There may be huge brownish drifts of snow still lurking everywhere, but March is book prize season, and therefore feels like spring to me. The PEN/Faulkner Award Nominees were announced last week, the NBCC Awards are next week, they’ve already started making book on The Morning News’ Tournament of Books, and The Story Prize—probably my favorite of the bunch—will be announced tomorrow night at The New School’s Tishman Auditorium in New York.
My fondness for The Story Prize has a lot to do with its scale. Every year the long list is narrowed down to three outstanding English-language short story collections, and there are three judges. It makes for a satisfying symmetry, and three is a very workable number to read along with. The finalists are, as always, a solid bunch: Daniyal Mueenuddin’s In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, Victoria Patterson’s Drift and Wells Tower’s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned (which, taken together, make a nice bit of found poetry, but that’s another matter). There are interviews with the authors on The Story Prize’s blog, along with a terrific additional list of recommended short fiction. And if there are any of the three you haven’t read yet, you still have nearly 24 hours before the prize is announced, which includes one nice long Wednesday lunch hour.