Kate McIntyre Wins the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction

Photo Credit: Steve Aguilar

Kate McIntyre has been named this year’s winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, and her collection of short stories Mad Prairie will be published by the University of Georgia Press in the fall of 2021.

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 one-thousand-dollar 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.

Kate McIntyre was born and raised in Salina, Kansas. Her work has appeared in such journals as the Denver Quarterly, the Cincinnati ReviewCopper Nickel, and the Cimarron Review, and she is a recipient of residencies at Hambidge, Playa, and the Spring Creek Project. She has a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2014 and Special Mentions in the 2016 and 2019 Pushcart Prize anthologies. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she edits the literary journal the Worcester Review.

Flannery O’Connor series editor Roxane Gay says of the collection, “The elegantly interconnected stories in Kate McIntyre’s Mad Prairie are delightful and imaginative, sometimes strange and sometimes disturbing but always absorbing and beautifully written. With each of these small wonders, McIntyre invites you into the lives of her utterly original characters, people who often find themselves at impossible ends. There is a woman whose husband is making her world smaller and smaller until she realizes she has nowhere to go and no way of leaving. An alcoholic offers an elegy for her liver as she tries to understand her body. A self-aggrandizing, wealthy politician tries to make himself the center of a mining accident as we learn of how he came to this moment. The intelligence, humor, and charm of these eight stories will stay with you long after you turn this marvelous collection’s final page.”

The runners-up for this year were William Ejzak’s What to Do When You Find Him, Adam Stumacher’s Eleven Kinds of Exile, Shubha Sunder’s Boomtown Girl, and Yukiko Tominaga’s The Snow Blanket. The winning book from last year’s competition, Patrick Earl Ryan’s If We Were Electric, is now available from UGA Press, major retailers, and local independent booksellers.

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 http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/series/FOC.

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