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 L. Annette Binder
"Lay My Head"
2013 O. Henry Award-winning Author

It's a huge honor to be included in The O. Henry Prize Stories. I found out my story had been selected while I was buying apples in the produce department of my local supermarket, and I let out a shriek that brought my husband running. I've read the stories in The O. Henry Prize collections for years now, long before I ever tried writing a story myself, and they've taught me so much about how stories can work in wonderfully different ways. I still can't quite believe that something I wrote will be part of such a rich tradition.

(author photo © Gary Gartley)

Writing Tips

I studied Classics in college and always loved reading fiction, but I didn't start writing fiction until I was long out of school. Writing a story or a longer piece is like taking the best sort of road trip. I usually have no idea where it will take me, but as long as there's fuel I just keep on going. Some stories come quickly and others are a slog, but every piece I write begins with my wanting to see the world through someone else's eyes, if only for a little while.

About the Author

L. Annette Binder was born in Germany and grew up in Colorado Springs. She is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and the Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine. Her fiction has appeared on NPR's "Selected Shorts," and in The Pushcart Prize XXXVI: Best of the Small Presses, One Story, American Short Fiction, Fairy Tale Review and others. Her story collection is Rise. She lives in Boston and New Hampshire.

Writer's Desk

I'm working on a novel based on my short story "Dead Languages," about a young boy in Colorado who speaks only ancient languages and about his mother who tries to understand what has happened to her son.

Writer's Desk

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

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