Announcing The Story Prize Judges

The Story Prize, now in its 11th year, is pleased to announce its judges for 2014: Arsen Kashkashian, bookseller at the Boulder Book Store in Colorado; Noreen Tomassi, Executive Director of The Center for Fiction in New York; and award-winning author Laura van den Berg.They will choose the winner of The Story Prize from among the three books Director Larry Dark and Founder Julie Lindsey choose as finalists. Since its inception, The Story Prize has included judges from a variety of fields associated with short fiction. Past participants have included writers, editors, booksellers, librarians, critics, journalists, and academics.

Arsen KashKashian
Arsen Kashkashian
Noreen Tomassi
Noreen Tomassi
Laura van den Berg
Laura van den Berg

About the Judges

Arsen Kashkashian is the book buyer and general manager of the Boulder Book Store in Boulder, Colorado. Kashkashian began his tenure at the store in 1992 as a clerk. After holding several jobs in the store,he started buying in 1997. He estimates he's seen close to a million titles come across his desk during that time. Kashkashian served a two-year term as the president of the Independent Booksellers Consortium. He received the 2006 Gordon Saull Award for outstanding bookseller from the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association. He authored the industry blog Kash's Book Corner from 2006 to 2010, and has contributed book reviews to the Daily Camera and the Boulder Weekly newspapers.

As Director of The Center for Fiction since December 2004, Noreen Tomassi has led its transition from the Mercantile Library, a private membership library, to a new incarnation as a literary center focused on the art of fiction. In this capacity, she presents nearly 100 writers a year and has established The Center's First Novel Prize; Maxwell Perkins Award, NYC Emerging Writers Fellowship Program; and its Books for NYC Schools/Kids Read program, which provides over 30,000 books to 40 NYC public schools. Before beginning her arts management career as an assistant in Play Development at McCarter Theatre, she acted in a series of off Broadway plays and wrote about the arts for various publications.

Laura van den Berg is the author of the story collections What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, which was a Barnes & Noble "Discover Great New Writers" selection, and The Isle of Youth, which won the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts& Letters and made more than a dozen "Best Book of 2013 lists, including those of NPR, The Boston Globe, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Both collections were shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. The recipient of an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, her work has been anthologized in The Best American Short StoriesThe Best American Mystery Stories,and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. Her first novel, Find Me, will be published in February 2015.

Mark Your Calendar: March 4,2015

On March 4, 2015, at The New School in New York City, we will announce the winning book and author after thethree finalists read from and discuss their work onstage. Leading up to that, Larry Dark, Director of The Story Prize, and Julie Lindsey, Founder, will select three story collections as finalists from among more than 90 entries. They will also announce the third ever winner of The Story Prize Spotlight Award, which pays $1,000 to anemerging or overlooked author. Judges Kashkashian, Tomassi, and van den Berg will decide the winner of the $20,000 top prize—the most of any annual U.S. book award for fiction

March 2014

George Saunders Wins The Story Prize for Tenth of December

The Story Prize winner George Saunders with finalists Andrea Barrett and Rebecca Lee

The Story Prize winner George Saunders with finalists Andrea Barrett and Rebecca Lee. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

News coverage of The Story Prize event on March 5, 2014