One Story & the 2012 Pushcart Prizes!

Hey One Story readers! The 2012 Pushcart Prize Anthology has just been published, and we are thrilled to have so many One Story authors in the mix! Two of our stories won 2012 Pushcart Prizes: “Nephilim” by L. Annette Binder (OS issue #141) and “Number Stations” by Smith Henderson (issue #136). And two other One Story writers, Anna Solomon (issue #73, “What is Alaska Like?”) and Celeste Ng (issue #86, “What Passes Over”), have new stories in the anthology as well. But that’s not all: OS author Ben Stroud (issue #119, “Eraser”) received a special mention, as did our former associate editor Marie-Helene Bertino for her story “Carry Me Home, Sisters of Saint Joseph.” We’d like to congratulate all our writers, and if you want to check out the 2012 Pushcart anthology, you can get your copy here!

PEN 2011 Writing Awards Announced


Last week the PEN American Center announced its 2011 awards. We’re so excited that the winners included three members of the One Story community.

Susanna Daniel (“Stiltsville” #134) was one of two winners of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize (worth $25,000) for an excellent debut work of fiction for her novel Stiltsville. Smith Henderson, author of One Story issue #136 “Number Stations,”  won The Emerging Writers Award, a new prize which honors a writer who has been published in a literary journal, but has not yet published a book-length work. Former One Story contributing editor Elliot Holt, nominated by Guernica magazine, was named the runner up for this award.

We’d like to thank PEN for their continued extraordinary support of writers at all stages in their careers. We congratulate Susanna, Smith, and Elliot, and all of this year’s winners and runners up who will be honored at the 2011 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on October 12, 2011, at CUNY Graduate Center’s Proshansky Auditorium in New York City.

You can see the full list of winners and runners up here. We hope you’ll join us in October to toast them all.

One Story Author Valerie Trueblood makes Frank O’Connor Award Shortlist!

marryorburnCongratulations to OS author Valerie Trueblood (#35 “The Magic Pebble), whose short story collection Marry or Burn has been shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award! She and five other authors (among them Yiyun Li, Edna O’Brien, and Colm Tóibín) have been recognized this year for the prize, which will award the winner €35,000 along with great literary acclaim. We’re wishing Valerie all the best, and looking forward to when the prize is announced on September 18. Until then, here’s what Alannah Hopkin, Irish writer and judge of the contest, had to say about Valerie’s work:

“[For Trueblood], it was the complexity of her stories – really good short stories often tell two stories at the same time and she does that very well. She has a very distinctive voice.”

Other critics echo this praise—Publisher’s Weekly gave Marry or Burn a starred review for its “bracing honesty and elegant turns of phrase,” and Booklist noted it as “unique and thought-provoking…[with] well-drawn characters.”

You can watch a book trailer for Marry or Burn below. Check out more of Valerie’s writing here. Read all about this year’s Frank O’Connor shortlist here. Good luck, Valerie!

One Story Literary Debutante Ball: The Pictures!

Thanks to everyone who came out and supported our 2011 Literary Debutante Ball. We had a blast celebrating the first books of our five debutantes and honoring Dani Shapiro with the One Story Mentorship Award. Volunteers made sure guests had a drink in their hand as they rode the unique elevator at the Invisible Dog Art Center, artists lined the walls with beautiful work for our silent auction, Isaiah Sheffer from Selected Shorts kept everyone laughing as our MC, and Lapis Luna had everyone on the dance floor. Couldn’t make it to the benefit? Mix yourself a “Six Poisons” cocktail and click through the pictures below. After a sip or two, you’ll feel like you’re partying with us Brooklyn!

The Six Poisons Cocktail: 2 oz. BULLDOG Gin, 2 1/2 oz. Cranberry Juice, 1/2 oz. Orange Juice, Ice, Orange Slice for Garnish, Club soda: Shake first three ingredients with ice. Strain into an ice-filled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange slice. Top with a splash of club soda.

Celeste Ng Joins the Pushcart Prize Party

More great award season news! OS author Celeste Ng’s (Issue #86, “What Passes Over”) short story from the Fall 2010 issue of the Bellevue Literary Review, “Girls, At Play,” has also been awarded a Pushcart Prize this year.

You can follow Celeste by reading her blogs at  the Huffington Post and Fiction Writers Review, where she serves as a contributing editor. Or take a fiction class with her at Grub Street, a non-profit writing center in Boston. She is currently working on a novel and a collection of short stories.

Published by the Department of Medecine at NYU Langone Medical Center and created in the tradition of Bellevue Hosptial, the Bellevue Literary Review showcases fiction, nonfiction, and poetry that utilizes ideas of the human body, illness, health and healing, as a starting point for illumiating the human experience.

Anna Solomon Wins Pushcart Prize!

