CHICAGO, June 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Chicago Tribune has announced that Erika Schmidt is the winner of the 2013 Nelson Algren Award for short fiction for her entry, "Story About a Family."
The award, named in honor of the iconic Chicago author best known for "The Man With the Golden Arm" and "Chicago, City on the Make," carries a $3,500 cash prize. Four finalists and five runners-up also receive award money.
"To honor the transformative powers of fiction, the Tribune has sponsored the annual Nelson Algren Awards for close to three decades," said Elizabeth Taylor, the Chicago Tribune's literary editor. "We can boast that we've published some of the first work of authors like Louise Erdrich, who have gone on to remarkable literary careers."
This contest raises awareness about high-quality short fiction, she said. "We're making a statement about the importance of fiction to illuminate the world, to lead us to places we've never been, along paths we might be afraid to travel alone," Taylor said.
The winner was announced at the 29th annual Chicago Tribune Printers Row Lit Fest— the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest.
Schmidt is a native of Michigan City, Ind., and now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a Northwestern graudate, she studied writing under Brian Bouldrey, John Keene, Mary Kinzie and Christian Wiman and at StoryStudio Chicago with Baird Harper and Lee Strickland; and most recently with Lauren Ludwig. Her other interests include film, television and acting.
This year, there were more than 1,000 entries. The finalists were Andrew Payton, for "Potomac"; Francesca McLaughlin, for "Strayers"; Mary Kate Flannery, for "The Explanation of Accidents," and Joe Flood for "The Wallace Line." Runners-up include: Edward Hamlin, for "The Release"; Viet Dinh, for "The Three Deaths of Remy Bonaventure"; Karenmary Penn, for "Trespasses"; Jane Sadusky, for "His Mother's Eyes"; and Delia O'Hara, for "Jonah."
The Algren competition consistently draws memorable works. Past winners and finalists have been published as part of the Printers Row Fiction series. Those stories, printed in a standalone booklet perfect for collecting, are part of the Chicago Tribune's Printers Row membership program, which also includes a weekly literary journal, special access to author events and other benefits. The 2013 Algren winners and finalists will appear in future Printers Row Fiction editions.
This year's Lit Fest was sponsored by Chicago Public Library, Navy Pier, Acura, C-SPAN2 Book TV, Columbia College Chicago, Disney & Pixar and Big Rig Books.
Chicago Tribune operates Printers Row Lit Fest as part of the company's ongoing commitment to the written word and its support of literacy. For more information about the Lit Fest and a complete list of programs and exhibitors go to www.printersrowlitfest.org
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SOURCE Chicago Tribune Media Group