We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2021 EastOver Prize for Fiction. Our editors selected three winners from among many fine manuscripts for the inaugural prize: Joseph Bathanti, for his collection The Act of Contrition & Other Stories, Khanh Ha, for his collection All the Rivers Flow into the Sea & Other Stories, and Louise Marburg, for her collection You Have Reached Your Destination. The winners will be offered publication by EastOver Press and a prize of $2,500.
“These three wonderful collections are memorable start to finish and full of elegant and beautifully rendered stories,” our editors said. “The collections feature their own distinct characters and situations, but what unites the three is each author’s singular commitment to perfectly crafted sentences which, over the course of each story, create a tonal affect not unlike listening to a prized album for the first time.”
Bathanti is the former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the North Carolina Award in Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor. He is the author of seventeen books, including award-winning novels, volumes of poetry, a short story collection, and memoir. Bathanti is Professor of English & McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Education at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville, North Carolina, and is the co-founder of the Medical Center’s Creative Writing Program. He also teaches in Carlow University’s low-residency MFA Program in Creative Writing in Pittsburgh, where he was born and raised.
Ha is the author of Flesh and The Demon Who Peddled Longing. He is a seven-time Pushcart nominee, finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize, Many Voices Project, Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and The University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize. He is the recipient of the Sand Hills Prize for Best Fiction, the Robert Watson Literary Prize in Fiction, The Orison Anthology Award for Fiction, The James Knudsen Prize for Fiction, and The C&R Press Fiction Prize. His new novel, Mrs. Rossi’s Dream, was named Best New Book by Booklist and a 2019 Foreword Reviews INDIES Silver Winner and Bronze Winner.
Marburg is the author of two collections of stories, The Truth About Me, which was a gold medal winner of the Independent Press Book Award for short story collections, and the forthcoming No Diving Allowed (October 2021). Her stories have appeared in such journals as Ploughshares, Narrative, STORY, The Hudson Review, Joyland, and many others. She lives in New York City with her husband, the artist Charles Marburg.
We send warm congratulations also to the 2021 EastOver Prize for Fiction finalists: Joshua Bernstein, John Blair, Ciaran Cooper, Cecile Dixon, C. R. Resetarits, Alan Sincic, and Ray Trotter.
We were pleased to receive so many outstanding entries for the inaugural year of the Prize and are grateful to all of the writers who submitted manuscripts.
The EastOver Prize for Fiction is awarded annually to outstanding, unpublished short story collections. For more information about the EastOver Prizes, visit eastoverpress.com/prizes.