Patrick Earl Ryan Wins the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

Credit: Frank Farm

Patrick Earl Ryan has been named this year’s winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and his collection of short stories will be published by the University of Georgia Press. Ryan’s If We Were Electric will be available from the UGA Press in fall 2020.

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. The Flannery O’Connor Award has helped launch the literary careers of such previous winners as Ha Jin, Antonya Nelson, Rita Ciresi and Mary Hood.

Patrick Earl Ryan was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. His work has been printed in the Ontario Review, Pleiades, Best New American Voices, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Men on Men: Best New Gay Fiction for the Millennium and the James White Review, among other publications. Founder and editor-in-chief of Lodestar Quarterly and former editor-in-chief of Fourteen Hills: The SFSU Review, Ryan has also taught martial arts philosophy and tai chi chuan for many years. He lives in San Francisco, California.

If We Were Electric, the debut short story collection from New Orleans’s native Patrick Earl Ryan is, indeed, fiercely electric. These twelve startling fictions have been crafted by a writer with an assured and absolutely original voice and a remarkable understanding of how place is as much a compelling character in a good story as the people who populate it. There are stories here about unrequited love and youthful yearning, the complexities of desire between men, the beginnings and ends of relationships, deaths both inevitable and untimely, the bitter ache of loneliness, the quiet horrors that unexpectedly befall us, and the magic of the ordinary world. With this outstanding collection, Patrick Ryan makes his mark on Southern literature and how,” said Flannery O’Connor series editor Roxane Gay.

The finalists for this year were Manuel Sanz’s The Boundaries of Their Dwelling and Samantha Schoech’s A Reason for Everything. The winning book from last year’s competition, Colette Sartor’s Once Removed, is now available from UGA Press, major retailers, and local independent booksellers.

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

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