NORTH CAROLINA--"That Other Story" by Laurel Ferejohn of Durham, NC, is the winner of the 2012 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network. The Wolfe Prize awards $1,000 to the author of the winning story.
Final judge Josephine Humphreys selected Ferejohn’s story from eleven finalists sent to her by preliminary judge David Radavich of Charlotte. Humphreys, one of the South's most distinguished novelists, said Ferejohn’s story “smoothly accomplishes fiction's number one goal, that is, to create a believable world, using all the tools available: narrative voice, character, place, dialogue, action. The result is a fictional texture that's strong and convincing."
Ferejohn is an independent editor working with literary and scholarly journals. She is a recipient of the 2012 Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council, with support from the North Carolina Arts Council.
Humphreys selected "Sanctuary" by Elizabeth Brownrigg, also of Durham, as the first honorable mention, praising the story for "its distinctive voice and strong writing.... It's a thought-provoking story." Brownrigg received her MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College, and is the author of two novels, Falling to Earth (1998) and The Woman Who Loved War (2005).
NCWN members Kathryn Shaver of Louisville, KY, and Kermit Turner of Hickory, NC, shared the second honorable mention. Of Shaver's story, "The Fourth Monkey," Humphreys wrote, "The narrative voice is dignified, earnest, sympathetic, and the plot progresses in surprising but believable ways." And of Turner's story, "Pool," she said, "I was struck by the way the writer gradually opens a view onto the past of the main character...in a way that's both unexpected and satisfying."
Humphreys, the author of Dreams of Sleep, Rich in Love, The Fireman's Fair, and Nowhere Else on Earth, said of all these stories, "I'd like to add that I was impressed by all four of these submissions. I know a story's good when I finish reading and feel that I've received a gift."
The seven other finalists were "Mr. Potato Head" by Leah Rachel Berkowitz of Durham, NC; "Revival" by Debra Efird of Harrisburg, NC; "Rules" by Heloise Jones of Jacksonville, FL; "Blind Fish" by Amanda Pauley of Elliston, VA; "Crying in Italian" by Virginia Pye of Richmond, VA; "Tea in Chesapeake" and "Dear John," both by Michael Twist of Boring, OR.
The winning story and the three honorable mentions will be considered for publication by the Thomas Wolfe Review.