Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction

Vol. 23: Where to Carry the Sound

Published: November, 2024  Pages: 224 

The stories in Where to Carry the Sound center on characters excavating their own lives: unearthing family secrets, exploring inherited silences, and rediscovering what might have seemed lost to them. Wherever these characters find themselves—including brewing bootleg liquor in Prohibition-era Bombay, finding remnants of a new language at an archaeological dig in Andhra Pradesh, seeking mirages above the Arctic Circle, or setting up an outpost on the moon—each seeks to reconcile a past continually bleeding into the present and to forge a path of belonging to carry them into the future. more... about Where to Carry the Sound

Vol. 22: What Did You Do Today?

Published: November, 2023  Pages: 224 

The stories in What Did You Do Today? explore the ordinary and the offbeat as if they were one and the same, asking what it’s like to be alive and what makes us human. With warmth, humor, and wonder, these stories suggest that the past is always alive in the present and that even the most fleeting relationships have the power to change us forever. In these short narratives, nothing is negligible, and all experience is transformative. more... about What Did You Do Today?

Vol. 21: There Is Only Us

Published: November, 2022  Pages: 192 

The eight stories of speculative fiction in There Is Only Us explore themes of loneliness, connectedness, and selfhood. Each one is an act of intimacy—an altered world shown through the lens of a close relationship. Brothers, sisters, lovers, mothers, and daughters come together in myriad constellations, often so that one character can make a body-altering choice of extreme proportions. In a variety of forms—from a satirical retelling of Noah’s Ark to a sister drama revolving around naked mole rats—There Is Only Us presents a series of escalating scenarios, intimate and yet absurd, that ask, how much can you change and still be you? more... about There Is Only Us

  • Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction 2022

Vol. 19: Some People Let You Down

Published: November, 2020  Pages: 192 

The nine stories in Mike Alberti’s debut collection shine a sharp light on small-town American life —not the Arcadian small towns of yesteryear, but the old mill towns hanging on after the mill has stopped running, the deserted agricultural communities in the middle of vast industrial farms, places where bad luck has become part of the weather. But even in these blighted, neglected landscapes, the possibility of renewal always presents itself: there is hope for these places and the characters who inhabit them. In these fresh, innovative stories, some people let you down, but some people don’t. more... about Some People Let You Down

Vol. 18: Orders of Protection

Published: November, 2019  Pages: 160 

In abuse situations, people can go to court for orders of protection. But in these twelve stories, people also seek protection from various demons in unusual ways — by impersonating famous musicians, cooking pet chickens, marching in parades, shooting at coyotes, calling lost dogs, and more. The characters don’t always find their way to safety or even survival, but somehow optimism prevails anyway. Set in Illinois, these subtly linked stories explore circumstances and emotions through details that stay with you far beyond the last page. more... about Orders of Protection

Vol. 17: Quantum Convention

Published: November, 2018  Pages: 192 

Quantum Convention’s eight genre-bending stories balance precariously between reality and fantasy, the suburban and the magical, the quotidian and the strange. Caught at a crossroads in his marriage, a high school teacher attends a parallel universe convention, where he meets his multiple selves and explores the alternate paths of life’s what-ifs. more... about Quantum Convention

  • Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2018
  • 2020 GLCA New Writers Award in Fiction

Vol. 16: ActivAmerica

Published: November, 2017  Pages: 192 

Drawing from fairy tales, ghost stories, and science-fiction, the stories in ActivAmerica explore how we confront (and exert) power and re-imagine ourselves through sports and athletic activities. A group of girls starts an illicit hockey league in a conservative suburb. A recently separated woman must run a mile a day in order to maintain her new corporate health insurance. Children impacted by environmental disaster create a “mutant soccer team.” Two sisters are visited by an Olympic gymnast who demands increasingly dangerous moves from them. Sports allow the characters to form communities on soccer fields and hidden lakes, in overgrown backyards and across Ping-Pong tables. Throughout the collection, however, athletic risk also comes with unexpected, often unsettling results. more... about ActivAmerica

  • Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2017

Vol. 15: The Expense of a View

Published: November, 2016  Pages: 196 

Listen to an interview on the podcast New Books in Psychology with Polly Buckingham, author of The Expense of a View. more... about The Expense of a View

