I picked up the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2010 with a great deal of excitement and anticipation. On the whole, I have been disappointed. There were a few stories in the collection that did stand out in excellence: Birch Memorial by Preeta Samarasan and Obit by Ted Sanders. I found Obit to be particularly moving. Another of the authors had one truly genius paragraph, but I can't for the life of me recall which one.
Overall, I have to say that I believe it was a slow year for short stories. I have purchased the same series with the same editor previously and been extremely satisfied, but I do believe short stories can be like wine. It can be a bad year or a good year.
As for myself, I have begun attempting to write 500 words a day with the idea that I will be able to complete a collection of short stories within a year. My main difficulty as a writer seems to be speed, so I am hoping this will be a transformative exercise for me.