The One Story Literary Debutante Ball: 10 years & counting!

April 30th should have been our 10th One Story Literary Debutante Ball.

Due to the current pandemic, we’ve postponed to a later date (which we hope to set once the world rights itself). But today we’re missing this joyous gathering of writers and readers. We should be clinking glasses and sharing books and laughing and dancing. We should be watching debut authors proudly walk down the aisle arm in arm with their mentors, and listening to inspirational speeches from honorees like Colum McCann, Alexander Chee, Jim Shepard, Toi Derricotte, Cornelius Eady, Dani Shapiro, Lan Samantha Chang, Ann Patchett, Dan Chaon, and Celeste Ng.

One Story is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit, and the Debutante Ball is our annual fundraiser. This loss of income comes at a challenging time, and is a big blow to our organization. If you’re in a position to donate (at any level), we’d truly and gratefully welcome the support. You can do so by going here. A big thank you to those who sponsored this year’s (postponed) ball before the world changed and our plans fell apart: Manhattanville College MFA, The John S. Hilson Family Fund, Penguin Random House, Catapult, Janklow & Nesbit, Aragi, Inc., The Book Group, Jane and Bert Emke, The Raich Family, Kevin Reymond, Dani Shapiro and Michael Maren.

To keep the flame of literary joy alive, we’ve put together a slideshow of past Debutante Balls and posted it below. We hope you’ll pour yourself a cocktail and enjoy. Underneath the slideshow, we’ve compiled a list of ALL of our past & present debutantes. It’s wonderful to see the names of so many talented authors who have graced the pages of One Story. Eventually, our community will make it to the other side of this. And when we do, we plan on gathering you all up and dancing our hearts out.

Photo Credits: Aslan Chalom & koitz

One Story Literary Debutantes are past One Story authors who have recently published their first books. We celebrate them each year at our annual fundraiser, the One Story Literary Debutante Ball, where they are escorted by a mentor and formally “announced” to the literary world.

2020

  • Chuck Augello, The Inexplicable Gray Space We Call Love
  • Ayşe Papatya Bucak, The Trojan War Museum
  • Christina Hammonds Reed, The Black Kids

2019

  • Brad Felver, The Dogs of Detroit
  • Lydia Fitzpatrick, Lights All Night Long
  • Joseph Moldover, Every Moment After
  • Erin Somers, Stay Up with Hugo Best
  • Bryan Washington, Lot
  • Jake Wolff, The History of Living Forever

2018

  • Kendra Fortmeyer, Hole in the Middle
  • Chelsey Johnson, Stray City
  • Cheston Knapp, Up Up, Down Down

***One Story 2018 “Little Debbies”

  • Sanjay Agnihotri, One Story Issue #236: “Guerrilla Marketing”
  • Maud Streep, One Story Issue #234: “The Crazies”
  • Lucas Schaefer, One Story Issue #225: “An Oral History of the Next Battle of the Sexes”

2017

  • Sam Allingham, The Great American Songbook
  • Angelica Baker, Our Little Racket
  • Clare Beams, We Show What We Have Learned
  • Julie Buntin, Marlena
  • Anne Corbitt, Rules for Lying
  • Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes, The Sleeping World
  • Lisa Ko, The Leavers
  • Emily Ruskovich, Idaho
  • Melissa Yancy, Dog Years

2016

  • Brian Booker, Are You Here for What I’m Here For?
  • Kim Brooks, The Houseguest
  • Matthew Cheney, Blood: Stories
  • Charles Haverty, Excommunicados
  • Naomi Williams, Landfalls
  • Cote Smith, Hurt People

2015

  • Mia Alvar, In the Country
  • Matthew Baker, If You Find This
  • Austin Bunn, The Brink
  • Scott Cheshire, High as the Horses’ Bridles
  • Diane Cook, Man V. Nature
  • Katie Coyle, Vivian Apple at the End of the World
  • Andrew Roe, The Miracle Girl
  • Matt Sumell, Making Nice
  • Ted Thompson, The Land of Steady Habits
  • Anne Valente, By Light We Knew Our Names

2014

  • Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans
  • Rachel Cantor, A Highly Unlikely Scenario
  • Amelia Kahaney, The Brokenhearted
  • Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You
  • David James Poissant, The Heaven of Animals
  • James Scott, The Kept
  • Ben Stroud, Byzantium

2013

  • L. Annette Binder, Rise
  • Manuel Gonzales, The Minature Wife
  • Ben Miller, River Bend Chronicle
  • Leigh Newman, Still Points North
  • Ethan Rutherford, The Peripatetic Coffin
  • Claire Vaye Watkins, Battleborn
  • Douglas Watson, The Era of Not Quite

**One Story 2013 Staff Debs:

  • Marie-Helene Bertino, Safe as Houses
  • Elliott Holt, You Are One of Them
  • Julie Innis, Three Squares a Day With Occasional Torture

2012

  • Ramona Ausubel, No one is Here Except All of Us
  • Megan Mayhew Bergman, Birds of a Lesser Paradise
  • Caitlin Horrocks, This is Not Your City
  • Katherine Karlin, Send Me Work
  • Miroslav Penkov, East of the West
  • Anna Solomon, The Little Bride
  • Arlaina Tibensky, And Then Things Fall Apart

2011

  • Robin Black, If I Loved You I Would Tell You This
  • Susanna Daniel, Stiltsville
  • Seth Fried, The Great Frustration
  • Jerry Gabriel, Drowned Boy
  • Jim Hanas, Why They Cried.

