2022 Fiction Winner
Susan Neville is the author of essays and stories inspired by the history, culture, and people of Indiana. Her first collection of short fiction, Invention of Flight, won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction from the University of Georgia and her second collection, In the House of Blue Lights, won the Richard Sullivan Prize from Notre Dame University Press. It was named one of the best books of 1998 by The Chicago Tribune. The Town of Whispering Dolls won the Catherine Doctorow Award for Short Fiction from Fiction Collective 2. Kirkus Reviews calls the book “haunted and haunting,” “searing,” and “Rust Belt stories that reject the label ‘flyover country’ with arresting strangeness.” Novelist Antonya Nelson writes that “The voices in these stories are eloquent and profound, personal and national, serving as a chorus, singing the complex song of loss and praise, the elegy.” All 19 stories take place in a mythical town somewhere south of Indianapolis.
In addition to books of fiction, she is the author of seven works of creative nonfiction and hybrid prose including Fabrication, a collection of lyric essays about Indiana factories; Into the Fire, an ebook about women in the Ku Klux Klan, published as a Ploughshares Solo; and Indiana Winter. She won the inaugural Glick Authors Award in the regional author category in 2009, and her collection of essays Sailing the Inland Sea was named the Best Book of Indiana in the nonfiction category from the Indiana Center for the Book in 2008. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and the winner of two Pushcart Prize awards. Neville graduated from North Central High School in Indianapolis, DePauw University, Bowling Green State University, and in 2021 retired from teaching at Butler University after 38 years. She has not retired from writing, and recent essays and stories have appeared in the North American Review, Missouri Review, Image, Diagram, Southwest Review, and other journals. She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two large dogs. Her brother, children, grandchildren, several cousins, and their families live nearby.