Announcing the Finalists for the 2019 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize

July 24th 2019

Hub City Press is pleased to announce the five finalists for the 2019 C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize, which is awarded to an emerging Southern writer. The winner will receive $10,000 and publication by Hub City Press of his or her short story collection.

Five finalists have been selected after two rounds of reading, and the winner will be selected by judge Lauren Groff, who is the New York Times bestselling author of three novels, The Monsters of Templeton, Arcadia, and Fates and Furies, and the celebrated short story collections Delicate Edible Birds and Florida, which was published in June by Riverhead. Her work has appeared in journals including the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Tin House, One Story, and Ploughshares, and in the anthologies 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, and five editions of the Best American Short Stories.

The finalists are Aracelis González Asendorf for her collection The Last Lock, Charles Booth for Forgotten Battles of the Civil War, Stephen Hundley for The Aliens Will Come to Georgia First, Ashleigh Bryant Phillips for Sleepovers, and Jonathan Wei for The Reason Things Don't Work Out.

Aracelis González Asendorf was born in Cuba and raised in Florida. Her work has appeared in TriQuarterly, Kweli Journal, The Adirondack Review, Puerto del Sol, The Acentos Review, Litro, The South Atlantic Review, Saw Palm, Black Fox Literary Magazine, and elsewhere. Her stories have been anthologized in All About Skin: Short Fiction by Women of Color and 100% Pure Florida Fiction. She is the recipient of the 2016 South Atlantic Modern Language Association Graduate Creative Writing Award for Prose. A former English and Spanish teacher, she has an MFA from the University of South Florida.

Charles Booth earned his MFA from Murray State University in Kentucky, and his fiction has appeared in Alligator Juniper, The Greensboro Review, The Southampton Review, The Pinch, The Gateway Review, and Pithead Chapel. He lives in Tennessee, with his wife, Danica, and his son, Reynolds.

Stephen Hundley is a former high school science teacher from Savannah, Georgia. His work has appeared in Notre Dame Review, Carve, Permafrost, and elsewhere. He serves as the fiction editor for The Swamp Literary Magazine and is a Richard Ford Fellow at the University of Mississippi.

Ashleigh Bryant Phillips grew up (and still lives) in Woodland, North Carolina— there is no stoplight. She earned an MFA from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington where she was a Byington fellow. Her stories have been published in The Nervous Breakdown, Hobart, and others. They've also been nominated for Best of the Net, awarded Best Small Fictions 2019, and taught in creative writing classrooms. Follow her on instagram/twitter: @woodlandraised.

Jonathan Wei, the founder and director of The Telling Project, is a writer and playwright. Jonathan’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in the Village Voice, Iowa Review, Nimrod, The North American Review and Glimmer Train. His dramatic work has been staged at Lincoln Center, the Guthrie Theater, and the Library of Congress, among others. He is a 2019 Interchange Arts Fellow, has won the Katherine Anne Porter prize for fiction from Nimrod Magazine, and the Glimmer Train Fiction Open, received a Congressional Commendation, National Endowment for the Arts support, National Endowment for the Humanities support and other acknowledgments. Jonathan lives with his family in Austin, TX.

The prize is named in honor of C. Michael Curtis, who has served as an editor of The Atlantic since 1963 and as fiction editor since 1982. Curtis has discovered or edited some of the finest short story writers of the modern era, including Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, and Anne Beattie. He has edited several acclaimed anthologies, including Contemporary New England Stories, God: Stories, and Faith: Stories. Curtis moved to Spartanburg, S.C. in 2006 and has taught as a professor at both Wofford and Converse Colleges in addition to serving on the editorial board of Hub City Press.

The winner and runner up of the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize will be announced across all social media platforms on Monday, July 29.

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