Cover Art: Grace Munakata – Vishnu Padi

Logo Design: Allen Jang


Occam’s Razor is published annually in the spring at California State University, East Bay. All entries are submitted to the judges anonymously to ensure impartiality. At present, only California State University, East Bay students and recent alumni are eligible to submit work. The rights of all published works remain with the authors. For additional information, contact Professor Steve Gutierrez at We would like to thank the many students who submitted their work, and the judges for their assistance.


This year’s Creative Nonfiction Contest was judged by Frances Lefkowitz. She has published creative nonfiction, fiction, flash fiction and personal essays in The Sun, Tin House, Glimmer Train, New World Writing, Fiction, Memoir Journal, Superstition Review, Catamaran Literary Review, and Passages North. Her memoir, To Have Not, about growing up poor in San Francisco, was named a Best Memoir of 2010 by She has taught writing workshops for The Sun, Catamaran Literary Reader, and the Community Memoir Project.


This year’s R.V. Williams Fiction Contest was judged by Kristin FitzPatrick, author of the short story collection, My Pulse is an Earthquake. Her stories have appeared in the Colorado Review, Epiphany, Southwest Review, Necessary Fiction, Thomas Wolfe Review and The Best of Gival Press Short Stories. She has taught Creative Writing at California State University, Channel Islands and is working on a novel.


Semifinalists for this year’s Donald Markos Poetry Contest were judged by students Daniela Chavez and Allen Jang, retired instructor Donald Markos, and Professor Susan Gubernat. The final judging came from Nellie Hill. Her work has appeared in literary journals including The American Poetry Review, The Briar Cliff Review, The Naugatuk River Review, The Harvard Magazine, Psychological Perspectives, Commonweal, and The Belleview Literary Review. Her most recent collection of poetry is Winter Horse.


This year’s Helen DeClercq Poetry Prize was judged anonymously by two members of the DeClercq family, and CSUEB faculty members Susan Gubernat, Steve Gutierrez, and Aline Soules.


This year’s Flash Contest was judged by Kara Vernor. Her flash fiction has appeared in Smokelong Quarterly, PANK, Monkeybicycle, Green Mountains Review, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere. She has been a Best Small Fictions finalist, a Pushcart Prize nominee, an MCWC Estelle Frank Fellow, and an Elizabeth George Foundation scholar. She is a reader for Wigleaf’s Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions, and her flash fiction chapbook, Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song, is available from Split Lip Press.


Occam’s Razor is published by the Department of English at California State University, East Bay. © 2017 Occam’s Razor.


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