O. Henry Award facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

The O. Henry Award is given for especially good short stories. The prize is given each year. The award is named after the American short story author, O. Henry.

The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories is a book that is published each year with that year's twenty best stories from magazines in U.S. and Canadian, written in English.

The award itself is called The O. Henry Award, not the O. Henry Prize, though until recently there were first, second and third prize winners.

History and format

The award was first given in 1919. Money to support the award comes from the Society of Arts and Sciences. As of 2003, the series editor chooses twenty short stories and each one is called an O. Henry Prize Story. All stories originally written in English and published in an American or Canadian magazine can possibly win. Three people become jurors each year. The jurors get the twenty prize stories in text form. The author or publication name are not listed. Each juror works alone and chooses one special short story and comments on it.

The goal of The O. Henry Prize Stories is to improve the art of the short story. Starting in 2003, The O. Henry Prize Stories is dedicated to a writer who has made a major contribution to the art of the short story. The O. Henry Prize Stories 2007 was dedicated to Sherwood Anderson, a U.S. short-story writer. Jurors for 2007 were Charles D'Ambrosio, Lily Tuck, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Laura Furman is now the series editor for The O. Henry Prize Stories.

Partnership with PEN American Center

In 2009 Anchor books announced a change in the series tittle. Anchor is the publisher of The O. Henry Prize Stories. They worked with the PEN American Center and renamed the series the PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories collection. Profits from selling The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories 2009 books went to PEN's Readers & Writers Program. This program sends well-known authors to under served inner-city schools.

In an interview for the Vintage Books and Anchor Books blog, editor Laura Furman called working with PEN a "natural partnership."

Juror favorites, first-prize winners

For more information or complete lists of yearly winners, visit The O. Henry Prize Stories website.

