Announcing the Finalists for the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize
Hub City Press is pleased to announce the five finalists for the inaugural C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize, which is awarded to an emerging Southern writer. The winner will receive $10,000 and publication by Hub City Press of his or her short story collection.
Five finalists have been selected out of 66 submissions after two rounds of reading, and the winner will be selected by inaugural judge Lee K. Abbott, whose short stories and reviews have appeared in Harper's, The Atlantic, the Georgia Review, the New York Times Book Review, the Southern Review, and Epoch.
The finalists are Terry Engel for his collection Second Childhood; Jen Fawkes, for Sometimes, They Kill Each Other; Emily Pease, for Submission; Randy Shelley, for El Camino; and Joe Worthen, for Artificial Blue.
Terry Engel grew up in Mississippi and studied creative writing at the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. Before that, he worked as a quality control supervisor in a particleboard mill, and as a lineman building high voltage powerlines for the Tennessee Valley Authority. Currently, he teaches writing and literature at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. His work has appeared in Sixfold, Open City, Georgetown Review, Buffalo Spree, and Cream City Review, and he has received an honorable mention for a Pushcart Prize.
Jen Fawkes lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her work has appeared in One Story, Crazyhorse, The Iowa Review, Shenandoah, Michigan Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. Her stories have won prizes from Washington Square, Sequestrum, Writers @ Work, Blue Earth Review, and Salamander. She holds an MFA from Hollins University, a BA from Columbia University, and will soon receive her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Cincinnati.
Emily Pease has published stories in Witness, The Georgia Review, The Missouri Review, Shenandoah, and Crazyhorse, and she looks forward to stories in the Alaska Quarterly Review and Narrative (Story of the Week) in the coming year.
Randy Shelley’s work has appeared in American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Fiction Southeast, and Kestrel. He holds an MFA from Hollins University and lives with his fiancé in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, where he counsels at-risk youth. He is currently at work on a novel.
Joe Worthen completed a BA at the University of South Carolina and obtained a MFA in fiction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He begins work on a PhD at the University of Louisiana Lafayette this fall. He's been published in Wag's Revue, Hobart, NOÖ Journal, Bodega, The Master's Review, and others. His screenplay "Isle of Palms" won a 2015 South Carolina Indie Grant. Joe is from Travelers Rest, South Carolina.
The prize is named in honor of C. Michael Curtis, who has served as an editor of The Atlantic since 1963 and as fiction editor since 1982. Curtis has discovered or edited some of the finest short story writers of the modern era, including Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, and Anne Beattie. He has edited several acclaimed anthologies, including Contemporary New England Stories, God: Stories, and Faith: Stories. Curtis moved to Spartanburg, S.C. in 2006 and has taught as a professor at both Wofford and Converse Colleges in addition to serving on the editorial board of Hub City Press.
The winner and runner up of the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize will be announced on all social media platforms on Monday, May 7, at 3 PM.