texas Press. Her short fiction has been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize. Aimee teaches undergraduate creative writing for Rutgers Writers House and works as a senior program administrator for the English department. She lives in Cranbury, New Jersey.

Aime LaBrie, Winner of the 2023 IHLR PhotoFinish Contest

We chose Sean Cho A.’s "Kinda Sonnet #7" for the runner-up. Sean Cho A. is the author of American Home and winner of the Autumn House Press Chapbook Prize. His work can be future found or ignored in Copper Nickel, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, and Nashville Review, among others. Sean is a graduate of the MFA program at The University of California Irvine and a Ph.D. Student at the University of Cincinnati.

Congratulations to Aimee LaBrie, Sean Cho A., and all our finalists!


Haley Bossé, “it was a child’s war,”

Aimee R. Cervenka, “Self-Portrait with Drought”

Mags Diep, “Grounding”

Thuy Dinh, "Dragon Nature"

Susan Carroll Jewell, “The Year of Living Dangerously”

Oak Morse, “Circus Burst”

Adam Straus, “In the Woods”

Noah Thomas, “Cast Figures”

Deanie Vallone, “elska”


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