Anchor Books The O. Henry Prize Stories
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What does it mean to be included in the O. Henry Prize Stories? How does an author refine their art? We've given the O. Henry Prize-winning authors free rein to share their thoughts on these questions and others, and the result is a rare treat.

(Browse our archive of featured authors from The O. Henry Prize Stories.)


Comments Gerald Woodward
"The Family Whistle"
2017 O. Henry Award-winning Author

It is a huge honour to be included in The O. Henry Prize Stories—for my story to be given a second life in such distinguished company and with a guarantee of good readers is humbling and very gratifying.

(author photo © Phoebe Woodward)


Writing Tips

For the last twenty-five years or so I have been working in three areas of writing—novels, poems and short stories. Of these three I found the short story the hardest to get to grips with, I think because its inner workings are much harder to discern and pin down than with poems and novels which, to me, seem to have much clearer rules of engagement. It is easy to mistake a short story for a condensed or truncated novel, for instance, or an extended poem. But if it is neither of these things (which it isn't) then what is it? Perhaps it is best described (to adapt a phrase from A.S.Byatt) as a real world of feelings and behavior that is neither a poem nor a novel, but which has elements of both.


Writer's Desk

Having recently finished a novel I'm now working on poetry, trying to devote as much time to it as I can before a new novel, currently asleep in the corner, begins to wake and demands to be written.


About the Author

Gerard Woodward was born in London in 1961 and grew up there. He has published five novels, five collections of poetry, and two collections of short stories, the most recent of which is Legoland. He is Professor of Fiction at Bath Spa University and lives near Bath, England.


Writer's Desk

Browse our archive of featured authors from this and other editions of The O. Henry Prize Stories.

  • Back to the Featured Author Spotlight




  • Writer's Desk

    From the 2017 edition:
    O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Tahmima Anam
  • Kevin Barry
  • Kate Cayley
  • Jai Chakrabarti
  • Martha Cooley
  • Keith Eisner
  • Michelle Huneven
  • Manuel Muñoz
  • Mary LaChapelle
  • Amit Majmudar
  • Fiona McFarlane
  • Heather Monley
  • Lesley Nneka Arimah
  • Joseph O'Neill
  • Paola Peroni
  • Genevieve Plunkett
  • Alan Rossi
  • Shruti Swamy
  • Wil Weitzel

    From the 2016 edition:
    O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Wendell Berry
  • Marie-Helene Bertino
  • Ron Carlson
  • Adrienne Celt
  • Diane Cook
  • Robert Coover
  • Joe Donnelly
  • Rebecca Evanhoe
  • Lydia Fitzpatrick
  • Elizabeth Genovise
  • Charles Haverty
  • Geetha Iyer
  • David H. Lynn
  • Ottessa Moshfegh
  • Sam Savage
  • Asako Serizawa
  • Shruti Swamy
  • Elizabeth Tallent
  • Frederic Tuten
  • Zebbie Watson

    From the 2015 edition:
    O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Molly Antopol
  • Russell Banks
  • Lydia Davis
  • Percival Everett
  • Lynn Freed
  • Becky Hagenston
  • Naira Kuzmich
  • Christopher Merkner
  • Elizabeth McCracken
  • Manuel Muñoz
  • Dina Nayeri
  • Brenda Peynado
  • Thomas Pierce
  • Emily Ruskovich
  • Lynne Sharon Schwartz
  • Lionel Shriver
  • Joan Silber
  • Elizabeth Strout
  • Emma Törsz
  • Vauhini Vara

    From the 2014 edition:
    O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Allison Alsup
  • Chanelle Benz
  • David Bradley
  • Olivia Clare
  • Stephen Dixon
  • Halina Duraj
  • Louise Erdrich
  • Rebecca Hirsch Garcia
  • Mark Haddon
  • Tessa Hadley
  • Kirsten Iskandrian
  • Dylan Landis
  • Colleen Morrissey
  • Chinelo Okparanta
  • Michael Parker
  • Robert Anthony Siegel
  • Maura Stanton
  • William Trevor
  • Kirstin Valdez Quade
  • Laura van den Berg

