We're pleased to announce the finalists for The 2016 Story Prize

Three outstanding books published in 2016, chosen from 106 entries representing 72 different publishers or imprints.


For a Little While by Rick Bass collects seven new stories and eighteen selected from previous collections, that together represent the work of one of the most skillful contemporary practitioners of the short story form. The eleven stories in Anna Noyes's Goodnight, Beautiful Women, set in coastal Maine, span the lives of people struggling to get by and those from more privileged circumstances, who nonetheless face obstacles of their own. Helen Maryles Shankman's collection, They Were Like Family to Me, adds layers of magical realism to eight stories that focus on Włodowa, an occupied town in Poland during World War II, offering the points of view of German officers, Jews, Poles, and modern day descendants of some of these characters.


Rick Bass is the author of For a Little While, which features seven new stories and eighteen stories selected from previous collections. He has published fourteen works of fiction and  sixteen nonfiction books. He grew up in Houston, worked as a petroleum geologist in Jackson, Mississippi, and lives with his family in the remote Yaak Valley of Montana, where he works to protect his adopted home from roads and logging. He has received several O. Henry Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes, awards from the Texas Institute of Letters, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, among other honors, along with having several stories included in The Best American Short Stories. His stories, articles, and essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, GQ, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Tin House, Zoetrope, Orion, and numerous other periodicals. He was a finalist for The Story Prize for books published in 2006 for  | 


Anna Noyes is the author of the debut story collection Goodnight, Beautiful Women, which was named a New York Times Editors' Choice. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her fiction has appeared in Vice, A Public Space, Guernica, and other publications. She has received the Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellowship, the James Merrill House Fellowship, and the Lighthouse Works Fellowship, and has served as writer-in-residence at the Polli Talu Arts Center in Estonia. Goodnight, Beautiful Women was awarded the 2013 Henfield Prize for Fiction and the 2016 Lotos Foundation Prize. It is a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, an Amazon Best Book of the Month (Literature and Fiction), and an Indie Next Great Reads pick. Noyes was raised in Downeast Maine.

Helen Maryles Shankman is the author of They Were Like Family to Me (published in hardcover as In the Land of Armadillos) and a novel, The Color of Light. Her stories have been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes and have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Gargoyle, Cream City Review, 2 Bridges Review, and other publications. She is also a classically trained artist and divides her creative time between writing and painting. She lives in New Jersey, with her husband and four children.

This year's judges—former National Book Awards Executive Director Harold Augenbraum, author Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, and Milwaukee bookseller Daniel Goldin—will decide the outcome.

The annual award event will take place at the New School’s Auditorium at 66 West 12 Street in New York City at 7:30 p.m. on Wed., March 8. Tickets cost $14. That night, Bass, Noyes, and Shankman will read from and discuss their work on-stage with the director of The Story Prize, Larry Dark. At the end of the event, the founder of The Story Prize, Julie Lindsey, will announce the winner and present that author with $20,000 along with an engraved silver bowl. The two runners-up will each receive $5,000.