Spring 2022 Awards Program

Thank you for supporting Ploughshares and for joining us to celebrate the winners of the Ashley Leigh Bourne Prize for Fiction, the John C. Zacharis First Book Award, and the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction, as well as our 2021 Emerging Writer’s Contest winners.

Opening Remarks
Ellen Duffer
has been the managing editor Ploughshares since 2013, and the blog editor since 2014. Her writing has been published in Religion & Politics, Front Porch Journal, Racked, Forbes, and elsewhere.

Writers in Conversation: Ashley Leigh Bourne Prize for Fiction

Introduction by Meghan O’Toole. the 2021 Emerging Writer’s Contest fiction winner. The recipient of LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award, she has an MA in English from Western Illinois University. 

Belle Boggs is the 2019 Ashley Leigh Bourne Prize for Fiction winner, for “In the Shadow of Man” (Summer 2018). She is the author of the nonfiction book, The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood, two books of fiction, Mattaponi Queen, a collection of linked stories, and a novel, The Gulf. She teaches in the MFA program at North Carolina State University, and her work has been supported by fellowships from the NEA, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers’ Conferences.

Vincent Yu is the 2021 Ashley Leigh Bourne Prize for Fiction winner, for “You Just Make Me So Happy” (Fall 2020). A graduate of Yale University, he is the national sales coordinator at W. W. Norton. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Able Muse, the Sierra Nevada Review, and elsewhere. 

Writers in Conversation: John C. Zacharis First Book Award

Introduction by Madeline Vosch, winner of the 2021 Emerging Writer’s Contest nonfiction award. A writer, community college professor, and translator, her fiction and essays have been published in The Offing and Heavy Feather Review, among other places. She was an Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellow in 2020 and 2021.

Xuan Juliana Wang is the 2019 John C. Zacharis First Book Award winner, for Home Remedies (Hogarth, 2019). She was a 2011-2013 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. Born in Heilongjiang, China, she moved with her family to Los Angeles when she was seven.

Jamil Jan Kochai is the 2021 John C. Zacharis First Book Award winner, for 99 Nights in Logar (Viking, 2019). Although he was born in Peshawar, Pakistan, his family is from Logar, Afghanistan. He is a Truman Capote Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In addition to Ploughshares, his work has appeared in A Public Space and the Capilano Review.

Writers in Conversation: Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction
Introduction by Margaret Wright, the winner of the 2021 Emerging Writer’s Contest in poetry. A writer and translator, she is in the MFA program at New York University where she is a Writer in the Public Schools Fellow. Her work can be found in Words Without Borders.

Ladette Randolph has been editor-in-chief of Ploughshares since 2008. She is the editor of two anthologies and the award-winning author of five books: a memoir and four works of fiction. Her most recent novel, Private Way, was published this spring. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Rona Jaffe grant, a Virginia Faulkner Award, and a Nebraska Book Award.

Fei Sun is the 2021 Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction winner, for “Half Bowl of Mengpo’s Soup” (Winter 2021-2022). She was born and raised in Shanghai and first came to the US for college. She studied physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, eventually leaving a PhD program in physics to earn her MFA at Northwestern University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming from Pleiades (winner of the Kinder/Crump Award for Short Fiction), Mississippi Review (short story prize winner), Five Points, among others.

Closing Remarks
Cory Bailey
is an emerging writer and 2019 graduate of Emerson College’s MFA program in fiction. Until recently, he was the Assistant Director of Business and Development at Ploughshares for five years. He now works as Annual Giving Officer for the Boston Athenæum.