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction 2016

Vol. 14: Last Words of the Holy Ghost

Published: November, 2015  Pages: 240 

In 2011, Ben Sharony adapted the collection’s title story “Last Words of the Holy Ghost” into a short film; the film premiered at the Los Angeles Short Film Festival and went on to win two international awards. more... about Last Words of the Holy Ghost

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction 2015

Vol. 13: The Year of Perfect Happiness

Published: November, 2014  Pages: 192 

The sharp-witted stories in Becky Adnot-Haynes’ debut collection explore the secret lives of people—how they deal with the parts of themselves that they choose not to share with their closest confidants—and with the world. A pole-vaulter practices his sport only before dawn. A recently divorced woman signs up for a hallucinogenic drug excursion in the Arizona desert. An uncertain girlfriend goes out into the world wearing a false pregnancy belly. more... about The Year of Perfect Happiness

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction 2014

Vol. 12: In These Times the Home Is a Tired Place

Published: November, 2013  Pages: 152 

Publishers Weekly interviews Jessica Hollander, winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize: Life Turned Up a Notch: PW Talks with Jessica Hollander. more... about In These Times the Home Is a Tired Place

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction 2013

Vol. 11: Venus in the Afternoon

Published: November, 2012  Pages: 192 

The short stories in this rich debut collection embody in their complexity Alice Munro’s description of the short story as “a world seen in a quick, glancing light.” In chiseled and elegant prose, Lieberman conjures wildly disparate worlds. A middle aged window washer, mourning his wife and an estranged daughter, begins to grow attached to a young woman he sees through the glass; a writer, against his better judgment, pursues a new relationship with a femme fatale who years ago broke his heart; and the daughter of a Holocaust survivor struggles with the delicate decision of whether to finally ask her aging mother how it was that she survived. It is all here—the exigencies of love, of lust, the raw, unlit terrain of grief. Whether plumbing the darker depths or casting a humorous eye on a doomed relationship, these stories never force a choice between tragedy and redemption, but rather invite us into the private moments and crucibles of lives as hungry and flawed as our own. more... about Venus in the Afternoon

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction

Vol. 10: Out of Time

Published: November, 2011  Pages: 128 

A sweet slipstream stew, a call and response to Hemingway’s In Our Time, Geoff Schmidt’s debut collection Out of Time is a meditation on meaning and mortality, and the ways that story and the imagined life can sustain us. In these stories, vengeful infants destroy and rebuild the world, rivalrous siblings and their mother encounter witches and ghosts and the possessed, Barack Obama and Keith Richards smoke their last cigarettes, men and women with cancer variously don gorilla suits or experience all time simultaneously. Time is running out for all of the people in these stories, yet the power of language, the human ability to tell, to imagine and invent, is a redemptive force. more... about Out of Time

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction

Vol. 9: A Bright Soothing Noise

Published: November, 2010  Pages: 256 

The title, A Bright Soothing Noise, refers to the sound that fire makes, promising not only warmth and light but also violence and destruction. Brown’s greatest hero is Frank O’Connor, and like O’Connor’s his stories uncover the final bleakness of a national life but in the same moment glow with its promise of love and life and belonging. Brown’s Americans will try almost anything to connect. They tend to drink too much, to drive too fast, are a little too violent in their passions and even a little too religious. Too often they believe, they trust—and then again they don’t, depending not so much on what’s getting proffered as who’s proffering. They are always on the verge of something better. They only want a little more, only a little too much, and while we as readers want with all our hearts for them to get it, we also fear they might. more... about A Bright Soothing Noise

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2010

Vol. 8: Irish Girl

Published: November, 2009  Pages: 152 

Inside Tim Johnston’s Irish Girl, readers will find spellbinding stories of loss, absence, and the devastating effects of chance of what happens when the unthinkable bad luck of other people, of other towns, becomes our bad luck, our town. Taut, lucid, and engrossing, provocative and dark and often darkly funny these stories have much to offer the lover of literary fiction as well as the reader who just loves a great story. more... about Irish Girl

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2009
  • The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, 2010

