What great news!! Congratulations to Laura!!!
December 3, 2007, Ann Arbor, MI—Dzanc Books is pleased to announce that Laura van den Berg of Boston, Massachusetts is the winner of the first annual $5,000 Dzanc Prize. Selected from more than 160 applicants for her proposal to teach creative writing in area prisons and on the quality of her fiction writing, the Emerson College MFA student will begin her service in 2008 with half of the prize awarded in January and the other half awarded once the service is completed.
Steven Gillis, Publisher of Dzanc Books, says van den Berg’s application won over the reading panel because “[her] commitment to working with prisoners and helping Dzanc put together a written anthology from these workshops, coupled with her remarkable writing, moved her consistently and undeniably to the front of the list.” Van den Berg is currently working on a short story collection, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, and plans to begin a novel. She says, “When I found out I had been selected for the prize, I was astonished and deeply honored. . . Steve Gillis, Dan Wickett, and Keith Taylor are wonderful champions of literary fiction and gifted editors, and it's a huge gift to have the opportunity to work with them.”
ABOUT LAURA VAN DEN BERG
A native of central Florida, Laura van den Berg is the editor-in-chief of Emerson College’s literary and arts journal, Redivider, and a Ploughshares staff member. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Indiana Review, The Literary Review, StoryQuarterly, American Short Fiction, and One Story, among others, and has received awards from Glimmer Train and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She previously taught writing at Emerson College, and currently teaches fiction at Grub Street, an independent center for creative writing in Boston.
ABOUT DZANC BOOKS AND THE DZANC PRIZE
Dzanc Books was created in 2006 by Steven Gillis and Dan Wickett to advance great writing and to champion those writers who do not fit neatly into the marketing niches of for-profit presses. As a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, Dzanc Books not only publishes literary fiction, but works in partnership with literary journals to advance their readership at every level. Dzanc is also fully committed to developing educational programs in schools and organizes workshops and Writer-In-Residence programs in Michigan and elsewhere to meet that goal.
In 2007, to further its mission of fostering literary excellence, community involvement, and education, Dzanc Books created the Dzanc Prize, which awards $5,000 annually to a writer working toward completion of a novel or short story collection who is also interested in bettering their community through literary community service. For further details and more information on Dzanc Books, its mission, titles, authors, awards, and programs, please visit www.dzancbooks.org .
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- Originally from Vermont, I now live in North Carolina. My work can be found in recent issues of REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, The Jabberwock Review, The Emerson Review, Storyglossia, The MacGuffin, Confrontation, Passages North, SmokeLong Quarterly, elimae, wigleaf, and Pank, among others, and forthcoming from Gargoyle #57 and REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. One of my stories has been translated into Farsi by Asadollah Amraee, and many others by Jalil Jafari, two of which have been published in the Iranian journal, Golestaneh Magazine. For two years I worked as an assistant editor for Narrative Magazine. Currently, I serve as a mentor for Dzanc's Creative Writing Sessions. I'm working on two novels and a short story collection. In May, I was awarded the Carol Houck Smith Contributor Scholarship for the 2011 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.