Awards: Wallant Winner; Sunday Times EFG Short Story; PEN/Barber Freedom to Write

Margot Singer won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for her novel Underground Fugue (Melville House). Presented by the University of Hartford's Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, the award is given to "a Jewish writer, preferably unrecognized, whose published work of fiction is deemed to have significance for the American Jew."

Avinoam J. Patt, associate director of the Greenberg Center, said he and the other judges have "followed Margot's work since the publication of her collection of short stories, The Pale of the Settlement, and we were encouraged to see her take the leap to becoming the novelist who brought such intriguing characters to life. We are delighted to bring recognition to Margot, who is a highly talented writer and hope the award brings more awareness of her excellent work to broader audiences."

Rachel Hall was runner-up for her debut story collection, Heirlooms. Both authors will be honored at an awards ceremony May 2 in West Hartford, Conn., as part of the Mandell JCC Book Festival series.


Some 15 authors have been included in the longlist for the £30,000 ($41,655) Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, which can be seen here. A shortlist will be announced March 18, and the winner named will be announced at a gala dinner in London April 26.


This year's PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award, given annually to a writer or writers in prison, will go to Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, reporters from Myanmar who documented ethnic violence and atrocities carried out by Myanmar's military.

While working for Reuters, the two journalists investigated the destruction of Inn Din village and the execution of 10 Rohingya villagers at the hands of the Myanmar military. Their work contributed to an expose of the massacre published by Reuters earlier this month. They were arrested on "spurious charges under Myanmar's Official Secrets Act" in December 2017 and face sentences of up to 14 years in prison.

Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo will be honored on May 22 at the 2018 PEN America Literary Gala. Past recipients of the Freedom to Write Award include Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo.

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