2010

*This Debutante Ball (our first) featured authors who published their first short stories in One Story, escorted by a writing mentor:

  • Sam Allingham, escorted by Dan Chaon
  • Ramona Ausubel, escorted by Michelle Latiolais
  • Nell Casey, escorted by Tamara Jenkins
  • Amelia Kahaney, escorted by Michael Cunningham
  • Cheston Knapp, escorted by Jim & Karen Shepard
  • Grant Monroe, escorted by Jonathan Lethem
  • Cote Smith, escorted by Deb Olin Unferth
  • Patrick Somerville, escorted by Hannah Tinti
  • Arlaina Tibensky, escorted by Victor LaValle

Announcing the 2020
Adina Talve-Goodman Fellow:
Arvin Ramgoolam

photo credit: Nathan Bilow

Together with the Talve-Goodman family, One Story is pleased to announce our 2020 Adina Talve-Goodman Fellow: Arvin Ramgoolam.

For 16 years, Arvin Ramgoolam has lived in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in the small town of Crested Butte, Colorado and owns Townie Books with his wife, Danica. An immigrant, he was born in Trinidad and Tobago and raised in Miami Beach, Florida. His writing explores themes of otherness, the outdoors, immigrants, and pop culture, subjects that are innately central to his very existence.

He is currently working on a collection of short stories revolving around these issues. He is also at work on a novel about people from different backgrounds moving across land and time towards the western US, culminating during election night 2016.  He is the father of twin four year old girls, Anya and Sahira, and the owner of Wylie the Wonder Dog, the best mountain dog ever.

The finalists for the 2020 Adina Talve-Goodman fellowship were:

  • Jackson Ingram
  • Wynter Miller
  • Lolita Miranda
  • Olakunle Ologunro

The Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship was created in memory of One Story’s former managing editor, the writer Adina Talve-Goodman. This fellowship offers a year-long mentorship on the craft of fiction writing with One Story magazine, and is given to an emerging writer whose work speaks to issues and experiences related to inhabiting bodies of difference. This means writing that explores being in a body marked by difference, oppression, violence, or exclusion; often through categories of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, illness, disability, trauma, migration, displacement, dispossession, or imprisonment. The previous winner of the Adina Talve-Goodman fellowship was Nay Saysourinho.

One Story is grateful to the Talve-Goodman Family, all of the friends and organizations who helped spread the word about this fellowship, and the many talented writers who took the leap and shared their work with us. Applications for our 2021 Fellowship will open in September 2020.

Photo Credit: Nathan Bilow

One Story Issue #260: Maria Lioutaia’s “Sand People”

I was on a sabbatical when ONE STORY co-founder (and all-around brilliant person) Hannah Tinti stepped in to guest-edit our new issue, so I’m turning the introduction mic over to her. Heeeeeere’s Hannah! –PR

Living by the sea is one thing in spring and summer and something else entirely after winter sets in. The beaches are deserted, the sky turns gray and the cold wind seeps deep inside your bones. But there is a magic to winter beaches–the open emptiness, the twisted driftwood and monstrous carcasses of boats and creatures that wash onto the shore. It casts a spell, just like the kind Maria Lioutaia does in her wildly creative short story, “Sand People.”

Set on an isolated peninsula for lost souls, “Sand People” begins with the depositing of an orphan boy into the home of his aunts, a set of conjoined twins. These witchy aunts make him skirts of seagull feathers and teach him how to weave nightmare catchers but also warn him to stay away from the Sand People–the human-shaped holes that glide up and down their shoreline. These sand shadows are captivating and ultimately heartbreaking, just as the affections and jealousies that rise in this three-legged, broken family. “Sand People” is about aloneness and togetherness. About the sucking pulls of despair and the saving ties of connection.

I hope you’ll read our author Q&A, where we discuss the inspiration behind “Sand People,” and how to find balance with the strange and the surreal. It’s exciting to see the leaps of fierce imagination on the page, and a thrill to wade into these winter waters with Maria Lioutaia. You never know what will be conjured next.

One Story 2019 Literary Debutante Ball: The Pictures!

