Athens, Ga. – Tom Kealey and Jacquelin Gorman have been named the winners of the 2012 University of Georgia Press’ Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Kealey’s collection, Thieves I’ve Known, and Gorman’s collection, The Viewing Room, will be available from the UGA Press in fall 2013.
The competition, now approaching its 30th anniversary, seeks to encourage writers of excellent short stories, while bringing award-winning work to a wider audience by offering publication of a book-length collection and a $1,000 prize. The Flannery O’Connor Award has helped launch the literary careers of such previous winners as Ha Jin, Antonya Nelson, Rita Ciresi and Mary Hood.
Series editor Nancy Zafris, a previous winner of the award, said of this year’s winners, “Innovative narrative strategies and an explorer’s zeal for the truths that lie at our core distinguish both 2012 winning collections of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Tom Kealey introduces us to characters doggedly toiling on the outskirts in artistically gratifying stories that are both funny and devastating. In interrelated tales, Jackie Gorman directly tackles the most solemn of life’s challenges—death, the kind of death that must be viewed by a loved one to confirm identity—with such beauty as to become celestial.”
Kealey’s fiction and nonfiction have been published in The Best American NonRequired Reading, Glimmer Train, Story Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Poets & Writers, Alaska Quarterly Review, Indiana Review and many other publications. He also is the author of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook. Kealey currently is a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, where he teaches fiction, screenwriting and creative nonfiction. Kealey received his master of fine art from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he was the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award. For more information on Kealey see https://sites.google.com/site/tomkealey/.
Gorman has lived in Los Angeles for the last 30 years. Her life has revolved around the medical field in many ways-as a health care lawyer, a hospital chaplain and as a living kidney donor. She currently is a mental health activist, training volunteers to speak to families whose loved ones are hospitalized in psychiatric centers and crisis centers. She published a memoir about her family, The Seeing Glass, 15 years ago. One story in the winning collection appeared previously in Slake Magazine. She has a law degree from UCLA School of Law and a master of fine arts in fiction from Spalding University in Louisville.
The winning books from last year’s competition, Love, In Theory by E.J. Levy and The Invisibles by Hugh Sheehy, currently are available from the UGA Press. Submissions for the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction are accepted April 1-May 31 each year; for guidelines and more information about the award, see http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/series/FOC.