Highly Commended for the 2021 Bridport Prize

It’s been quite a week over here for yours, truly. I’m in the middle of a super-productive residency at VCCA, my story “Clarinet Lessons” won the 2021 Margarita Donnelly Prize for Prose Writing, I turned thirty-nine, and another one of my stories, “The Hall of Human Origins,” was Highly Commended for the 2021 Bridport Prize. The Bridport Prize is an annual UK award given out for novel, short story, flash, and poetry. I was chuffed indeed, as the British say, to have been a finalist. Judge Robert McCrum described my story this way: “‘The Hall of Human Origins’, an American story, is notable for its boldness, squarely set in the midst of the pandemic, with a marriage unravelling in an atmosphere of seething hysteria.” If that sounds intriguing, you can read my story in the 2021 Bridport Prize Anthology, available here. (I am also busily adapting the story into a novel as we speak. 25,000 words in, I remain energized and excited by the potential of this story, and can’t wait to share the longer version with the world). Well, that’s the report from here in Amherst, Virginia, where I am eight days into my residency, which has managed to be both dreamy and grind-y (in a good way). Cheerio for now!

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