The three finalists for The Story Prize-Dan Chaon, Junot Díaz, and Claire Vaye Watkins-chosen from 98 short story collections published in 2012, will read from and discuss their work with Larry Dark, the director of the award. The event will culminate with the announcement of the winner, who will be presented with a check for $20,000 and an engraved silver bowl.
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Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Christian Science Monitor, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Chaon's fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.
Junot Díaz was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to New Jersey when he was six. He is the author of a story collection, "Drown," and a novel, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao," which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2008. Parts of both books first appeared in The New Yorker. He has contributed stories to the magazine since 1995; his most recent, "The Pura Principle," ran in the March 22nd issue.
Claire Vaye Watkins
Claire Vaye Watkins was born in Bishop, California in 1984. She was raised in the Mojave Desert, first in Tecopa, California and then across the state line in Pahrump, Nevada. A graduate of the University of Nevada Reno, Claire earned her MFA from the Ohio State University, where she was a Presidential Fellow. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, One Story, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, Best of the West 2011, Best of the Southwest 2013, and elsewhere. Claire has received fellowships from the Writers' Conferences at Sewanee and Bread Loaf. Her collection of short stories, Battleborn (Riverhead Books), won the 2012 Story Prize, the 2013 Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Battleborn was named a Best Book of 2012 by the San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Time Out New York and Flavorwire, and a Best Short Story Collection by NPR.org. In 2012, the National Book Foundation named Claire one of the 5 Best Writers Under 35. An assistant professor at Bucknell University, Claire is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a non-profit creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.