Kirsten Lunstrum has been named this year's winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and her collection of short stories will be published by the University of Georgia Press. Lunstrum’s What We Do with the Wreckage will be available from the UGA Press in fall 2018.
The competition seeks to encourage writers of excellent short stories, while bringing award-winning work to a wider audience by offering publication of a book-length collection and a $1,000 prize. The Flannery O’Connor Award has helped launch the literary careers of such previous winners as Ha Jin, Antonya Nelson, Rita Ciresi and Mary Hood.
Lunstrum's short fiction has previously appeared or is forthcoming in One Story, the American Scholar, Ploughshares Solos, and Willow Springs, as well as other journals. She has been the recipient of PEN’s O. Henry Prize and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Jack Straw Writers Program. Her two published collections of short fiction are This Life She's Chosen (Chronicle Books, 2005) and Swimming with Strangers (Chronicle Books, 2008). She teaches high school English at an independent school near Seattle.
“Blessed with a tongue as sharp as her eye, Kirsten Lunstrum is an astonishingly mature teller of tales, keen to both fair and right about our tribe between margins, sensitive to subtlety and nuance, and unafraid of the dark truths that must be brought to light. Friends, you will not read a smarter, more stylish, or more fetchingly well-told collection of stories this year,” said Flannery O’Connor series editor Lee K. Abbott on Lunstrum’s collection.
The finalists for this year were David Borofka’s My Life as a Mystic, Edward Porter’s The Changing Station, Nathan Oates’s The Moon Below and Jill Logan’s No Home in This World Anymore.
The winning book from last year’s competition, Bad Kansas by Becky Mandelbaum, was recently published. Copies are available from the UGA Press, major retailers and local independent booksellers. Submissions for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction are accepted Apr. 1 through May 31 each year; for guidelines and more information about the award, please visit: http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/series/FOC