I couldn’t post about it because I was in Walkerton, but on Friday the shortlist for the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award was announced, and Mattaponi Queen made the list! This means that I’ll get to travel to the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork City, Ireland this September, and hopefully hang out with the other shortlistees: Robin Black, T.C. Boyle, David Constantine, Laura van den Berg, and fellow North Carolinian Ron Rash. The list is very impressive, and I’m tremendously honored.
The Guardian ran a story about the contest on Friday, with insightful comments by Rash, van den Berg, and Boyle on the so-called death of American fiction. The headline was “U.S. Writers Dominate Frank O’Connor Award Shortlist” (five of the six nominees were from the United States). I do hope people notice that two North Carolinians made the list.
I’ll post more soon about my recent travels, which have included everything from a high school in Brooklyn to the nursing home in Norfolk where my mom grew up. And to celebrate the shortlist news, I’ll remind you of my offer to send you a four-leaf clover (just email me). It’s getting harder to find them now because it hasn’t rained much lately, but I will do my best!
And, in case you can make it to one of my readings, I’m still giving away MQ preserves: