Awards to Ploughshares Writers

Our congratulations to the following Ploughshares writers who work has been selected for these anthologies:

the o. henry prize stories 2013Best Stories: Jamie Quatro’s story “Sinkhole,” from the Spring 2012 issue edited by Nick Flynn, will appear in O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, selected by a prize jury of Lauren Groff, Edith Pearlman, and Jim Shepard. The anthology is due out September 2013, with Laura Furman as the series editor.

Best Stories Notables: Steve Almond’s story “Gondwana,” Matthew Neill Null’s story “Telemetry,” Timothy Schaffert’s Ploughshares Solo “Lady of the Burlesque Ballet,” and Megan Mayhew Bergman’s Ploughshares Solo “Phoenix” were named as notables by The Best American Stories 2013. The anthology was released this month, with Elizabeth Strout as the guest editor and Heidi Pitlor as the series editor.

Best Essays: Charles Baxter’s essay, “What Happens in Hell,” from the Fall 2012 issue edited by Patricia Hampl, has been selected for The Best American Essays 2013. The anthology was released this month, with Cheryl Strayed as the guest editor and Robert Atwan as the series editor.

bae2013Best Essays Notables: Mary Gordon’s essay “The Taste of Almonds,” was named as a notable by The Best American Essays 2013.

Best Poetry:  Major Jackson’s poem “Why I Write Poetry,” from the  Spring 2012 issue edited by Nick Flynn, has been selected for The Best American Poetry 2013. The anthology was released in September 2013, with Denise Duhamel as the guest editor and David Lehman as the series editor.

Pushcart: Eric Fair’s essay “Consequence” and Claudia Rankine’s poem “Excerpt from That Once Were Beautiful Children,” which both appeared in the Spring 2012 issue edited by Nick Flynn, and Charles Baxter’s essay, “What Happens in Hell,” from the Fall 2012 issue edited by Patricia Hampl, have been selected for The Pushcart Prize XXXVIII: Best of the Small Presses, which is due out November 2013 from Bill Henderson’s Pushcart Press.

 

On Writing “Telemetry,” by Matthew Neill Null

Matthew Neill Null’s story, “Telemetry,” appears in our Winter 2012/13 issue, edited by Ladette Randolph and John Skoyles.

About ten years ago, I backpacked onto this mountain, the site of a logging ghost town, to do some fishing.  I hadn’t been there before and didn’t realize how low and drought-stricken the river would be.  The fishing was awful.  You have this Field & Stream fantasy that the further you go from the roads, the better the fishing will be—but for the most part I’ve found the opposite to be true.  The people know where the trout are.  Especially in West Virginia, where there isn’t anything to do but fish and hunt.  Ten dirty trucks in the Forest Service turnaround is usually the best sign.  Anyway, everyone else knew better.  The only other people up there was a group of three guys, graduate students from the state university.  They had been there for weeks, the wear had started to show.  Like all grad students, they were eminently bored, above all with their own work.  I mean, that ingrained boredom that has a solidity, like sculpture, like yard art.  It was a seven-mile hike out, much of it on a heel-splitting railroad grade, and I wasn’t ready to leave, so I spent some time talking with them about their research.  (They had a gate-key to a private road.  I hoped they would offer me a ride off the mountain.  They easily deflected my hints, but were friendly about it.)  All else is fiction.  (Maybe I was asking myself, What could liven up this scene?)