Content Tagged ‘The Story Prize’

News Roundup

During a time when there’s lots of talk about borders and walls and travel bans, we’re trying to remind ourselves of the power of great writing to break down walls, to help us really see one another. This week we’re celebrating both powerful new work from Ecotone and Lookout contributors, and the happy recognition of writing from the past year.

Lookout author Clare Beams is a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and Ecotone contributors Belle Boggs, Eva Saulitis, and Patrick Phillips have all made PEN finalist lists too! (The Bingham Prize has a surprising tie to our hometown, Wilmington, NC, funny enought. See the full scoop from the Star News.) To top it off, Clare’s book found itself on the long list of titles recognized by The Story Prize, which received 106 books published by 72 publishers or imprints as entries this year. The list—beyond the three finalists and The Story Prize Spotlight Award winner—honors sixteen books that stood out for the judges.

Sure, she’s keeping herself busy with writing and readings, but, like the rest of us, Clare found time to watch Stranger Things things year. In this interview from Flavorwire, Clare reminds us of the literary power of Winona Ryder:

If you could write fan-fiction about any pop culture character, real or imagined, who would it be?

Hmm. Maybe Winona Ryder? When I was a kid she embodied cool, for me — and then recently, along with the rest of the world, I got totally sucked into Stranger Things. It’s interesting to think about what it must have been like for her (after her fall from grace, period of relative obscurity, etc.) to be part of that show, set back at the start of her heyday, but as the mom character this time.

Care to give us a few sentences of micro-fiction about that character?

Winona looked around the set. This, she thought, was like coming home. She brushed back her feathered hair. Home, but with differences.

Samiya Bashir has a video-poem up that’s based on her poem in Ecotone issue 19. Her book, Field Theories, will be out soon from Nightboat Books.

Issue 21 contributor Safiya Sinclair will judge for The Adroit Journal’s Prize for Poetry. The prize seeks to honor writers of secondary or undergraduate status whose work inspires action. The deadline for submissions is February 15–check it out.

Leila Chatti, whose poems appeared in Issue 21, has a new poem up on Rattle‘s website called “My Mother Makes a Religion,” a moving exploration of faith including this line: “A child, I heard the trinity wrong— / thought God was a ghost, her faith / a haunting.”

Issue 18 contributor Aimee Nezhukumatahil’s poem “Invitation” is featured on the Poetry Foundation website. “Invitation” reminds us to contemplate what lies beneath that blanket of sea with lines like, “Squid know how to be rich when you have ten empty arms.”

Ecotone and Astoria to Zion contributor Kevin Wilson’s new novel Perfect Little World came out from Ecco last week. As our friend Ann Patchett wrote of the book, “What I love about this book is that it’s full of good people and all their good intentions. That doesn’t mean everything works out, but you can’t help but think, Oh, what if it could?” And Mary Laura Philpott of Parnassus Books created this amazing book pie chart. Doesn’t EVERY book need a pie chart?!

We like ending on a note about good people and good intentions. We intend to keep to keep sharing all of the goodness we can.

Lit News Roundup

Nothing makes us happier than seeing the talented emerging writers we champion in the pages of Ecotone go on to publish books and reach a wider audience. In Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, Tom Bissell considers Elliot Ackerman’s debut novel, Green on Blue, which is told from the perspective of Aziz, a young Afghan man. “Virtually every artist interested in what’s beyond our ‘tiny skull-sized kingdoms’ (to use David Foster Wallace’s phrase) is guilty of appropriation,” Bissell writes. “Would that it happened more often; if Ackerman’s novel is any indication, there would be fewer wars if it did.” Read Ackerman’s story, “Charlie Balls,” also set in Afghanistan, in Ecotone 16, the migration issue. Congrats, Elliot!

In this week’s prize news, the 27th annual Lambda Literary Awards announced their finalists, selected from a record 818 submissions from 407 publishers. The awards celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books published in 2014, and the winners will be
revealed at a ceremony in June.

Elizabeth McCracken took home The Story Prize this week for her collection Thunderstruck. The acclaimed author’s return to the short story form after more than twenty years earned her the $20,000 top prize. The judges called McCracken’s book electrifying and cited her as a writer with compassion and as a master of the telling detail. Catch up on all the previous winners and finalists, including our own Edith Pearlman.


Last year our staff members seeded a few Little Free Libraries across the country with Lookout books. BookRiot suggests five tips for running a Little Free Library and shares what it means to be a steward of a small, literary hub.

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Go Edith!

At the award ceremony for The Story Prize:

Edith Pearlman’s dry riposte to some of Larry Dark’s questions about why the short story: “I was told as a child not to take too much of people’s time. I’ve been obeying it.” She seemed 1 part Edith Wharton refinement, 2 parts Dorothy Parker’s withering wit. Oh yeah, she’s also published –published – around 250 short stories.

What’s Going On with Lookout Authors

Edith Pearlman

  • In case you haven’t heard, Edith’s Binocular Vision won the National Book Critics Circle Award last week.
  • She is also nominated for The Story Prize. The winners will be announced tomorrow, March 21!
  • Her next reading tour begins April 15 at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, with stops in Charlotte, Durham, and other cities to be announced.

Steve Almond

  • This guy writes like it’s his job. Well…you know what we mean. The Newer York
  • Steve also continues his “The Week in Greed” articles in The Rumpus.
  • His collection of short stories, God Bless America, received an honorable mention from The Story Prize.
  • ( just published a flash fiction piece by Steve, as well as a featured quote we’re particularly fond of: “Stay horny for art.”

John Rybicki

  • First, you need to know that John’s astounding poetry collection, When All the World Is Old, will be available April 10. Pre-orders get it early, so be sure to visit
  • He will join Edith at the April 15 reading to celebrate the first year of our little press doing big things.