Rochester, New York –– Mark Polanzak is the winner of the eighth annual BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize for his collection, The OK End of Funny Town. The collection was selected from over 350 submissions by BOA Publisher Peter Conners. Polanzak will receive a $1,000 honorarium and book publication by BOA Editions, Ltd. within the American Reader Series in spring 2020.
“BOA Editions' literary fiction is innovative and it is remarkable. I have been a fan for years. I am thrilled—and still a little unconvinced—that I have won their Short Fiction Prize,” Polanzak said.
Of the collection, Peter Conners says: “The OK End of Funny Town is filled with impossible promises – ‘Meet Fabulous Strangers! Travel to Fantastic Places! Witness Magical Things! Experience Surreal Times!’ – that Mark Polanzak somehow, nevertheless, fulfills. It is in that process of fulfilling fantasies that the true richness of his writing reveals itself: Yes, you have a grant-wishing genie, but what should you request? Yes, you have a personal robot to meet all your needs, but what if the relationship sours and you need to break up? What if the presence of that giant who wandered into your hometown becomes tedious and annoying? Polanzak excavates the dark layer between our secret desires and the hidden dangers of having our wishes fulfilled. Once we have it all, what comes next? ‘We sit there, still, a little proud, a little foolish. We realize we have to leave this place and we hug. Hug and cry and get scared for the future.’”
Peter Conners also selected a finalist and two semi-finalists for this year’s BOA Short Fiction Prize:
Lost in the Forest of Mechanical Birds: Stories and a Novella by Christian Moody
Water Instead of Land by Meredith Luby
What Will You Give by Allen Kesten
Mark Polanzak is the author of the hybrid fiction/memoir POP! (Stillhouse, 2016). His stories have appeared in The Southern Review, The American Scholar, and Best American Nonrequired Reading. He is a founding editor for draft: the journal of process and a contributor to the podcast The Fail Safe. A graduate of the University of Arizona’s MFA program in fiction, Mark teaches writing and literature at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He lives in Salem, Massachusetts.
BOA Editions will accept manuscripts for the ninth annual BOA Short Fiction Prize between April 1 and May 31, 2019.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a manuscript for this year's Short Fiction Prize!