My most recent short story collection Months and Seasons is up for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award. It's a prize from Ireland, the most lucrative short story award around, which Jhumpa Lahiri won last year for Unaccustomed Earth.
Leading names on this year's list include Booker winner Kazuo Ishiguro, Orange Prize winner Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, winner of the (British) National Short Story Award and former judge for the Frank O'Connor Award James Lasdun, multiple prize-winning poet Sean O'Brien and previously short-listed authors Philip O Ceallaigh and Charlotte Grimshaw. And there I am.
You can see the list here: http://www.munsterlit.ie/FOC%20Award%20page.html.
At €35,000 the award is the largest in the world for the short story form and monetarily is greater than the Costa Book of the Year Award and the Orange Prize.
The shortlist of six will be decided in late June with the winner announced on September 20th at the close of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Festival in Cork.
The judges are Lloren A. Foster, an Assistant Professor of English at Hampton University; Milka Jankowska who co-ordinates the International Short Story Festival in Wroclaw, Poland; and award-winning Irish author Vincent McDonnell.
Months and Seasons contains a dozen stories. With a combination of main characters from young to old and with drama and humor, the tales pursue such people as a supermodel who awakens after open-heart surgery, a famous playwright who faces a firestorm consuming the landscape, a reluctant man who attends a Halloween party as Dracula, and a New Yorker who thinks she's a chicken.
Marc Schuster, in his review for Small Press Reviews, wrote, "The stories in Months and Seasons are like potato chips: you can't read just one. Just a few sentences into the first piece, ‘Dracula Slinks into the Night,' I immediately felt at home in the world Meeks has created."
Gary Roen, in his review in the Midwest Book Review, said, "With this collection, Christopher Meeks proves there is an audience for short stories. His characters are well defined with problems that they can't resolve. There are twelve tales that reveal a lot about our present society. Meeks's stories reminded me of those of John Cheever."
Grady Harp, one of ten leading reviewers on Amazon.com, wrote, "For those readers fortunate enough to have read Christopher Meeks's first short story collection, The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea, and discovered the idiosyncrasies of Meeks's writing style and content, rest assured that this new collection, Months and Seasons, not only will not disappoint, but also it will provide further proof that we have a superior writer of the genre in our presence."
For a taste of one story, go to
My first book of fiction, the short story collection The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea, came out in 2006, a collection that Entertainment Weekly mentioned, saying, "A collection so stunning...that I could not help but move on to the next story. My very recent and well-reviewed first novel, The Brightest Moon of the Century, arrived in March.
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