    From the 2013 edition:
    O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Donald Antrim
  • Tash Aw
  • Andrea Barrett
  • Ann Beattie
  • L. Annette Binder
  • Ayşe Papatya Bucak
  • Deborah Eisenberg
  • Samar Farah Fitzgerald
  • Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
  • Nalini Jones
  • Kelly Link
  • George McCormick
  • Melinda Moustakis
  • Alice Munro
  • Derek Palacio
  • Jamie Quatro
  • Polly Rosenwaike
  • Asako Serizawa
  • Joan Silber
  • Lily Tuck

    From the 2012 edition:
    PEN/O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • John Berger
  • Wendell Berry
  • Anthony Doerr
  • Dagoberto Gilb
  • Karl Taro Greenfeld
  • Lauren Groff
  • Yiyun Li
  • Hisham Matar
  • Alice Mattison
  • Steven Millhauser
  • Alice Munro
  • Ann Packer
  • Miroslav Penkov
  • Keith Ridgway
  • Sam Ruddick
  • Salvatore Scibona
  • Jim Shepard
  • Mark Slouka
  • Christine Sneed
  • Kevin Wilson

    From the 2011 edition:
    PEN/O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Chris Adrian
  • Adam Atlas
  • Kenneth Calhoun
  • Jennine Capó Crucet
  • Judy Doenges
  • Brian Evenson
  • Adam Foulds
  • Lynn Freed
  • David Means
  • Susan Minot
  • Matthew Neill Null
  • Lori Ostlund
  • Leslie Parry
  • Jim Shepard
  • Helen Simpson
  • Elizabeth Tallent
  • Mark Slouka
  • Lily Tuck
  • Brad Watson

    From the 2010 edition:
    PEN/O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Kirstin Allio
  • Daniel Alarcón
  • Natalie Bakopoulos
  • Wendell Berry
  • George Bradley
  • Peter Cameron
  • Damon Galgut
  • James Lasdun
  • Alice Munro
  • Annie Proulx
  • Ron Rash
  • Jess Row
  • Preeta Samarasan
  • Ted Sanders
  • Lore Segal
  • Brad Watson
  • John Edgar Wideman

    PEN/O. Henry Recommended Story Authors
    From the 2010 edition:
  • Luther Magnussen
  • Daniel Orozco
    From the 2009 edition:
    PEN/O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Karen Brown
  • John Burnside
  • Junot Díaz
  • Viet Dinh
  • Andrew Sean Greer
  • Caitlin Horrocks
  • Ha Jin
  • Graham Joyce
  • Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum
  • L. E. Miller
  • Alistair Morgan
  • Manuel Muñoz
  • Roger Nash
  • Mohan Sikka
  • Marisa Silver
  • E. V. Slate
  • Judy Troy
  • Paul Yoon

    PEN/O. Henry Recommended Story Authors
  • Mary Carroll-Hackett
  • Halina Duraj
  • Mary Beth Keane
  • Owen King
  • Rae Paris

    From the 2008 edition:
    O. Henry Award-winning Authors
  • Shannon Cain
  • Michel Faber
  • Mary Gaitskill
  • William Gass
  • Ha Jin
  • Sheila Kohler
  • Yiyun Li
  • Roger McDonald
  • Olaf Olafsson
  • Lore Segal
  • Brittani Sonnenberg
  • Rose Tremain
  • Tony Tulathimutte
  • Alexi Zentner

    O. Henry Recommended Story Authors
  • Kimberly Ford
  • Lauren Groff
  • Samuel Ligon
  • Irina Reyn

    From the 2007 edition:
  • Eddie Chuculate
  • Tony D'Souza
  • Ariel Dorfman
  • Jan Ellison
  • Adam Haslett
  • Charles Lambert
  • Richard McCann
  • Yannick Murphy
  • Christine Schutt
  • Joan Silber
  • Susan Straight

    From the 2005 edition:
  • Kevin Brockmeier
  • Timothy Crouse
  • Charles D'Ambrosio
  • Nell Freudenberger
  • Caitlin Macy
  • Ron Rash

    From the 2003 edition:
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Anthony Doerr
  • Robyn Joy Leff
  • Douglas Light
  • Bradford Morrow
  • Edith Pearlman