This annual prize carries a $10,000 award for an unpublished novel, collection of short stories, memoir, or essay collection. The winner will be offered a publishing contract with a new imprint at Columbus State University, DLJ Books.

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The ten finalists for 2020
The Donald L. Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence!

We’re thrilled to announce the ten finalists for 2020 for the Donald L. Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence.  We want to thank all of the entrants; it has been a pleasure seeing how much strong writing there is in the world.

The ten finalists for 2020, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Jacob M. Appel, “One Extremity Too Many,” stories
  • Leslee Becker, “Cold River City,” a novel
  • David Borofka, “Christmas in Jonestown,” stories
  • George Critchlow, “Chiaroscuro: Forty Years and Counting,” a memoir
  • Lucy Ferris, “Foreign Chimes,” stories
  • Michelle Herman, “Close-Up,” a novel
  • Allison Hong Merrill, “Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops,” a memoir 
  • Lee Reilly, “Someone to Watch Over Us,” a memoir 
  • E.G. Silverman, “Be My Own Father,” a novel
  • Maureen Stanton, “The Human Soup: Essays and Investigations,” essays

The field of ten will be narrowed down to five within three weeks, and the final five entries will be sent on to our final judge, Rosellen Brown.  Congratulations to the ten finalists!

We aren’t able to provide individual comments about work that was entered for the prize.   This would open a floodgate, and create more labor than any prize could keep up with.  Several entries were withdrawn during the course of our reading because their authors found publishers for their work, and we hope that you aren’t discouraged if you aren’t one of the finalists.  For those of you who haven’t been writing for too long, we encourage you to persist, and to never measure the success of your career by one prize or contest alone.

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