Announcing the winners of the Insider Prize

Insider Prize feature image by Maurice Chammah

Submissions to The Insider Prize—a writing contest for incarcerated writers in Texas, which we held for the first time this year—came to us in envelopes of many sizes. Most had been previously opened, with a red TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS stamp on the inside of the lip of the envelope that had been taped shut after an inspection. Some were composed on a typewriter. Others were handwritten. Like many literary journals, American Short Fiction accepts only electronic submissions. And while much of what I read comes from a screen, I often forget the human component to words, to the process of physically creating the letters and shapes that appear on a page. With these submissions, we felt the labor and work that had gone into the creation of words, and worlds. We physically held them in our hands. Receiving these submissions directly from the writers, I was reminded that literature is, at heart, epistolary. […]

Editorial Outtakes: Shawn Wen

Shawn Wen black and white author photo

Editorial Outtakes is a series in which we publish excerpts from recent books that you won’t find anywhere else because, prior publication, these sections were cut. This installment of Editorial Outtakes features author Shawn Wen, whose A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause is a kaleidoscopic, book-length essay examining the life and art of Marcel Marceau. Published this week by Sarabande Books, the book is by turns a journalistic endeavor, an imaginative inroad into the artist’s world, and a history. […]

 

Web Exclusive Interview: Shoshana Akabas

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In June’s Web Exclusive story, “Between the Shores,” two people seem to move in parallel throughout their lives, always a hair’s breadth away from interacting directly, only feeling the ripples of each other’s actions but never knowing each other. We spoke with author Shoshana Akabas about this idea, about interconnectedness and empathy, and how our treatment of refugees right now doesn’t bode well for either. Read our interview after the jump! […]

Announcing our American Short(er) Fiction Contest Winners!

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We are delighted to announce that Justin Torres has chosen the winners of our 2017 American Short(er) Fiction Contest. The first-place prize goes to Claire Robbins, for her story “Arms Out.” The second-place prize goes to Blair Donahue, for her story “Filament.” More details about our winners after the jump! […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Daisy Johnson

Johnson, Daisy (Pollyanna Johnson)

April’s Web Exclusive, “A Bruise the Size and Shape of a Door Handle,” is a haunting story whose slow, creeping tension evokes the likes of Edgar Allen Poe and Shirley Jackson. And yet it is so thoroughly modern, an enlightened study of unhinged, potent adolescent-female sexuality. […]

Novelist of the Appetites: An Interview with Ashley Warlick

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Ashley Warlick spent ten years on her latest novel, The Arrangement, a fictional retelling of the life and loves of famed food writer MFK Fisher. With lush, clean prose and pitch-perfect dialogue, Warlick lays bare the many appetites of a woman and writer ahead of her time. The novel spans the early years of Fisher’s career […]

ASF Reads