We’ve already tried everything. We tell the waitress to bring rolls, wine. Meanwhile we’ll decide what we want to order. This is our favorite restaurant. It’s the only restaurant in town as far as we’re concerned. The atmosphere is exquisite—carpet with hunting scenes, dark wood. The mayor and his cronies sit nearby, tearing apart their steaks by candlelight and spilling juice on their ties. I wave. […]

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. […]

2017 American Short Fiction Prize Winners

American Short Fiction Prize featured image

We are delighted to announce that Lauren Groff has selected the winners of the 2017 American Short Fiction Prize. The first-place prize goes to Michaela Hansen for her story “The Devil in the Barn” and the second-place prize goes to Wendy Rawlings for her story “Coffins for Kids!”Our deepest thanks to Lauren Groff for judging the American Short Fiction Prize, and to all of you for submitting your work. And congrats to the winners! Look out for the winning story in an upcoming issue of American Short Fiction! […]

Embracing the World, from High to Low: An Interview with Benjamin Hale


In his first story collection, Benjamin Hale introduces us to characters who inhabit the margins of society:  an expat outlaw revolutionary trying to find her way home, a dominatrix confronting a new possible role as mother, a performance artists eating himself towards death. What at first may read as absurd becomes meaningful and then moving through Hale’s skillful and playful storytelling. […]

On Leaving the Sea by Ben Marcus


In his fourth book, Leaving the Sea, Ben Marcus finds a vein between “leveraging grammar as a medium for the making of art,” as he wrote in “Why Experimental Fiction Threatens to Destroy Publishing, Jonathan Franzen, and Life as We Know it,” in Harper’s nine years ago, and the sweet spot of the familiar, with its recognizable humor, alienation, and longing.

ASF Reads