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 Lionel Shriver
"Kilifi Creek"
2015 O. Henry Award-winning Author

The O. Henry Prize Stories is a distinguished series, and of course I'm honored to be included in the 2015 volume. It's whet my appetite for finally publishing a collection of my own.



Writing Tips

When I was younger—college, grad school—I dashed off short stories all the time. I thought of them as smaller practice studies for the novels I really wanted to write. In my hoary old age, however, I have developed a regard for the form, whose demand for concision, precision, and elision I now find positively intimidating. So maybe it's the novels that have been practice studies for the short stories.


Writer's Desk

I'm working on my twelfth novel, a near—future book about economic dystopia in the US. I've never set a novel in the future before, and I have no idea what I'm doing.


About the Author

Lionel Shriver was born and raised in North Carolina. She is the author of eleven novels, and is known for The New York Times bestsellers So Much for That (a finalist for the 2010 National Book Award and the Wellcome Trust Book Prize), The Post-Birthday World (Entertainment Weekly's Book of the Year), as well as the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, and her more recent novel, Big Brother. Winner of the 2005 Orange Prize, We Need to Talk About Kevin was adapted for an award-winning feature film. Both Kevin and So Much for That were dramatized for BBC Radio 4. Shriver's work has been translated into 28 languages. She writes for the Guardian, The New York Times, London's Sunday Times, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among other publications. "Kilifi Creek" won the BBC National Short Story Contest in 2014. She lives in London, England, and Brooklyn, NY.


Writer's Desk

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