2016/17 Winner & Finalists

Rick Bass, Helen Maryles Shankman, and Anna Noyes. (Event photos by Beowulf Sheehan.)

Rick Bass, Helen Maryles Shankman, and Anna Noyes. (Event photos by Beowulf Sheehan.)



 Winner: For a Little While by Rick Bass

Rick Bass is the author of For a Little While, which features seven new stories and eighteen stories selected from previous collections. He has published fourteen works of fiction and  sixteen nonfiction books. He grew up in Houston, worked as a petroleum geologist in Jackson, Mississippi, and lives with his family in the remote Yaak Valley of Montana, where he works to protect his adopted home from roads and logging. He has received several O. Henry Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes, awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors, along with having several stories included in The Best American Short Stories. His stories, articles, and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, GQ, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Tin House, Zoetrope, Orion, and numerous other periodicals. He was a finalist for The Story Prize for books published in 2006 for The Lives of Rocks.

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Finalist: Goodnght, Beautiful Women by Anna Noyes

Anna Noyes is the author of the debut story collection Goodnight, Beautiful Women, which was named a New York Times Editors' Choice. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Vice, A Public Space, Guernica, and other publications. She has received the Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship, the James Merrill House Fellowship, and the Lighthouse Works Fellowship, and has served as writer-in-residence at the Polli Talu Arts Center in Estonia. Goodnight, Beautiful Women was awarded the 2013 Henfield Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Lotos Foundation Prize. It is a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, an Amazon Best Book of the Month (Literature and Fiction), and an Indie Next Great Reads pick. Noyes was raised in Downeast Maine.

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Finalist: They Were Like Family to Me by Helen Maryles Shankman

Helen Maryles Shankman is the author of They Were Like Family to Me (published in hardcover as In the Land of Armadillos) and a novel, The Color of Light. Her stories have been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Gargoyle, Cream City Review, 2 Bridges Review, and other publications. She is also a classically trained artist and divides her creative time between writing and painting. She lives in New Jersey, with her husband and four children.

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The Story Prize Spotlight Award: Him, Me, Muhammad Ali by Randa Jarrar (Sarabande Books)

Randa Jarrar is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator. She grew up in Kuwait and Egypt, and moved to the U.S. after the first Gulf War. Her novel A Map of Home, was published in six languages and won a Hopwood Award, an Arab-American Book Award, and was named one of the best novels of 2008 by the Barnes & Noble Review. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Utne Reader, Salon.com, Guernica, The Rumpus, The Oxford American, Ploughshares, Five Chapters, and other venues. In 2010, the Hay Festival and Beirut UNESCO’s world capital of the book named Jarrar one of the most gifted writers of Arab origin under the age of 40.

The 2016/17 Story Prize Judges

  • Harold Augenbraum, former National Book Foundation Executive Director
  • Author Sarah Shun-lien Bynum
  • Bookseller Daniel Goldin of Milwaukee’s Boswell Book Company