I am excited and stunned to say that Narrative Magazine has awarded me its annual fiction prize for an emerging writer, for “When the Flock Changed.”
The story is actually an excerpt from a novel I’ve been writing — and writing about writing — for an embarrassingly long time. Here’s how it opens:
My mother was a preacher until the cops shut her down. Well, okay, she kept at it halfheartedly in our living room for a while, but the fire had wiped out not just her warehouse church and the halfway house she ran out of it, but her passion, her commitment, and maybe even, deep down, her belief. All those years of serving the Lord, of taking to the streets to let the homeless and addicted and just plain lonely know what a friend they had in Jesus, and now she had no proper house of worship, no sea of folding chairs or repository of sermons on tape. She was practically a layperson. Worse, her flock knew it and was slipping away.
You can read the rest here. Thank you, Narrative.