Thank you to everyone who came out on May 16th to Roulette in Brooklyn for our annual One Story Literary Debutante Ball! We had a great night celebrating One Story Alum Kelly Link and six One Story authors who have published their debut books in the past year:

After our debs walked down the aisle with their mentors, honoree Kelly Link gave an amazing speech full of advice for these debut writers, and everyone else. You can read it over at LitHub.

Want to see some pictures of the event? Here’s a link to an album. We’ve also put a slideshow below. Photo Credit: Aslan Chalom.

We love you all, supporters, writers & readers! Until next year….

Save the Date: Our Literary Debutante Ball is on 5/16

Our annual Literary Debutante Ball celebrates One Story authors who are publishing their first books.

This year, we’re also honoring a past One Story author who has gone on to make a significant contribution to literature and the literary community. The 2019 Distinguished Alumni is Kelly Link, who published with One Story in 2005.

Kelly Link is the author of the collections Get in Trouble (a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction), Magic for BeginnersStranger Things Happen, and Pretty Monsters. Her short stories have been published in Tin HouseA Public SpaceMcSweeney’sThe Magazine of Fantasy and Science FictionThe Best American Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. In 2018, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She was born in Miami, Florida, and currently lives with her husband and daughter in Northampton, Massachusetts.

We’ll be honoring Kelly along with our Literary Debutantes on Thursday, May 16th, 2019 at the One Story Literary Debutante Ball at Roulette in Brooklyn. Tickets will go on sale March 1st.

Photo by Sharona Jacobs Photography LLC

Adina Talve-Goodman 2019 Fellow: Nay Saysourinho

Image

Together with the Talve-Goodman family, One Story is pleased to announce our 2019 Adina Talve-Goodman Fellow: Nay Saysourinho.

Nay Saysourinho has received fellowships from Kundiman and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. She is an alumna of Tin House Summer Workshop. The daughter of Lao refugees who immigrated to Montréal in the late 70’s, she writes about food, memories and post-colonialism. Her writing can be found in the Funambulist Magazine and The Margins. She is currently working on her first novel.

The finalists for the 2019 Adina Talve-Goodman fellowship were:

  • Senaa Ahmad
  • Carrie Moore
  • Alejandro Puyana
  • Shannon Sanders

The Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship was created in memory of One Story’s former managing editor, the writer Adina Talve-Goodman. This fellowship offers a year-long mentorship on the craft of fiction writing with One Story magazine, and is given to an emerging writer whose work speaks to issues and experiences related to inhabiting bodies of difference. This means writing that explores being in a body marked by difference, oppression, violence, or exclusion; often through categories of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, illness, disability, trauma, migration, displacement, dispossession, or imprisonment.

One Story is grateful to the Talve-Goodman Family, all of the friends and organizations who helped spread the word about this fellowship, and the many talented writers who took the leap and shared their work with us. Applications for our 2020 Fellow will open in September 2019.

A Message About Our May 2018 Issue

In late September, One Story, Inc. was contacted by a writer concerned about similarities between a story she had submitted to One Story and a piece One Story had recently published, written by a former volunteer reader for the magazine. One Story, Inc. immediately launched a review and is currently evaluating all aspects of the situation and soliciting outside advice. At this point in the process, we decided a public statement was merited.

One Story, Inc. is a small, Brooklyn-based non-profit literary publisher. Our flagship magazine, One Story, receives approximately 10,000-12,000 short story submissions each year. From these submissions, One Story selects 12 stories to publish. One Story relies on volunteer readers (about 10-12 people) to aid the editors in this winnowing process. Readers are assigned 15 stories per week to read and are required to send at least one story each week to an editor for additional review.

While One Story readers are volunteers, there is an application process for these positions. Applicants are evaluated both on their ability to identify work suitable for the magazine and their ability to discuss the work of others with sensitivity and kindness. One Story readers meet with the editorial team on a bimonthly basis and often volunteer to assist One Story, Inc. staff in running public events.

Sara Batkie joined One Story, Inc. in May 2009 as a summer intern. When her internship was complete, she remained a part of the One Story team, donating her time as a reader and volunteer until August of 2016.

Since its founding in 2002, One Story’s policy is not to publish writing by any current editors, volunteers, or readers. However, the magazine does allow former volunteers and readers to submit their work for evaluation after a waiting period of at least one year.

In the fall of 2017, Batkie submitted her short story “Departures” to Patrick Ryan, editor in chief of One Story. This story was accepted for publication and published by One Story in May 2018.

On Sept. 25, 2018, One Story, Inc. was contacted by a submitter to the magazine, Sarah Jane Cody, who was concerned about similarities between a story she had submitted to One Story in December 2015, titled “An Invitation,” and Sara Batkie’s short story “Departures.”

