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 Naira Kuzmich
"The Kingsley Drive Chorus"
2015 O. Henry Award-winning Author

To be a part of The O. Henry Prize Stories is not just an honor but a dream. It's something I have always wanted for myself but feared was beyond my reach. I'm so grateful, so very grateful.

(author photo © Vedran Music)

Writing Tips

I think writers have very complicated reasons for why they started writing, but I believe, ultimately, that what keeps writers writing is something quite simple: pleasure. I never feel as good about myself and the world I am living in as when I am staring at a blank page and wondering how I can make something beautiful appear in front of me. It makes me feel both like a child and also very grown up. It makes me feel like I have a power, a magic beyond just breathing.

I came to writing because of something abstract, something unnamable, beyond my knowledge or comprehension. But I keep writing because that mystery sustains me. I keep writing because that mystery fills me with pleasure.

About the Author

Naira Kuzmich was born in Yerevan, Armenia, and raised in the Los Angeles enclave of Little Armenia. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, West Branch, Blackbird, and elsewhere.

In October 2017, Naira Kuzmich died of lung cancer at the age of 29. Her death is a sad loss to her readers, friends, and family.

Writer's Desk

I'm writing a novel about the Armenian tradition of fearcatching, specifically about a mother and daughter with very different views regarding their responsibilities to their community, and to each other. The book is set in Soviet Armenia.

Writer's Desk

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

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