The winner of the 2017 Story of the Year, along with the $50 prize and enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, is:
Constellations by Jonathan Kosik
From the first time I read this story, I was fascinated by the magical moment it portrayed, and by how deftly that moment is held separate from the terrifying context it is placed in. The reader is transported into something so very special, this whirling and intimate playtime between parent and child, and then one simple sentence grounds the entire thing. It’s gut-wrenching, and yet it remains beautiful, and the moment continues; the whirling continues. It’s joy and fear; it’s life. What a ride.
Honourable mention to My Father, in Worcester, Massachusetts by Jennifer L. Freed (who won the 2016 story of the year, by the way, and no, that didn’t factor into my choice this year!).