We are proud to announce that Sal Pane (MFA Fiction, 2010) and Aubrey Hirsch (MFA Fiction, 2007) have both been nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize, a prestigious American literary prize by Pushcart Press that honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot."
The Minnetonka Review selected Aubrey's short story, "Five for New Orleans," as one of their six nominees.
Sal's nomination comes from the recent publication of his short story, "Fences Fly By," in Quick Fiction.
The Pushcart Prize has been called "the most honored literary project in America." More from their website:
Little magazine and small book press editors (print or online) may make up to six nominations from their year’s publications by our December 1, (postmark) deadline. The nominations may be any combination of poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot. Editors may nominate self-contained portions of books — for instance, a chapter from a novel. We welcome translations, reprints and both traditional and experimental writing. One copy of each selection should be sent. No nominations can be returned. There is no entry fee and no forms to fill out. We also accept nominations from our staff of distinguished Contributing Editors.
HarperCollins India proudly presents its newest release, Cloud Nine Minus One, by Pitt MFA Alumnus Sangeeta Mall (MFA Fiction, 2007).
Mall's debut novel has already been garnering great reviews, as evidenced by a recent write-up in India Today:
The novel, an inquiry into "friendship, relationships, nostalgia and moving on," tells the story of a woman caught between her husband and the memories of long-lost love.
Rebecca Skloot (MFA Nonfiction, 2008) is featured on the cover of the current issue of Publishers Weekly in promotion of her upcoming book from Crown, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which has been making quite the literary splash. The book, also her MFA thesis here at Pitt, delves into the fascinating and transcendent legacy of Henrietta Lacks, a Southern tobacco farmer, and more importantly, her cells.
From Publisher's Weekly:
"Henrietta Lacks was an accidental medical heroine. The black, 31-year-old mother of four died of cervical cancer in Baltimore in 1951. But before her death, doctors took cervical tissue samples that proved to be medicine's holy grail—Henrietta's cells (known as HeLa) were the first ever to survive in the laboratory, and the cells reproduced ad infinitum, providing material for medical research to be done outside the human body.”
Skloot's book was also recently named a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick.
Read the profile of Skloot and her amazing journey to publication at the Publishers Weekly website.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to return to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Ripton, Vermont, where since 1926, writers have been gathering to compare notes on the craft, discuss their respective triumphs and frustrations, and listen to countless readings and lectures. It’s an amazing place, rich with the type of natural beauty you find imitated in paintings hanging from the walls of doctors’ offices. There’s a sense when you’re there that you’re taking part in some great tradition, and of course, there’s the lore to back that up, famous anecdotes concerning the conference’s founder, Robert Frost, and various faculty who’ve taught there over the years, stories as old and treasured as the place itself. It was my fourth trip there and as lame as it might sound, I fall a little more in love with the place each year.
To continue reading, click here.
Irina Reyn (Assistant Professor, Fiction) was recently named winner of the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction for her 2008 novel, What Happened to Anna K.
From the Foundation for Jewish Culture website:
Established in 1999 and supported through a generous grant from the Samuel Goldberg & Sons Foundation, the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers is among the very first of its kind to highlight new works by contemporary writers exploring Jewish themes.
The prize spotlights promising new talent, and is awarded to an American fiction writer for a first or second full-length work that was published in the previous calendar year. Submissions must be made by the publisher.
The award includes a prize of $2,500, as well as a one-week residency at Ledig House International Writers Colony in New York’s Hudson Valley.
For more information on Reyn, visit her faculty web page.
Carolyn Kellogg (MFA Fiction, 2008) has recently been named a judge for the prestigious Story Prize, along with author A.M. Homes and librarian Bill Kelly.
Each year, The Story Prize selects its judges from fields associated with short fiction. Past judges have included writers, editors, booksellers, librarians, and critics. Larry Dark, director of The Story Prize, and Julie Lindsey, who founded The Story Prize in 2004, will select the three story collections from which the judges will choose. The winner will be announced at The Story Prize Awards Ceremony on March 3, 2010 at The New School.
The Story Prize is an annual book award for short story collections written in English and published in the U.S. during a calendar year. The winner receives $20,000, and each finalist receives $5,000. Previous winners include works by Edwidge Danticat, Patrick O'Keeffe, Mary Gordon, Jim Shepard, and last year's winner, Tobias Wolff.
Kellogg, a critic for the Los Angeles Times, has recently interviewed Sherman Alexie, reviewed Nick Hornby and spoken to the Guardian about Lorrie Moore. You can also catch her Interviewing Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, and James Ellroy.
Congratulations to Rebecca Skloot (MFA Nonfiction, 2008), whose upcoming book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, was just named A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, Spring 2010.
Publishers Weekly writes, that Skloot's work is “a remarkable debut … a rich, resonant tale of modern science, the wonders it can perform and how easily it can exploit society’s most vulnerable people.“
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells — taken without her knowledge — became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though Henrietta has been dead for nearly sixty years. They were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the effects of the atom bomb; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to the small, dying town of Clover, Virginia — a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo — to East Baltimore today, where Henrietta’s children, unable to afford health insurance, wrestle with feelings of pride, fear, and betrayal. Their story is inextricably linked to the birth of bioethics, the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, and the legal battles that could determine whether we own our bodies. Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to pub down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Katy Rank Lev (MFA Creative Nonfiction, 2008) recently published a piece in the September issue of My Midwest Inflight Magazine. Rank Lev writes about an abandoned highway in Pennsylvania and one man's pursuit of a road less traveled.
Peter Kusnic (Senior, Creative Writing) has earned recognition as a national semifinalist in the first annual Norman Mailer College Writing Award for Creative Nonfiction competition.
From the National Council of Teachers of English:
Norman Mailer produced extraordinary writing in many genres, and he was a true pioneer in the emerging realm of creative nonfiction. Thus, evaluation criteria for this award reflected qualities of writing he pursued across a lifetime: originality; insight; clear voice and style; artful arrangement of elements and materials; and overall aesthetic, emotional, or intellectual effect. Out of the extraordinarily rich pool of
work submitted, [Kusnic's] was deemed to show considerable promise, and fell within the top 3% of entries received from College writers.