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Cover Photo: This graphic is a close-up of the ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ book cover, and includes the words "A conversation with Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Heather Aruffo" along with the author's headshot
A Conversation with ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021 Author’ Heather Aruffo

“I think medical terminology can be incredibly beautiful and I love integrating it into my work.”

Oct 20, 2021
Cover Photo: This graphic is a close-up of the ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ book cover, and includes the words "A conversation with Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Lindsay Ferguson" along with the author's headshot
A Conversation with ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ Author Lindsay Ferguson

“Writing at a slow pace—or along the contours of what life personally looks like for you—is still writing.”

Oct 14, 2021
Cover Photo: This graphic is a close-up of the ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ book cover, and includes the words "A conversation with Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Alberto Reyes Morgan" along with the author's headshot
A Conversation with ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ Author Alberto Reyes Morgan

“Every story has a shape, you just have to figure out what it is and then let it be that shape, man.”

Oct 07, 2021
Cover Photo: This graphic is a close-up of the ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ book cover, and includes the words "A conversation with Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Khaddafina Mbabazi " along with the author's headshot
A Conversation with ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ Author Khaddafina Mbabazi

“I come from a culture that deifies the established and gatekeeps everything on their behalf. So it makes me glad that there are in fact spaces in the world where professional youth is celebrated.”

Sep 27, 2021
Cover Photo: This graphic is a close-up of the ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ book cover, and includes the words "A conversation with Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Qianze Zang" along with the author's headshot
A Conversation with ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ Author Qianze Zhang

“Maybe being in a disorganized, overstimulated state of mind helped me evoke the anxiety of being on the internet while undergoing a process of ruthless self-evaluation.”

Sep 21, 2021
Cover Photo: This graphic is a close-up of the ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ book cover, and includes the words "A conversation with Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Stanley Patrick Stocker" along with the author's headshot
Cover Photo: This graphic is a close-up of the ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ book cover, and includes the words "A conversation with Robert J. Dau Prize Winnder Mackenzie McGee" along with the author's headshot
A Conversation with ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ Author Mackenzie McGee

“Speculative fiction at its best is outlandish at first glance, but ends up feeling immediate. That challenge is often what gets me writing—I want to take an absurd premise and see how deep it can go.”

Aug 31, 2021
Cover Photo: This graphic is a close-up of the ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ book cover, and includes the words "A conversation with Robert J. Dau Prize Winnder Pardeep Toor" along with the author's headshot
A Conversation with ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021’ Author Pardeep Toor

“Like any career, task, or pursuit, writing is laborious. You have to show up to work every day. Often you have a bad or uninspiring day at work and that’s fine because you get to work again tomorrow.”

Aug 24, 2021
Cover Photo: A gold, shiny PEN America Literary Awards symbol against a blue and green background. Next to that, a photo of author Shannon Sanders, smiling in a very heartwarming way.
A Conversation With Best Debut Short Stories 2020 Author Shannon Sanders

“Every interaction between adult siblings presents a chance to get more clarity about the past. Hopefully, we’re able to seize at least some of these chances.”

Oct 09, 2020
Cover Photo: A Conversation With Best Debut Short Stories 2020 Author Matthew Jeffrey Vegari by Catapult Books
A Conversation With Best Debut Short Stories 2020 Author Matthew Jeffrey Vegari

“I wrote much of the story listening to jazz, including the title song, for inspiration on how to shift without imposing too much of a structure.”

Oct 06, 2020