Kristin Fitzpatrick of Alameda, California, is the winner of the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize for her short story, “Queen City Playhouse.”
Final judge Martin Clark, the acclaimed author of three best -selling and widely acclaimed novels, said of her story, “Great story, amazing characters, excellent conceit, beautiful, moving ending, nice turns of phrase…”
Fitzpatrick holds an MFA from CSU Fresno. In 2009-2010 she was the writer-in-residence at The Seven Hills School in Cincinnati. Her fiction appears in Colorado Review and is forthcoming in The Southeast Review. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where she is at work on a novel. Fitzpatrick will win $1.000 for her story, which will be considered for publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review, as will the stories named honorable mentions.
Clark, a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Virginia Law School who serves as a circuit court judge in Virginia when he is not writing novels, named two honorable mentions. The first is Lisa Gornick of New York City for her story “Eleanor,” of which Clark said, “Simply put, a powerful story, well told.” Gornick is a graduate of Princeton and holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Yale. She is a graduate of the writing program at N.Y.U. and serves on the faculty of the Creative Writing Program at Fordham. She is the author of a novel, A Private Sorcery (Algonquin), and her short stories have appeared in numerous journals.
The second honorable mention went to “Gone” by Barbara Modrack of Brighton, MI. Clark said, “…it took an important theme that’s been written to death and got it just right, made it fresh and compelling…” Modrack is the editor of the Grand Ledge Independent and Delta-Waverly Community News, two weekly newspapers. Her short stories have been published in Seventeen, Sassy, and the Alaska Quarterly Review.
There were 140 stories entered in this year’s competition, the most in its history. Contest coordinator Tony Abbott sent 43 stories to preliminary judge David Radavich of Charlotte, who then forwarded 18 stories to Clark. Among those 18, Radavich selected six finalists in addition to the three winners: Cara Achterberg of New Freedom, PA, for “I’m Not Her”; Jennifer Adams of Birchrunville, PA, for “Girl on a Balcony”; Virginia Hudson of Raleigh, NC, for “Silo”; Gary Powell of Cornelius, NC, for “Fast Trains”; Kirk Wilson of Austin, TX, for “The Coldest Day”; and Ward Brian Zimmerman of Boone, NC, for “The Heart of Darkness.”
The nonprofit North Carolina Writers’ Network is the state’s oldest and largest literary arts services organization devoted to writers at all stages of development. For additional information, visit http://www.ncwriters.org.