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2014 Summer Nonfiction Contest Winner Announced

Aurvi Sharma

Prairie Schooner is pleased to announce that Aurvi Sharma is the winner of the 2014 Summer Creative Nonfiction Contest, for her essay “Eleven Stories of Water and Stone.” She will receive $250 and publication in the Spring 2015 issue of Prairie Schooner.

Aurvi Sharma’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Fourth Genre, Everyday Genius and Remedy. In 2012, she was awarded the Sarai Non-Fiction Fellowship, during which she travelled to riverside ruins across north India. Sharma was the recipient of the 2014 Wasafiri New Writing Prize (“Life Writing”). She lives in New York.

Judith Ortiz Cofer, the judge of this year’s prize, said of Sharma’s essay, “This essay is best described in the author’s own phrase: ‘trying to hold water in a fist.’ Each of the sections is a powerfully focused revelation of how the most basic of elements, the basis of survival—water—determines the life in an Indian community. But it is not mere social history; it is also about how individual lives and relationships are affected by either the presence of water or its scarcity. It is a poem and a history lesson."

Emily Geminder’s essay “Coming To: A Lexicology of Fainting” is the runner-up of this year’s contest. Geminder is a Durwood Fellow at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has worked as a journalist and editor in New York and Phnom Penh. Her writing has appeared in the New York Observer, the Cambodia Daily, and elsewhere.

Emiliy Geminder

Last year’s winner was Melissa Febos, whose essay “Call My Name” appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Prairie Schooner. To learn more about Prairie Schooner, the latest issues, and how to subscribe, visit http://prairieschooner.unl.edu.