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 Alistair Morgan
O. Henry Award-winning Author

It's a great honor to be recognized by such a prestigious publication and accolade. At the same time it makes me feel slightly fraudulent to be included alongside such highly accomplished writers.

(author photo © Deon Hug)

Writing Tips

I haven't been writing long enough to have a definitive approach to writing. All I can say is that I write really slowly. It took about three months to write Icebergs. I find short stories extremely difficult to write. I recently completed my first novel and the process, although demanding, was not as grueling as that of writing short fiction. I have the utmost respect for writers who specialize in the craft of short stories.

I find that if I don't sit down to write for at least an hour every day, normally before I go off to work, then I fail to get under the skin of the story. But once I've engaged with the story in the morning the plot and characters stay with me for the rest of the day, like a song that sticks in your mind. In this way I can still work on the story even though I'm doing other things.

About the Author

Alistair Morgan was born in South Africa in 1971. He is the first non-American to win the Paris Review's George Plimpton Prize. His debut novel, Sleeper's Wake, will be published in 2009. He lives in Cape Town.

Writer's Desk

  • I'm splitting my time between a new novel and a collection of short stories entitled Icebergs, which will include my story Icebergs. The stories are about dislocated, lonely characters, people who are in fact not unlike icebergs themselves.

  • Writer's Desk

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