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Announcing the 2018 Blue Light Books Prize Winner

We are thrilled to share that prize judge Samrat Upadhyay has selected Fierce Pretty Things by Tom Howard as the winner of the 2018 Blue Light Books Prize! We received a record number of submissions to this year’s prize and are honored to have read so many powerful story collections. Fierce Pretty Things will be published by Indiana University Press in 2018 as part of the Blue Light Books Series, which includes previous prize-winning collections What My Last Man Did by Andrea Lewis and Girl with Death Mask by Jenn Givhan.

2018 Blue Light Books Prize Winner


by Tom Howard

Samrat Upadhyay, author of Mad Country, says about the winning story collection: “Fierce Pretty Things won me over, fiercely, with characters who demonstrate unyielding love and pizzazz even as life comes at them hard.  The collection features mostly young protagonists, but they exude ancient wisdom as they traverse the landscapes of boardwalks and school playgrounds and drive-in movie theaters and basement magic chests. Each sentence, tight and beautiful, reads like a proof of what powerful fiction can do.  And the humor—my god!—when was the last time I laughed so unashamedly while reading a book?”

And congratulations to prize finalists…

No Home In This World Anymore by Jill Logan

This. This. This. Is. Love. Love. Love. by Jennifer Wortman


Interested in more publishing opportunities with IR / IU Press? The inaugural Don Belton Fiction Reading Period is open April 15 – May 31. Send fiction manuscripts up to 80,000 words for a chance to win $1,000 and publication.