The publication of the annual O. Henry Prize anthology is a significant event. The 2006 edition comes out this week and for a short story writer there isn’t a higher honor than to be included. I can’t say that I’m familiar with all of the authors honored this year, but I have read many of them; at least I know all the magazines. Check out this very useful index of magazines that submit to the O. Henry prize editor.
It would be worthwhile to undertake a study of the O. Henry similar to my work with the Pushcart Prizes, and I may do that soon, although most of the information I’d glean is already on the website, including an index of all previous winners, and this fascinating list of authors who have won at least three O. Henry Prizes. In the meantime, it’s interesting to note that both Epoch and The New Yorker are included 4 times this year. The Georgia Review, Harper’s and One Story each have 2 winners. Tin House, Granta, Prairie Schooner, Zoetrope, Indiana Review and Ploughshares each have 1. (The inclusion of the big press magazines on this list demonstrates the difference between the O. Henry and Pushcart Prizes.)
Now, as for the stories themselves, I plan to savor them and will review some of them in the coming days.
2006 O. Henry Prizewinners
Karen Brown—“Unction”/The Georgia Review
George Makana Clark—“The Center of the World”/The Georgia Review
Deborah Eisenberg—“Window”/Tin House
Louise Erdrich—“The Plague of Doves”/The New Yorker
Paula Fox—“The Broad Estates of Death”/Harper’s Magazine
Edward P. Jones—“Old Boys, Old Girls”/The New Yorker
Jackie Kay—“You Go When You Can No Longer Stay”/Granta
David Means—“Sault Ste. Marie”/Harper’s Magazine
David Lawrence Morse—“Conceived”/One Story
Alice Munro—“Passion”/The New Yorker
Lydia Peele—“Mule Killers”/Epoch
Stephanie Reents—“Disquisition on Tears”/Epoch
Susan Fromberg Schaeffer—“Wolves”/Prairie Schooner
Terese Svoboda—“’80s Lilies”/Indiana Review
Melanie Rae Thon—“Letters in the Snow”/One Story
Douglas Trevor—“Girls I know”/Epoch
William Trevor—“The Dressmaker’s Child”/The New Yorker
Lara Vapnyar—“Puffed Rice and Meatballs”/Zoetrope
Neela Vaswani—“The Pelvis Series”/Epoch
Know a young writer? Anchor Books has begun the O. Henry Short Story Competition for Young Writers. Spread the word!