After checking our database and records, One Story discovered that Sara Batkie had been a reader for Sarah Jane Cody’s story, “An Invitation.” These records indicated that after reading Cody’s submission, Batkie forwarded the story to One Story’s editors for additional evaluation. The editors decided to decline the story, and a message was sent to Sarah Jane Cody on April 21, 2016, with an encouraging note and a request to send more work.

While One Story, Inc. cannot speak to intentionality and while some circumstances remain unclear, the similarities in plot, aforementioned timeline, and conversations with both writers have led us to take Sarah Jane Cody’s concern very seriously.

The submission process for any literary magazine involves trust. Trust on the part of the magazine that writers are submitting their own original work, and trust on the part of the writers that the magazine will evaluate their work fairly and treat it with respect. One Story exists because of that trust.

We expect it may take some time before we have a full understanding of this matter. In the meantime, One Story will be suspending any additional sales or promotion of “Departures.”

We would like to thank Sarah Jane Cody for bringing this matter to our attention. We know it could not have been easy to do so.

One Story is grateful to all our readers, writers, donors, and submitters for the trust and support they have given to us over the years. We hope to continue to earn and strengthen that trust as we move forward.

Sincerely,

Maribeth Batcha & Hannah Tinti
One Story Co-Founders

To contact One Story about this matter, please email mbatcha@one-story.com.

One Story Debutante Ball: THANK YOU

Thank you to everyone who came out on May 4th to Roulette in Brooklyn for our annual One Story Literary Debutante Ball.**

We were so happy to celebrate the first books of our debutantes: Kendra Fortmeyer (Hole in the Middle, Soho Teen); Chelsey Johnson (Stray City, Custom House), and Cheston Knapp (Up, Up, Down, Down, Scribner).

(left to right) Olivia Messer, Kendra Fortmeyer, Amy Thielen, Chelsey Johnson, Cheston Knapp, Jo Ann Beard

We also raised a glass to three authors who published their first fiction EVER in the pages of One Story this past year, our “Little Debbies”: Sanjay Agnihotri, Lucas Schaefer & Maud Streep.

photo credit: Mira Jacob

We then honored our Mentor of the Year, Alexander Chee, who was introduced by author Kaitlyn Greenidge.

 

One of our favorite moments was watching Kaitlyn crown Alex as he wore his “cape of totes” (sewn from literary tote bags). Alex then gave a moving speech about his own mentor James Alan McPherson, and how mentorship can change the world.

We also announced the formation of a fellowship in memory of Adina Talve-Goodman. This fellowship will support an early-career writer who has not yet published a book, and who speaks to issues and experiences related to inhabiting bodies of difference. This means writing that explores being in a body marked by difference, oppression, violence, or exclusion, often through categories of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, religion, illness, disability, trauma, migration, and imprisonment. Applications will open this fall. We’ll be posting more information about this fellowship in the coming weeks, and look forward to working with the Talve-Goodman family to  develop this living memorial to Adina.

We’d like to share our gratitude to all of our sponsors, donors, board members, writers, staff, and volunteers who came out to celebrate One Story. We couldn’t have done this without you. To see more pictures from this special night, please click the link below.

Slideshow: One Story 2018 Literary Debutante Ball

-Maribeth & Hannah

**Shortly after our presentation, in which we remembered people who were dear to us, Maribeth and I learned that a man tragically lost his life outside of Roulette during our event. His name was Laquan Surles. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.

 

The Queen of the Night Cocktail!

To honor our Mentor of the Year, Alexander Chee, One Story worked with mixologist (& writer) Christopher Hermelin to create a special cocktail named after Alex’s celebrated novel, THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT! We will be serving Queens of the Night (IN MASKS!)  at the One Story Debutante Ball in Brooklyn on Friday, May 4th. But you can make your own at home with the recipe below. Then let’s all raise a glass to the magic of mentorship, and how one writer can help many other writers move forward. Cheers!

 

❤ Adina Talve-Goodman ❤
1986-2018

Dear Friends,

We are in mourning for our dear friend Adina Talve-Goodman, who passed away from cancer on Friday, January 12th.

Adina started working at One Story magazine as an intern in April 2010. After a brief break she returned, first as an assistant and later as One Story’s Managing Editor, beginning in March 2012. Whether you interacted with Adina through our editorial department, our writing classes, or at public events like the Literary Debutante Ball, you know that she was special. She had a way of disarming—and charming—everyone. She filled our office with laughter and music. She left our team in 2016, but she has never been far from our hearts.

Memorial contributions can be sent to The Adina Fund for Early Childhood Education at Central Reform Congregation, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, or Siteman Cancer Center. Adina was also a mentor at Girls Write Now.

In 2015, Adina won the Bellevue Literary Review’s Non-Fiction Prize with her marvelous essay, “I Must Have Been That Man.”  To read it is to hear her voice. We were so lucky to know her.

With love,

One Story