Anchor Books The O. Henry Prize Stories
About the Series Widely regarded as the nation's most prestigious awards for short fiction
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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 Samar Farah Fitzgerald
"Where Do You Go?"
2013 O. Henry Award-winning Author

I often wish I were a more omnivorous reader, the sort who gobbles up different forms and genres like a bowl of mixed nuts. But the truth is, I love the short story too much—so mostly, I keep reading stories. The O. Henry Prize Stories is the first book I found that reveres the short story as much as I do. It's also the book I look to year after year to teach me about the wonderfully different possibilities within the form. Some of my very favorite stories, such as Deborah Eisenberg's "Window" and Kevin Brockmeier's "The Ceiling," I discovered there. It still seems impossible that series editor Laura Furman chose "Where Do You Go?"

Writing Tips

In graduate school, I worried I was spending so much time thinking about short stories that the process of writing them had become more academic and less inspired. So I signed up for a painting class. In the class, I was struck by how freely the other students identified themselves as artists and their work as art. Writers seem less comfortable with these labels. But I agree with those writers who have described a successful short story as a kind of painting or song. When I sit down to write, and I get the feeling I'm making sandwiches, putting together the necessary ingredients in the correct order, I know it's not going well.

About the Author

Samar Farah Fitzgerald was born in Athens, Greece, and grew up in northern New Jersey. She is the recipient of a 2011-2012 Artists Fellowship from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Her stories have appeared in the New England Review, The Southern Review, Story Quarterly Online, The Carolina Quarterly, Avery, and The L Magazine. She completed her MFA at the University of Wisconsin, where she received the August Derleth Prize and the Friends of Creative Writing Award. She lives in Staunton, VA, and teaches creative writing at James Madison University.

Writer's Desk

I am working on a collection of stories and a short novel about a young Lebanese-American woman set in Boston.

Writer's Desk

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

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