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 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 David H. Lynn
2016 O. Henry Award-winning Author

As editor of The Kenyon Review for over 20 years, I am used to praising our authors and to letting them know the good news about the various awards and honors they receive. It's a little strange, then, and entirely delightful to have one of my own stories chosen for the singular honor of an O. Henry Prize. The best part, truly, has been to share this news with my wife and children and a few close friends who have supported the part of my life that has been given to writing.

(author photo © Will Shilling)

Writing Tips

In addition to writing for 40 years, I have been a teacher and editor. Year in and year out, I preach to my students that it's all about the writing. If one wants to be a writer in hopes of fame and glory, far better to run along the street flapping one's arms and hoping for lift-off. It's the discipline that matters. Doing the work. Inspiration is manufactured day by day and hour by hour, not by bolts from on high. I have known many talented people who've written very little while waiting to discover their subjects, their inspiration. Receiving an O. Henry Prize, for which I'm deeply grateful, only proves the point.

Writer's Desk

One story at a time. That's how I write. That's how I discipline myself. I decided last year that 60 was a propitious time to offer up a new and selected volume of stories, and I delivered such a volume, including "Divergence," to Georges and Valerie Borchardt, my lovely agents.

Writer's Desk

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

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