Columbus State University announced Thursday the five finalists for the inaugural Donald L. Jordan Prize for Literary Excellence. Offering a prize of $10,000, the competition received entries from hundreds of authors nationally and internationally – some as far as Australia and England. The below five finalists were selected by Dr. Allen Gee, who serves as editor of DLJ Books and as the Donald L. Jordan Endowed Professor in Creative Writing at CSU.
- David Borofka, of Clovis, Calif., for his story collection, Christmas in Jonestown.
- George Critchlow, of Spokane Valley, Wash., for his memoir, Chiaroscuro: Forty Years and Counting.
- Lucy Ferriss, of West Hartford, Conn., for her story collection, Foreign Climes.
- Michelle Herman, of Columbus, Ohio, for her novel, Close-Up.
- Maureen Stanton, of Georegtown, Maine., for her essay collection, The Human Soup: Essays and Investigations.
The award was created through an endowment from Columbus author and businessman, Donald L. Jordan with a mission to encourage and promote writings which honor the human values of responsibility, gratitude, generosity, love, and faith. The endowment also created a study abroad-service trip, which pays for CSU English majors to be able to travel to foreign countries to carry out charitable works; the CSU Creative Writers Conference, which will take place on Oct. 24, 2020 (csuwritersconference.com); the Sarah Ayres Jordan Awards to encourage CSU undergraduate creative writing; The Donald L. Jordan Fall Writers Dinner; and an endowed professorship.
“I believe our literary prize is unique in the nation,” said Jordan. “Not only must the winner evidence fine writing as all literary prizes should, but ours must express specified human values. We will reach out nationwide, perhaps world wide, offering the prize for an unpublished manuscript which encompasses our mission statement.”
The five final submissions will now be judged by acclaimed novelist Rosellen Brown, whose work includes The Autobiography of My Mother, Tender Mercies, Civil Wars, Before and After, and most recently The Lake on Fire.
In addition to the $10,000 prize, the winner will receive a publishing contract with a new imprint at Columbus State University, DLJ Books.