Kudos from The Missouri Review



I entered the Miller Audio Prize competition for the third time. This year, I received a scholarship so that the entry fee was waved. I didn’t win the prize, but I’m pleased with this critique of my story, “Tropical Blizzard” which is semi-biographical.

Thank you for your Access for Artists submission, “Tropical Blizzards (Return of the Ancestors),” in the prose category of the Missouri Review’s 2019 Miller Audio Prize Contest. Below is what our staff had to say about “Tropical Blizzards (Return of the Ancestors)”:

We especially admired this story’s concept as a journey through America in order to find one’s own identity and heritage. We particularly appreciated the honesty and complexity with which the childhood memories of racial discrimination were written. We suggest that the narrator read at a slower pace – as listeners, at times we felt that the story was being rushed. We also suggest that the project might utilize the audio format to its advantage here; sound can add depth to this already complex story, it can emphasize the piece’s important moments or build the characters even more vividly in the listener’s mind.

Overall, we felt that this was a strong entry and we appreciated its complexity and its journey from start to finish. While “Tropical Blizzards (Return of the Ancestors)” was not selected for the prize this year, we are quite interested in reading and listening to more of your work soon and hope you’ll considering sending more of it our way.

After the competition ended, I uploaded the audio on my YouTube channel. I did rush through the narration to fit it into the 15-minute maximum audio allowed by the competition judge and editors. I just noticed that this is not the same audio track I entered in the contest. I recorded this one much earlier.

Also, I wrote the story in 2003 after I discovered my Saami ancestors.