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February 7, 2008

Drue Heinz lit prize awarded

Anthony Varallo has been named the 28th winner of the annual Drue Heinz Literature Prize, which recognizes writers of short fiction. Manuscripts are judged anonymously by nationally known writers.

Varallo’s manuscript, “Out Loud,” was selected by author Scott Turow from nearly 300 entries. The collection will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press this fall. The prize includes an award of $15,000.

Varallo, a Pennsylvania native who resides in Charleston, S. C., is an assistant professor of English at the College of Charleston and the fiction editor for the publication Crazyhorse.

He received his BA from the University of Delaware, his MFA from the University of Iowa/Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Turow said, “The stories in ‘Out Loud’ are just awfully damn good. They are the work of a very talented and accomplished writer. As a group, they seem to be runners off the same root themes and thus, as you’d hope, the book is even greater that the sum of its parts.”

Varallo explained that the stories are driven by “a love of the ordinary life. Disappointment, loss and longing appear in the periphery of these stories, but each is essentially hopeful, rendered with a light touch, humor and grace.”

His first collection of short stories, “This Day in History,” won the 2005 John Simmons Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the 2006 Paterson Fiction Prize.

His stories have appeared in Epoch, Story Quarterly, New England Review, Harvard Review and Shenandoah, among others. He also has received an NEA Fellowship in Literature.

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