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 Lynne Sharon Schwartz
"The Golden Rule"
2015 O. Henry Award-winning Author

The first time a story of mine was chosen for the O. Henry Prize Stories I was overwhelmed and delighted. That was some years ago, and I'm still delighted. I used to read the collections when I was starting out and dreamed of having my work included, and now it's happened. Again.

(author photo © Susye Greenwood)

Writing Tips

I love to work in the short story form. It usually encapsulates a small, discrete incident or episode, but it can have enormous ramifications. And the story offers so much variety—there are stories on every conceivable subject, in every conceivable style. The challenge is to take something small and magnify it by through the magical process of writing.

Writer's Desk

I'm putting together a collections of poems, my third, and have been working on them on and off for about two years. Writing poems is quite different from writing stories. You can work on them in small spurts, and every time you return to rework a poem, it seems to have changed, while a story, in my experience, usually keeps to its original conception. I'm much more confident writing stories, so the poems feel like a daring adventure into the unknown.

About the Author

Lynne Sharon Schwartz, a native New Yorker, is the author of 23 books, including novels, including Two-Part Inventions, short stories, non-fiction, poetry, a memoir, Not Now, Voyager, and translations from Italian. Her latest is a collection of essays, This Is Where We Came In. Her novel Leaving Brooklyn was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award, and Rough Strife was nominated for a National Book Award and the PEN/Hemingway First Novel Award. Her work has been reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, The Best American Essays, and other anthologies. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Foundation for the Arts, and teaches at the Bennington College Writing Seminars and Columbia University's School of the Arts. She lives in New York City.

Writer's Desk

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