PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019
The third anthology in the annual series continues Catapult's landmark publishing partnership with PEN America and features the best debut short fiction published in the United States and Canada each year. PEN America will award the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers prize of $2,000 to twelve winners, and Catapult will publish the dozen stories in a gorgeously designed anthology.
Each yearly anthology's winners are selected by three high-profile judges; stories for the 2019 edition will be chosen by Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties), Danielle Evans (Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self), and a third judge yet to be announced.
Unique among comparative titles, each story in the PEN anthology is framed by an introduction by the publication's editor explaining why they nominated the story for the prize, giving writers who aspire to be published insight into the editors' thought processes.
The first two volumes received well-deserved critical praise, and stories from the anthologies were featured in LeVar Burton Reads, Electric Literature, and The Rumpus.
Catapult’s PEN America anthology is aspirational and inspirational for anyone working hard to be a writer, and a rare opportunity for debut short fiction writers to reach a wider audience; it appeals to MFA students, aspiring writers, and other lovers of literary fiction.
This anthology is not only a bold endorsement of fresh, raw, and risky new voices, but also a thoughtfully selected, deliberately arranged compendium for those wanting to know what's next in the literary world.
The support network for, awareness of, and enthusiasm for this book will continue to grow each year; the support 2019 authors, journals, and editors will build on the existing base of 2017 and 2018 contributors.