The 2021




for Rising Authors


With Guest Judges:

Fariha Róisín
& Marlowe Granados









Jayson Keery
The Choice Is Real

“I find that the best kind of work is the work that can evoke a sense of longing for the text, where the work itself builds intimacy and innateness through the words that land at a truth. 


There were so many suspended moments while reading Jayson Keery's The Choice Is Real, where I felt this, their skill at landing at truth with such viscerality and feeling; it’s an uncanny ability that ran like a radiant current through the pages. 


There are lines in The Choice Is Real that I wished I had written, and observations I felt deeply in my soul. So, I'm excited and in awe of how this book wields Keery's marvelous talent and excited to choose them for the Metatron Prize. 

FARIHA RÓISÍN, author of Who Is Wellness For?, Like a Bird and How To Cure a Ghost



Casey Bell
Little Fury

“Casey Bell’s Little Fury captures the lives of its finely drawn characters with a sensitive vitality akin to the short stories of Lucia Berlin. Bell's prose is filled with a fragrant heat that makes even the most ordinary of circumstances striking. An evocative, pleasurable debut.”

MARLOWE GRANADOS, author of Happy Hour




The Choice Is Real by Jayson Keery and Littly Fury by Casey Bell are the winners of The 2021 Metatron Prize for Rising Authors! Both titles will be awarded $777, a book contract with Metatron Press, book blurbs from our guest judge Fariha Róisín and Marlowe Granados, and book publication in 2023! 


Jayson Keery is a writer and arts coordinator based in Western Massachusetts. They are the author of the chapbook Astroturf, published by o•blēk editions, edited by Peter Gizzi. Their recent work has appeared in Overheard, The New Guard, Metatron Press, b l u s h, and Peach Mag among others. They’ve been anthologized in Nightboat Books' We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics and Pilot Press London’s A Queer Anthology of Rage. 


In Jayson's own words: "The Choice is Real is a collection of poems that engage the concept of choice in queerness.  In queerness, our lack of choice operates as a source of empowerment—or, more aptly, a shield against doubts." The poems in this collection journey through foreboding landscapes of mother-death, young memory, and childhood programming— referring to both conditioning and media. Though the terrain is dark, the poems chose to skip, laugh, and stumble through. The poems chose to be light and human.


Casey Bell has an MFA from the University of Nevada, Reno. Her fiction appears or is forthcoming in Sequestrum, Cream City Review, New South, Reed Magazine, The New Limestone Review, and Timber. She was shortlisted for the Iowa Review Fiction Award and was a finalist for the American Short Fiction Halifax Ranch Prize and the Calvino Prize. Casey is the co-director of Girls Rock Reno, a music camp for self-identified girls, trans and gender-expansive youth. She's also the proud mother of a pug-mix named Maud.


In her own words: "Little Fury is a short-story collection that exposes the underbelly of female experience, focusing a lens uncomfortably close on the ferocity called forth by patriarchal imperatives to be small, grateful, quiet." Little Fury blends earthy realism with other-worldly lyricism, lingering in the unsettling, slippery in-between of voicelessness and uproar, longing and belonging, dreaming and waking.


We are so happy to welcome Casey and Jayson to the Metatron fam, and feel so honoured to have the opportunity to publish Littly Fury and The Choice Is Real, their debut books, in 2023.


The Metatron Prize was founded in 2015 and has contributed to four fantastic debut collections: ʔbédayine by Kaitlyn Purcell, number one earth by jasper avery, Soft Focus by Sarah Jean Grimm and Pony Castle by Sofia Banzhaf. Previous guest judges for The Metatron Prize include Anne Boyer and CA Conrad.


The Shortlists

Click on the links below to explore each author's feature!