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 O. Henry Prize-winning authors free rein to share their thoughts on these questions and others, and the result is a rare treat.

(Browse our archive of featured authors from The O. Henry Prize Stories.)

Comments Jim Shepard
2011 PEN/O. Henry Award-winning Author

Jim Shepard was born in 1956 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and is the author of six novels, including most recently Project X, and four story collections, including You Think That's Bad. His third collection, Like You'd Understand, Anyway, was a finalist for the National Book Award and won The Story Prize. Project X won the 2005 Library of Congress/Massachusetts Book Award for Fiction, as well as the ALEX Award from the American Library Association. His short fiction has appeared in, among other magazines, Harper's, McSweeney's, The Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, DoubleTake, The New Yorker, Granta, Zoetrope: All-Story, and Playboy, and he was a columnist on film for the magazine The Believer. Four of his stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories and one for a Pushcart Prize. He's won an Artists' Grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches at Williams College and lives in Williamstown, MA.

Writing Tips

What to say about writing in general, that hasn't already been said a million times? Here's something I've been thinking about more often lately, anyway: I'm continually struck by the way, for those of us who write, our tendency to closely observe what's going on and those around us is both part of the problem and part of the solution. On the one hand, it separates us, but on the other, if we're really paying attention, as Tobias Wolff reminds us, it re-immerses us in our lives.

About the Author

In addition to several books for children, she is the author of the widely acclaimed novels Other People's Houses, Her First American, and Shakespeare's Kitchen, which was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. A recipient of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award, the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, the Carl Sandburg Award for Fiction, the Clifton Fadiman Medal, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she has contributed to The New Yorker, among other publications. She has been included before in The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories. Segal lives in New York City.

(copy from 1/5/10, bio from 12/28/09)

To view Lore Segal's past PEN/O'Henry Prize author spotlight page, click here.

Writer's Desk

Of all of the unlikely subjects that I've taken up, I may have currently chosen the most unlikely: right now I'm laboring away on a story about 18th-century farming in New England. Talk about a topic that would make an agent cringe. Of course, given how busy I've been with other stuff, by the time I get back to it in any kind of concentrated way, the whole thing will probably have evanesced.

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