Anchor Books The O. Henry Prize Stories
About the Series Widely regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards for short fiction
O. Henry Bio
Publishing History
Author Spotlight
Prize Jury
About the Editor
Notable Magazines
Index of Literary Magazines
Contact Us
Contact Us

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.

(Browse our author spotlight archive.)

Comments Thomas Pierce
"Ba Baboon"
2015 O. Henry Award-winning Author

I won't even try to play it cool: This is a very big deal to me. I've long admired so many of the writers who have appeared in this anthology and to be linked with them now is a true honor.

(author photo © Andrew Owen)

Writing Tips

I find the writing process difficult to describe because it's something that seems to happen when I'm not looking. So I won't remark too much on that and will instead say that after I've finished a story I have two crazy hopes for it. The first is that it is in fact a story, that it entertains, that it helps you to forget about the world for a while. And the second hope is that the story, at least in a small way, helps to locate something more ineffable and elusive about our existence. The second hope is somewhat contrary to the first because it asks you not to forget the world but to see it as it really is. I'm forever chasing the story that both settles and unsettles.

Writer's Desk

These days I'm mostly focusing on a novel. It involves sound art and interstellar communication. I'm afraid if I say much more, the book will explode into a thousand pieces.

About the Author

Thomas Pierce was born in South Carolina in 1982. He is the author of the short-story collection Hall of Small Mammals. His stories have appeared in Oxford American, the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Atlantic, The Best Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. He was a Poe/Faulkner Fellow at the University of Virginia, where he received his MFA. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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