Rich Stim of A Dock—and the godfather of this online newsletter—has won the Reed Magazine John Steinbeck Award for his short story, “Closer to Heaven.”
Reed is California’s oldest literary journal, tracing its heritage to 1867. The magazine features the works of emerging authors alongside notable pieces by literary lions: nonfiction by Pulitzer Prize-winner William Finnegan, verse by U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, fiction by PEN/Faulkner-winner T.C. Boyle, and National Book Award-winner Ursula K. Le Guin.
The magazine’s fiction judge Vanessa Hua, a highly acclaimed author and columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, says, “‘Closer to Heaven’ intrigues us from the start, with questions in a small-town advice column—The Hot Line—that reveal much about a community in southern Indiana and its editor, a loyal and reliable sort of guy attempting to be of service in the world. The setting is evocative, and the dialogue funny and memorable. One of the editor’s biggest fans strikes an unusual deal with him. The Hot Line questions, which are interspersed throughout, are by turns quirky, poignant and dark until the final ones force us to consider the mystery within each person, the nature of loneliness, the ache for connection, and the meaning of family.”
The story will appear in the spring issue of Reed.
Rich has also written for Newsday, Interview, Spin Magazine, AudioFile, and California Living. He is the author of numerous legal books, a middle-grade mystery series, and is a founding member of two bands, MX-80 Sound and Angel Corpus Christi.