Prime Number Magazine
is a publication of 
Press 53
PO Box 30314,
Winston-Salem NC 27130
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Issue 103, Jan – Mar 2017
Prime Number Magazine is a publication of Press 53, PO Box 30314, Winston-Salem, NC 27130

Dear Reader,

The New Year has arrived and I will be placing a penny under my dinner plate to bring me health and prosperity. This is a variation on the old Southeast tradition of putting a shiny penny in the pot with the black-eyed peas. Whoever got the penny received good health and prosperity for the New Year. The penny probably graduated to being placed under the plate after someone swallowed the penny and became deathly ill, or because too many people walked away from dinner feeling like they were doomed. The penny under that plate leaves everyone filled with good food and hope.

Prime Number Magazine is entering the New Year with Issue 103 and by kicking of the 2017 Prime Number Magazine Awards for Poetry and Short Fiction.

The Prime Number Magazine Awards writing competition is open to writers of all levels. Our poetry judge this year is Rebecca Foust, winner of the 2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry for her collection Paradise Drive, which went on to win five more awards. Our judge for short fiction is master short fiction author David Jauss. In 2015, Press 53 published Glossolalia: New & Selected Stories, a collection that celebrates more than 30 years of writing, publishing, and honors that include Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, including their 25th Anniversary edition. For complete details click on the contest link in the left-hand column.

Another fun and challenging contest that we run every month is our free 53-Word Story Contest, which offers writers a chance to show off their skills, be published, and win a free book from that month’s guest judge. This month we’re staying with the earlier-mentioned New Year’s tradition and prompting writers to write a 53-word story about a penny. Click on the link above or in the left-hand column to read few of our past winners and to get the complete guidelines on how to enter.

Now, about this issue of Prime Number Magazine. We have four poems in this issue by four poets selected by Wendy Willis, author of Blood Sisters of the Republic, and three stories by three authors selected by Steve Mitchell, author of The Naming a Ghosts, a collection of stories that was seen in bed with Fred Armisen on Portlandia. We are also featuring a poem and short story from our guest judges for upcoming Issue 109 (Jul-Sep): for short fiction, Jen McConnell, author of Welcome, Anybody, and for poetry, Joseph Mills, who has made eight appearances on The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, and whose newest collection of poems, Exit, pursued by a bear, features poems inspired by Shakespeare’s stage directions. Submissions are open now, so send Jen and Joseph your best work.

Scroll down to our Table of Contents and get your reading for 2017 off to a grand beginning. I have heard through whispers and birdsong that this New Year is going to rise like a phoenix. So place a penny under your plate and raise your glass to good health, happiness, prosperity, and peace! 


Kevin Morgan Watson, Publisher, Editor in Chief
Press 53
Prime Number Magazine

Welcome to Issue 103 of Prime Number Magazine!

Prime Number Magazine
Issue 103
January – March 2017

Selections from Wendy Willis
Guest Editor for Poetry

Digging by Claudia Serea
A Potato on a Mine by Rimas Uzgiris
Savior by Shuly Cawood
Slave Trade Bracelet by Domenic Scopa

Selections from Steve Mitchell
Guest Editor for Short Fiction

Farm by Laurie Stone
The Tickle by J.L. Montavon
Trinity House by Jim Brennan

Meet Our Editors for Issue 109, July – September 2017

Joseph Mills, Guest Editor for Poetry
Meet Joseph and read a poem

Jen McConnell, Guest Editor for Short Fiction
Meet Jen and read a story

Read our winners of the 53-Word Story Contest
and get your prompt for this month