Roxane Gay Is the New Judge for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

Roxane Gay

photo by Jay Grabiec

Acclaimed writer, editor, professor and commentator Roxane Gay has been chosen as the new judge for the University of Georgia Press’s Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Gay follows Lee K. Abbott and Nancy Zafris as the latest distinguished writer to judge the Flannery O’Connor Award competitions.

Gay’s writing appears in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018, Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Harper’s Bazaar, A Public Space, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review and many others. She is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. She is the author of the books Ayiti, An Untamed State, the New York Times  bestselling Bad Feminist, the nationally bestselling Difficult Women and the New York Times bestselling Hunger: A Memoir of My Body.

Gay is also the author of World of Wakanda for Marvel and the editor of Best American Short Stories 2018. She is currently at work on film and television projects, a book of writing advice, an essay collection about television and culture, and a YA novel entitled The Year I Learned Everything. In 2018, she won a Guggenheim fellowship. Currently, Gay is a visiting associate professor of women’s gender and sexuality studies at Yale.

More than 70 short-story collections have appeared in the Flannery O’Connor Award series, which was established to encourage gifted emerging writers by bringing their work to a national readership. The first prize-winning book was published in 1983, and the award has since become an important proving ground for writers and a showcase for the talent and promise that have brought about a resurgence in the short story as a genre. Winners are selected through an annual competition that attracts over 400 entries.

“I have long admired the books published by the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction series. It is where I first encountered work from brilliant writers like Dana Johnson and Lori Ostlund,” said Gay. “To now be able to find new writers and share their short fiction with the world is both an honor and an immense pleasure.”

The competition seeks to encourage writers of excellent short stories, while bringing award-winning work to a wider audience by offering publication of a book-length collection and a $1,000 prize. What We Do with the Wreckage by Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum is the most recent published award winner.

“Roxane Gay is vitally and audaciously engaged in the contemporary literary landscape,” said Press Director Lisa Bayer. “The University of Georgia Press is thrilled to partner with Dr. Gay in continuing the Flannery O’Connor award series’ important work of introducing new voices to the world.”

Submissions for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction are accepted April 1 through May 31 each year; for guidelines and more information about the award, please visit:

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