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A Roundtable With the PEN America Best Debut Short Stories Judges: Sabrina Orah Mark, Emily Nemens, and Deesha Philyaw
Many of the stories felt written on the edge of an edge of an edge of a world.
Catapult: Were there particular things you were looking for as you read the nominated stories?
Catapult: Were there any big surprises?
Catapult: Did you notice any recurring patterns/themes/subjects among the stories you read? If so, do the final selections reflect those larger patterns/themes, or push against them in some way?
Catapult: What was it like to come together as a group to discuss and decide on the twelve winning stories?
Catapult: Can you share a bit about your first published pieces, and which ones felt like big breaks?
pms: poem.memory.storyThe New York TimesThe Washington Post
Esquirecould The Cactus League
Catapult: What words of advice or encouragement would you share with this year’s winners, and to early-career writers more broadly?
More by this author
Learn about Mathapelo Mofokeng’s short story “The Strong-Strong Winds,” which was selected for ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021.’
“The most innocent thing you can do is want to create”: Robert J. Dau Prize Winner Isaac Hughes Green
Learn about Isaac Hughes Green’s short story “The First Time I Said It,” which was selected for ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021.’
Learn about Amy Haejung’s short story “Maria,” which was selected for ‘Best Debut Short Stories 2021.’