Vol. 7: Last Known Position

Published: November, 2008  Pages: 176 

Most of the nine stories in Last Known Position were written upon James Mathews’ return from combat deployment to the Middle East with the D.C. Air National Guard. Life under fire provided the author with both dramatic events and a heightened sense of observation, allowing him to suggest the stress of combat as the driving factor behind extreme yet believable characterization and action. Military experiences and settings cause certain human elements and truisms to emerge more profoundly and dramatically. more... about Last Known Position

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2008
  • \"The Fifth Week\" story selected by Foreword Magazine for its online book club, 2009

Vol. 6: Wonderful Girl

Published: November, 2007  Pages: 184 

This extraordinary first collection of short stories covers the landscape of dysfunctional childhood, urban angst, and human disconnection with a wit and insight that keep you riveted to the page. The characters here have rich and imaginative interior lives, but grave difficulty relating to the outside world. The beginning story, “Ducklings,” introduces the over-weight and over-enthusiastic Marjorie, the last twelve-year-old you would want babysitting your toddler. In “Wanted” we meet Eleanor, a single girl living in Chicago who may or may not be dating a serial killer. “Another Cancer Story” is an unsentimental account of two sisters whose beloved mother just won’t seem to die, and “The Last Dead Boyfriend” gives us a recovering addict who keeps encountering her recently deceased boyfriend, an unpleasant man she wished she’d broken up with before he died. more... about Wonderful Girl

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2007

Vol. 5: Body Language

Published: November, 2006  Pages: 192 

Largely set in the South, the eleven stories of Body Language guide us into the hidden worlds of the culture wars. The people in these stories belong to the fringes of society, struggling for an identity and a place to belong. more... about Body Language

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2006
  • Ohioana Book Award finalist in fiction, Ohioana Library, 2007
  • Great Lakes Colleges Association book award finalist, fiction, 2007

Vol. 4: What Are You Afraid Of?

Published: December, 2005  Pages: 176 

Powerful and haunting, the ten stories of this debut collection imagine a world where dreams and reality merge, often with dangerous consequences. Michael Hyde explores the relationships between illusion and reality, delusion and clarity, as his characters come to realize that the revelations they wholeheartedly pursue are often not the ones that await them and will move them. A teenage girl obsessed with the death of a classmate hopes to become the killer’s next victim, a wayward graveyard attendant punishes the dead for his punishments in life, and a ghostly vision in a garden shed offers a catalyst for one woman’s change. more... about What Are You Afraid Of?

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2005
  • Runner-up in Fiction for Great Lakes Colleges Association Award, 2005

Vol. 3: Let's Do

Published: December, 2004  Pages: 192 

In the nine stories of Let’s Do, various calamities strike ordinary Midwesterners, who cope with a mixture of good intentions and ineptitude. Balancing humor with painful clarity, author Rebecca Meacham pulls readers into the lives of characters who struggle with—and more often against—change. more... about Let's Do

  • The Anne Powers Book-length Fiction Award sponsored by the Council for Wisconsin Writers, 2005
  • Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program Selection, Winter 2005
  • Outstanding Achievement recognition by the Wisconsin Library Association's Literary Awards Committee, 2005
  • Finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize from the Poetry Center, 2005
  • Bronze Award Winner for the Book of the Year, Short Stories, from Foreword Magazine, 2004
  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2004

Vol. 2: Here Comes the Roar

Published: December, 2003  Pages: 136 

The moon might really be a UFO. Someone you know has just stopped air traffic on the entire East Coast. And those Air Force fighter jets won’t stop crashing into that canyon. more... about Here Comes the Roar

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 2003

The Stuntman's Daughter

Published: June, 1996  Pages: 128 

“Something is always at stake in these tales, and the reader cannot help but understand that he or she is involved in the outcome. And while the language is precise and often beautiful, it is never glib or trendy. The words count. They have weight and heft. Like all serious writers, Ms. Blanchard takes risks. She walks the tightrope between sentiment and sentimentality, and never loses her balance. And by doing so, she tests the humanity of her characters and thus the humanity of her readers.” —Rick DeMarinis more... about The Stuntman's Daughter

  • Winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction, 1996