This has been an eventful year for the Magazine. We’ve redefined our mission, revitalized our content and switched formats, with the aim of creating a publication that showcases some of the best writing that Yalies have to offer. So it’s only fitting that we end the year with a special issue that helps push the boundaries of what student publications can accomplish.

I’m proud to present in this issue the recipients of the annual Wallace Prize for fiction and non-fiction. The winners published in these pages were selected from a truly impressive crop of entries. There were nearly 150 submissions this year across the two categories, and we received twice as many nonfiction stories as last year.

The powerful winning entry of the nonfiction contest, “Every Nation Needs A Tsar” is Eve Fairbanks’ second story for the Magazine. Inspired by the truly bizarre submissions she came across reading the slush pile as an intern at the Atlantic Monthly, she set out to discover what compels people to bare their souls in fiction stories they send to national publications, taking an epic bus journey to Toronto to locate the source of some of the strangest ones.

“Incidental Music,” the first place winner of the fiction contest is a delightfully thoughtful story of delayed gratification and improbable love. One of the judges described the story as “terrifically original and blessedly strange, and I hope literary agents take notice.”

Due to the uniquely high quality of the fiction entries this year, we decided to publish the second place winner. Two stories, in fact, tied for second place. “Good Chocolate” by Alexander Cote appears in this issue, and Rachel Khong’s “Jackson” will be published in the fall.

Unfortunately, space considerations and the fact that the other non-fiction winners are seniors mean that we aren’t able to publish “Blaming the Buildings” by Adina Lopatin and “The Future of Local Farms” by Erin Donar, but we’d like to congratulate them on their extremely fine work.

Also appearing in this issue is Sarah Woo’s extraordinary profile of Octo Mote, a former Indonesian journalist and human rights activist who works at Yale’s Genocide Studies Department and delivered pizza to make ends meet.

— Jeremy Kutner