2012
  • Yiyun Li: "Kindness" in A Public Space
  • Alice Munro: "Corrie" in The New Yorker
2011
  • Lynn Freed: "Sunshine"
  • Matthew Neill Null: "Something You Can't Live Without"
  • Jim Shepard: "Your Fate Hurtles Down at You"
2010
2009
2008
  • Alexi Zentner: "Touch" in Tin House
  • Alice Munro: "What Do You Want To Know For?" in The American Scholar
  • William Trevor: "Folie a Deux" in The New Yorker
2007
  • Eddie Chuculate: "Galveston Bay, 1826" in Manoa, Vol 16., No. 2, Winter 2004
  • William Trevor: "The Room" in The New Yorker, May 16, 2005
2006
  • Edward P. Jones: "Old Boys, Old Girls" in The New Yorker, May 3, 2004
  • Deborah Eisenberg: "Window" in Tin House, Issue 19, Spring 2004
  • Alice Munro: "Passion" in The New Yorker, March 22, 2004
2005
  • Ruth Prawer Jhabvala: "Refuge in London" in Zoetrope, Vol. 7, No. 4, Winter 2003
  • Sherman Alexie: "What You Pawn I Will Redeem" in The New Yorker, April 21, 2003
  • Elizabeth Stuckey-French: "Mudlavia" in The Atlantic Monthly, Sept. 2003
2004
  • No edition
2003
  • Denis Johnson: "Train Dreams" in The Paris Review, Summer 2002
  • A. S. Byatt: "The Thing in The Forest" in The New Yorker, June 3, 2002
2002
  • Kevin Brockmeier: "The Ceiling” in McSweeney's, No. 7
2001
  • Mary Swan: "The Deep” in The Malahat Review, No. 131
2000
  • John Edgar Wideman: "Weight” in The Callaloo Journal, Vol. 22, No. 3
1999
  • Peter Baida: "A Nurse's Story” in The Gettysburg Review, Vol. 13, No. 3
1998
  • Lorrie Moore: "People Like That Are the Only People Here” in The New Yorker, January 27, 1997
1997
  • Mary Gordon: "City Life” in Ploughshares, Vol. 22, No. 1
1996
  • Stephen King: "The Man in the Black Suit” in The New Yorker, October 31, 1994
1995
  • Cornelia Nixon: "The Women Come and Go” in New England Review, Spring 1994
1994
  • Alison Baker: "Better Be Ready 'Bout Half Past Eight” in The Atlantic Monthly, January 1993
1993
  • Thom Jones: "The Pugilist at Rest” in The New Yorker, December 2, 1991
1992
  • Cynthia Ozick: "Puttermesser Paired” in The New Yorker, October 8, 1990
1991
  • John Updike: "A Sandstone Farmhouse” in The New Yorker, June 11, 1990
1990
  • Leo E. Litwak: "The Eleventh Edition” in TriQuarterly, No. 74, Winter 1989
1989
  • Ernest J. Finney: "Peacocks” in The Sewanee Review, Winter 1988
1988
1987
  • Louise Erdrich: "Fleur” in Esquire, August 1986
  • Joyce Johnson: "The Children's Wing” in Harper's Magazine, July 1986
1986
1985
  • Stuart Dybek: "Hot Ice” in Antaeus
  • Jane Smiley: "Lily” in The Atlantic Monthly
1984
  • Cynthia Ozick: "Rosa” in The New Yorker, March 21, 1983
  • Gordon Lish: "For Jeromé—with Love and Kisses" in "The Antioch Review", Summer 1983, 1984
1983
  • Raymond Carver: "A Small, Good Thing” in Ploughshares, Vol. 8, Nos. 2 & 3
1982
  • Susan Kenney: "Facing Front” in Epoch, Winter 1980
1981
  • Cynthia Ozick: "The Shawl” in The New Yorker, May 26, 1980
1980
  • Saul Bellow: "A Silver Dish” in The New Yorker, September 25, 1978
1979
  • Gordon Weaver: "Getting Serious” in The Sewanee Review, Fall 1977
  • Anne Leaton: "The Passion of Marco Z" in Transatlantic Review, 55/56
1978
  • Woody Allen: "The Kugelmass Episode” in The New Yorker, May 2, 1977
1977
  • Shirley Hazzard: "A Long Story Short” in The New Yorker, July 26, 1976
  • Ella Leffland: "Last Courtesies” in Harper's Magazine, July 1976
1976
  • Harold Brodkey: "His Son in His Arms, in Light, Aloft” in Esquire, August 1975
1975
  • Harold Brodkey: "A Story in an Almost Classical Mode” in The New Yorker, September 17, 1973
  • Cynthia Ozick: "Usurpation (Other People's Stories)” in Esquire, May 1974
1974
  • Renata Adler: "Brownstone” in The New Yorker, January 27, 1973
1973
1972
  • John Batki: "Strange-Dreaming Charlie, Cow-Eyed Charlie” in The New Yorker, March 20, 1971
1971
  • Florence M Hecht: "Twin Bed Bridge” in The Atlantic Monthly, May 1970
1970
  • Robert Hemenway: "The Girl Who Sang with the Beatles” in The New Yorker, January 11, 1969
1969
  • Bernard Malamud: "Man in the Drawer” in The Atlantic Monthly, April 1968
1968
  • Eudora Welty: "The Demonstrators” in The New Yorker, November 26, 1966
1967
1966
  • John Updike: "The Bulgarian Poetess” in The New Yorker, March 13, 1965
1965
1964
  • John Cheever: "The Embarkment for Cythera” in The New Yorker, November 3, 1962
1963
1962
  • Katherine Anne Porter: "Holiday” in The Atlantic Monthly, December 1960
1961
  • Tillie Olsen: "Tell Me a Riddle” in New World Writing, No. 16
1960
  • Lawrence Sargent Hall: "The Ledge” in The Hudson Review, Winter, 1958–59
1959
  • Peter Taylor: "Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time” in The Kenyon Review
1958
1957
1956
  • John Cheever: "The Country Husband” in The New Yorker
1955
  • Jean Stafford: "In the Zoo” in The New Yorker
1954
  • Thomas Mabry: "The Indian Feather” in The Sewanee Review
1951
  • Harris Downey: "The Hunters” in Epoch
1950
  • Wallace Stegner: "The Blue-Winged Teal” in Harper's Magazine
1949
1948
1947
  • John Bell Clayton: "The White Circle” in Harper's Magazine
1946
  • John Mayo Goss: "Bird Song” in The Atlantic Monthly
1945
  • Walter Van Tilburg Clark: "The Wind and the Snow of Winter” in The Yale Review
1944
  • Irwin Shaw: "Walking Wounded” in The New Yorker
1943
1942
1941
  • Kay Boyle: "Defeat” in The New Yorker
1940
  • Stephen Vincent Benét: "Freedom's a Hard-Bought Thing” in The Saturday Evening Post
1939
1938
  • Albert Maltz: "The Happiest Man on Earth” in Harper's Magazine
1937
  • Stephen Vincent Benét: "The Devil and Daniel Webster” in The Saturday Evening Post
1936
  • James Gould Cozzens: "Total Stranger” in The Saturday Evening Post, February 15, 1936
1935
  • Kay Boyle: "The White Horses of Vienna” in Harper's Magazine
1934
  • Louis Paul: "No More Trouble for Jedwick” in Esquire
1933
  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: "Gal Young Un” in Harper's Magazine, June & July 1932
1932
  • Stephen Vincent Benét: "An End to Dreams” in Pictorial Review, February 1932
1931
  • Wilbur Daniel Steele: "Can't Cross Jordan by Myself” in Pictorial Review
1930
  • W. R. Burnett: "Dressing-Up” in Harper's Magazine, November 1929
  • William H. John: "Neither Jew nor Greek” in Century Magazine, August 1929
1929
1928
  • Walter Duranty: "The Parrot” in Redbook, March 1928
1927
  • Roark Bradford: "Child of God” in Harper's Magazine, April 1927
1926
  • Wilbur Daniel Steele: "Bubbles” in Harper's Magazine
1925
  • Julian Street: "Mr. Bisbee's Princess” in Redbook, May 1925
1924
  • Inez Haynes Irwin: "The Spring Flight” in McCall's, June 1924
1923
  • Edgar Valentine Smith: "Prelude” in Harper's Magazine, May 1923
1922
  • Irvin S. Cobb: "Snake Doctor” in Cosmopolitan, November 1922
1921
  • Edison Marshall: "The Heart of Little Shikara” in Everybody's Magazine, January 1921
1920
  • Maxwell Struthers Burt: "Each in His Generation” in Scribner's Magazine, July 1920
1919
  • Margaret Prescott Montague: "England to America” in The Atlantic Monthly, September 1918

O. Henry Award Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.