Prairie Schooner announces 2011 writing prizes

Winter 2011 Issue
Winter 2011 Issue

Prairie Schooner, the quarterly literary magazine published at UNL for 85 years, has awarded 18 writing prizes for work published in its 2011 volume. The total prize money awarded was $8,500, with the highest individual prize worth $1,500.

The Lawrence Foundation Award of $1,000 was won by Gregory Blake Smith of Northfield, Minn., for the story "Punishment" from the Spring issue. His collection of short stories, "The Law of Miracles" -- from which "Punishment" is drawn -- recently won the Juniper Prize and appeared in the spring of 2011 from the University of Massachusetts Press. He is the Lloyd P. Johnson Norwest Professor of English and the Liberal Arts at Carleton College.

The $1,500 Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award was won by John Lane of Spartanburg, S.C., for his essay, "Sardis," published in the Spring issue. He teaches environmental studies at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.. His latest books are "The Best of the Kudzu Telegraph" and "Circling Home." This prize is made possible by the generosity of poet, publisher and philanthropist Glenna Luschei.

William Wall of Cork City, Ireland, won the Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing of $1,000 for his novel excerpt in the Winter issue. He is the author of three poetry collections, one short fiction collection and four novels, the most recent of which, "This Is The Country," was nominated for the 2005 Man Booker Prize. His most recent poetry collection is "Ghost Estate." The Faulkner Award is supported by charitable contributions to honor Virginia Faulkner, former editor-in-chief of the University of Nebraska Press and fiction editor at Prairie Schooner.

Patrick Toland of Northern Ireland was awarded the Edward Stanley Award of $1,000 for his three poems in the Winter issue. He is a director of social enterprise, a new media lecturer, and a freelance journalist. A recent graduate of the new Master of Studies in Creative Writing at Oxford University, he was selected by Windows Publications as an emerging writer in 2009. His most recent publications have been in Swamp Magazine and Fortnight Magazine. Charitable contributions from the family of Edward Stanley, a member of the committee that founded Prairie Schooner in 1926, make this award possible.

The Bernice Slote Award of $500 for the best work by a beginning writer was won by Melodie Edwards of Laramie, Wyo., for her story, "Bird Lady," published in the Summer issue. Her stories, essays, and poems have appeared in numerous literary magazines, including Glimmer Train, Crazyhorse, North Dakota Review, Michigan Review, South Dakota Quarterly and others. "Bird Lady" received the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize and was aired on NPR's "Selected Shorts." The Slote Award is supported by the estate of Bernice Slote, Prairie Schooner editor from 1963-1980.

The Annual Prairie Schooner Strousse Award of $500 went to Todd James Pierce of Orcutt, Calif., for his two poems from the Fall issue. Pierce is the author of five books and anthologies, including "Newsworld" (University of Pittsburgh Press), which won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize (selected by Joan Didion). His work has been published in the Georgia Review, Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah and other journals. The Strousse Award is given in honor of Flora Strousse.

The Jane Geske Award of $250 is awarded to Nuala Ni Chonchuir of Galway, Ireland, for the story "Peach" from the Winter issue. She has three collections of poetry, the most recent being "The Juno Charm" (Salmon). Her debut novel, "You" (New Island), was called "a heart-warmer" by the Irish Times and "a gem" by the Irish Examiner, and her third short-story collection, "Nude," was shortlisted for the UK’s Edge Hill Prize. The Jane Geske Award is given by Norman Geske in honor of his wife, Jane Geske, a lifelong supporter of Nebraska's literary arts.

Roxane Beth Johnson of San Francisco won the Hugh J. Luke Award of $250 for her four poems in the Spring issue. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize as well as fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Cave Canem, and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Her first book of poetry was "Jubilee" (Anhinga Press). Her work has also appeared in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Georgia Review, Image, Callaloo and elsewhere.

There were 10 winners of the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Awards of $250 each. These awards are made possible through the generosity of Glenna Luschei:

Desiree Alvarez, of New York City, for two poems in the Fall issue;
Sandra Bunting, of New Brunswick, Canada, for three poems in the Winter issue;
Owen King, of New Paltz, N.Y., for the story "Home Brew" in the Summer issue;
Helen Elaine Lee, of Arlington, Mass., for the story "Alphabet" in the Spring issue;
Bethany Maile, of Eagle, Idaho, for the essay "Ladies' Night in the Shooting Range" in the Fall issue:
Linda Pastan, of Potomac, Md, for three poems in the Fall issue;
David Torrey Peters, of Evanston, Ill., for the essay "God's Entrepreneur" in the Spring issue;
Wanling Su, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., for the poem "Night in the Boxer Rebellion" in the Fall issue;
David Wagoner, of Lynnwood, Wash., for three poems in the Fall issue; and
Mark Wisniewski, of Lake Peekskill, N.Y., for the poem "Easier" in the Fall issue.

Prairie Schooner is available at chain and independent bookstores throughout the country. Subscriptions or individual copies may be ordered by calling 1-800-715-2387. Prairie Schooner is published with support from the UNL English Department and its creative writing program, the University of Nebraska Press, and the Glenna Luschei Endowed Editorship and Fund for Excellence at Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska Foundation.

- Trey Moody, Prairie Schooner

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