Prairie Schooner, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s premier literary journal, has announced the winners of its 2017 Book Prize in Fiction and Poetry. More than 1,200 entries were received for the awards, which are celebrating a 15th anniversary.
Sara Batkie won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction for her manuscript, “Better Times.” Batkie is a native of Seattle, but grew up in Connecticut and Iowa. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Iowa in 2008 and pursued a master’s in creative writing at New York University, which she earned in 2010. Her stories have been published in various journals, garnered mention in the 2011 Best American Short Stories anthology, and she received the 2017 Pushcart Prize. She resides in Brooklyn and works as the writing programs director for The Center for Fiction.
The award includes a $3,000 prize and publication of her manuscript by the University of Nebraska Press.
Batkie’s manuscript was selected for the award by Kwame Dawes, Prairie Schooner editor-in-chief, along with guest judges Chigozie Obioma, assistant professor of English and author of Man Booker Prize finalist “The Fisherman,” and Christine Sneed, an instructor of creative writing at Northwestern University.
The winner of the 2017 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry is Luisa Muradyan Tannahill for “American Radiance.” Tannahill is originally from Odessa, Ukraine, and is currently a doctoral student in poetry at the University of Houston. Luisa received a Master of Fine Arts from Texas State University and is editor of “Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts.” She was the recipient of the 2016 Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Poetry.
The poetry award also includes a $3,000 prize and publication by the University of Nebraska Press.
“American Radiance” was chosen by Dawes and guest judges Shara McCallum and Hilda Raz. McCallum is a professor of English and director of the Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University, and has published several volumes of poetry. Raz is the former editor of “Prairie Schooner” and is now a series editor for poetry at the University of New Mexico Press.
The competition runs from Jan. 15 to March 15, annually. Submission details and past winners are available online.