Originally from Kettering, Ohio, Marie Potoczny received her undergraduate degree in interdisciplinary studies from Ohio's Miami University. In 2003 she moved with her husband from North Carolina to Richmond's Byrd Park, beginning work on her master's degree in fiction at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007. Potoczny, 32, likes to write magical, surreal stories about girls and young women in some odd job or position — babysitting or giving tours at fake Christian organizations. After she graduates, Potoczny would like to have children, apply for a Fulbright or get a doctorate. She's currently in the market for a summer job. Judge Valley Haggard writes that Potoczny's first-place story, “From the Museum of Lost Smells,” “manages to combine a fully rendered, sensual and surprisingly magical world that ends with a zing and sings in the details — hot asphalt, hemorrhoid cream, machine grease, lemon, butter — a happy mix of surprise and thwarted erotica.”
CORRECTION: We corrected the name of the college to Miami University.