OS author Anna Solomon’s (issue #73, “What is Alaska Like?”) latest story in The Georgia Review, “The Lobster Mafia Story,” has won a Pushcart Prize!

Anna will be giving a preview of her debut novel, The Little Bride, this Friday, May 6th at The Julliard School in NYC as a part of The Georgia Review’s New York reading series. The Little Bride (Riverhead Books, September 6th, 2011) explores the history of Russian Jewish immigrants who settled in the Great Plains and the story of a young immigrant bride with an older husband and a strong love for her stepson.

The Georgia Review is the country’s longest sustaining literary journal as well as being one of the most highly regarded.  It also has more subscribers in the New York City area than any other state (besides Georgia, of course).   The Review will host evening events at Julliard on Friday, May 6th, Sunday, May 8th, Tuesday, May 10th, and Wednesday, May 11th. Congratulations, Anna!

Interview with 2011 One Story Mentorship Award-winner, Dani Shapiro

For the past few weeks, we’ve been featuring brief interviews with each of our 5 Literary Debutantes. Now, in our final week leading up to the 2011 One Story Debutante Ball, we thought we’d do the same for our Honoree, Dani Shapiro.

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, New York University, The New School, and Wesleyan University, and is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. At this year’s Literary Debutante Ball, One Story will be honoring Dani with our 2011 Mentorship Award, for her extraordinary support of emerging writers. Recently, I sat down with Dani to talk about her dual roles as author and mentor.

1. You’ve been a mentor for so many emerging writers. But who were your mentors and how did they help you along the way?

I’ve had extraordinary mentors, which is why, I think, it became so important to me to mentor writers myself when I found myself in a position to do so. I remember arriving at Sarah Lawrence as a freshman and wandering over to the building where most of the writing professors had offices, sort of like a homing pigeon. I knew where I belonged. Grace Paley was there, and her door was open wide, as it often was. Pillows were strewn on the floor. If memory serves, a student was sitting in her lap. Though I never sat in her lap, Grace became a mentor. She had a knack for saying things about the writing life that I didn’t understand when I was her student, but then years later, a lightbulb would go off in my head, and I’d think to myself: oh, so that’s what Grace meant. The writer Jerome Badanes was also a very important mentor to me. He became a dear friend over the years, and long after I graduated, he and I would meet in the city for expensive lunches we couldn’t afford and then we’d wander over to the old Shakespeare & Co. on Broadway and 80th Street and browse the stacks. He died far too young–he was in his mid-fifties and working on his second novel. I still think of Jerry nearly every day.

2. How difficult is it to balance your teaching and writing?

I’ve always aimed to be a writer who teaches, as opposed to a teacher who writes. And so the balance I’ve tried to strike has been to have the bulk of my time spent on my work so that I can approach my students’ work with clarity and generosity. To me, it’s a sacred relationship. Over the years, my teaching has morphed from doing a lot of university teaching to more private classes and writers conferences, which at the moment suits me well.

3. Any words of advice for our 5 debutantes?

Just after my first novel was published, some mean person sidled up to me at a cocktail party and said: “everyone has one book in them”. It was such a horrible thing to hear! It set me back for a while. We writers tend to take the nasty stuff to heart. And so I found my second book the hardest to write because there was suddenly this self-consciousness, this awareness that I was now A Writer. That I was no longer writing in the dark. That self-consciousness is deadly. We all need to trick ourselves, on a daily basis, into feeling like we’re back in that darkness. That’s where the best work comes from.

4. You’ve published 5 novels and 2 memoirs, but you also write short stories—you published “The Six Poisons” with One Story a few years back—any chance you’ll ever publish a collection?

I do tend to be drawn to the longer form, but very slowly, over the years, stories do emerge. I would love to some day publish a collection of stories, or perhaps a combination of stories and essays, if those hybrid collections are allowed to exist.

5. What are you looking forward to the most about the One Story Literary Debutante Ball on April 29th?

Seeing so many of my mentees from so many different writing workshops all gathered together in one room! I have a feeling that it will be a real “this is your life” moment. And of course, it isn’t every day that a writer gets to have a cocktail named in her honor. I’ll certainly have to have one or two “Six Poisons”.

Stations West named as finalist for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature

Exciting news! One Story author Allison Amend’s (Issue #13, “Stations West”) debut novel Stations West (Louisiana State University Press), which Time Out Chicago says casts “a keen eye for the eccentricities of ethnicity, particularly at a time when lines were so clearly drawn, and so quickly crossed…” has been named a finalist for the 2011 Sami Rohr Prize in fiction for Jewish Literature. The prize, given to writers of “exceptional talent and promise in early career,” awards $100,000 to its top winner, with a $25,000 Choice Award given to its first runner-up. This year’s award ceremony will be held in New York City on May 31.

For more information on Allison and Stations West, check out her author website. And keep your fingers crossed. We know we will!