Prairie Schooner Announces $8,250 in Writing Prizes for 2014

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Leigh Camacho Rourks

Thanks to generous supporters of the literary arts, Prairie Schooner, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s literary journal, was able to award seventeen writing prizes totaling $8,250 for work published by both established and emerging writers in 2014.

The $1,500 Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award was given to Leigh Camacho Rourks of South Louisiana for her story “Moon Trees” in the spring issue. Rourks is the managing editor of Rougarou, a journal based at the University of Lousiana-Lafayette. Her story “Pinched Magnolias” recently received the Robert Watson Literary Review Prize in Fiction. This prize is made possible by the generosity of poet, publisher, and philanthropist Glenna Luschei.

The $1,000 Lawrence Foundation Award for best short story published in Prairie Schooner in 2014 was given to Jennine Capó Crucet of Tallahasse, Florida, for “Happy Birthday, Dear Dante” in the summer issue. Crucet’s story collection How to Leave Hialeah (2009) won the Iowa Shirt Fiction Prize and the John Gardner Book Award among many other accolades. Her novel Make Your Home Among Strangers is forthcoming in August 2015, and this fall she joins the faculty of the creative writing program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.. This prize is made possible by the Lawrence Foundation of New York City and its director, Leonard S. Bernstein.

The $1,000 Virginia Faulkner Award for Excellence in Writing was given to Nathalie Handal of New York City for her poem “Ta’bien Negra” in the winter issue. Handal is the author or editor of many books, including The Poetry of Arab Women: A Contemporary Anthology, which won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award, and the poetry collection Poet in Andalucia (2012).  The Faulkner Award is supported by charitable contributions to honor Virginia Faulkner, former editor-in-chief of the University of Nebraska Press and fiction editor at Prairie Schooner.

The $1,000 Edward Stanley Award was given to Faisal Mohyuddin of Chicago, Illinois, for his poem “What the Wind Said to Me When I Awoke from Another Nightmare in Which My Father Had Died, Alone” in the fall issue. Mohyuddin is a literature teacher at Highland Park High School. His writing has been featured on Chicago Public Radio and published in several journals, including Poet Lore, Atlanta Review, and Free Lunch.  This award is made possible through charitable contributions from the family of Edward Stanley, a member of the committee that founded Prairie Schooner in 1926.

The $500 Bernice Slote Award for the best work by a beginning writer was given to Jacob Newberry of Tallahasse, Florida, for the essay “Place de Clichy” in the summer issue. Newberry is a PhD student at Florida State University. His poems have appeared in Out Magazine, Granta, Kenyon Review, and Iowa Review, among others. The Slote Award is supported by the estate of Bernice Slote, Prairie Schooner editor from 1963 through 1980.

The $500 Annual Prairie Schooner Strousse Award for the best poem or group of poems published in Prairie Schooner in 2014 was given to Yi-Fen Chou of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for four poems in the fall issue. His poems have been published in Shenandoah, Michigan Quarterly Review, Sonora Review, and South Dakota Review, among others. The Strousse Award is given in honor of Flora Strousse.

The $250 Hugh J. Luke Award was given to Melissa Febos of New York City for her essay “Call My Name” in the spring issue. Febos is a writer and professor. Her memoir Whip Smart was released in 2010, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, Salon, and BOMB Magazine. She teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College, the New School, and New York University. The Hugh J. Luke Award was established in memory of Prairie Schooner's editor from 1980 through 1987.

The $250 Jane Geske Award was given to Dave Madden of San Francisco, California, for his story “Another Man’s Treasure” in the winter issue.  Madden is the author of The Authentic Animal (St. Martin’s Press, 2011), and If You Need Me I’ll Be Over There: Family Stories (Indiana University Press, 2016). His fiction has appeared in The Rumpus and DIAGRAM. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of San Francisco.  The Jane Geske Award is given by Norman Geske in honor of his wife, Jane Geske, a lifelong supporter of Nebraska’s literary arts.

There were nine winners of the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Awards of $250 each. These awards are made possible through the generosity of Glenna Luschei.

Sarah Robinson of Pavia, Italy for the essay “Magic Circle” in the fall issue.
Ashley Robertson of Wilmington, Delaware, for the story “Árida Zona” in the spring issue.
Mecca Jamillah Sullivan of Massachusetts for the novel excerpt “Dazzling Futures and Other Fairy Tales” in the fall issue.
Laina Mullin Pruett of Massachusetts for the story “Telling the Bees” in the winter issue.
Lisa Batya Field of Massachusetts for the story “The Fracture” in the spring issue.
Karen McCarthy Woolf of London for the poem “Of Roadkill and Other Corpses” in the summer issue.
Ravi Shankar of Connecticut for the poem “The Hindu Gets Baptized” in the spring issue.
Ed Madden of South Carolina for the poem “Because” in the spring issue.
Kevin Simmonds of San Francisco, California, for the poem “Nod” in the summer issue.

Prairie Schooner is published with support from the University of Nebraska Press, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln English Department and its creative writing program, and the Glenna Luschei Endowed Editorship and Fund for Excellence at Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska Foundation.  Subscriptions may be ordered by visiting  You can also follow Prairie Schooner on Facebook and Twitter.