|On January 15, 2004, Larry Dark, well known for serving as series editor of the annual Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards collections from 1997 to 2002, announced The Story Prize, a newly established annual book award backed by a private donor. The prize of $20,000 to an author of an original book-length work of short fiction is to be the richest annual book award in the United States. Two additional books selected as finalists will receive $1,000 awards. Collections published in 2004 will first be considered, with three finalists announced in December and a winner presented at an awards ceremony and reading in January of 2005.
Dark, director of the prize, and advisory board member Julie Lindsey will select three finalists from among books entered in the competition. Three independent judges will then choose the winner from among the finalists. In a release to the press, Dark said, In creating this award, we want to recognize outstanding short fiction collections, which often get lost in the shuffle when considered against novels for the other annual book awards.
The first awards ceremony for The Story Prize will be open to the public and held at Symphony Space in New York City on January 26, 2005 as part of Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story, a live reading series in which prominent stage and screen actors give voice to classic and contemporary short stories.