Michael Chin (MFA ’16) has just been awarded the 2015 James Knudsen Prize in Fiction for his short story “Practical Men.” The prize was selected by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward.
“This piece was such a pleasure to read,” Ms. Ward wrote of her selection. “The characters are sharply drawn and sympathetic. The insular, homophobic world that they live in is all too familiar, but is made strange and singularly unique through the power of the detail and the rendering of that world.”
The news of his selection, Mike says, was a “wonderful validation” of his efforts. He credits his MFA cohort for encouraging him along the way: “[I] honestly don’t know if I would have submitted the story to contests were it not for the engaging and encouraging community of writers I’ve been able to work with at here OSU.”
The prize comes with a $1,000 award, and publication of the winning story in the spring issue (Issue 63) of the University of New Orleans’ literary journal Bayou.
When asked where his fiction will go next, Mike says that he’s working on a larger collection: “I have an ongoing project of linked stories about circus performers and how they came to the circus.” He’s also drafting a new story about identity and community theater.