Anchor Books The O. Henry Prize Stories
About the Series Widely regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards for short fiction
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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 authors of the winning and recommended stories free rein to share their thoughts on these questions and others, and the result is a rare treat.

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Comments Ann Beattie
"Anecdotes"
2013 O. Henry Award-winning Author

When so many writers are writing amazing short stories, I am doubly happy to be included in a book everyone looks forward to.

(author photo © Don Usner)


Writing Tips

I'm sorry I was taught that an author's biography shouldn't matter. It's rarely the key, hardly ever what makes something good or bad—but why pretend story writing isn't personal? That's a convenient attitude of people who fear its power, I think. I love knowing things about a writer's life, and it has nothing to do with gossip or snooping. I want to know a writer's particular territory, to see how writers invoke things, how they transform them, what lovely, strange bird's nests they've made from string and mud.


About the Author

Ann Beattie grew up in Washington, D.C. She has written nine story collections, is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2011 was the recipient of Bard College's Mary McCarthy Award. She lives in Maine.

Writer's Desk

I'm assembling a new collection of stories.


Writer's Desk

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

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