Dzanc Prize 2007 Winner:
Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg of Boston, Massachusetts, was the 2007 winner of the Dzanc Prize. Selected from more than 160 applicants for her proposal to teach creative writing in area prisons and on the quality of her fiction writing, the Emerson College MFA student's service took place in 2008. Steven Gillis, Publisher of Dzanc Books, says van den Berg’s application won over the reading panel because “[her] commitment to working with prisoners and helping Dzanc put together a written anthology from these workshops, coupled with her remarkable writing, moved her consistently and undeniably to the front of the list.” Van den Berg is currently working on a short story collection, What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us, which will be published by Dzanc Books in 2009, and plans to begin a novel. She says, “When I found out I had been selected for the prize, I was astonished and deeply honored... Steve Gillis, Dan Wickett, and Keith Taylor are wonderful champions of literary fiction and gifted editors, and it's a huge gift to have the opportunity to work with them.”

Laura van den Berg discusses what winning the Dzanc Prize means to her:

A native of central Florida, Laura van den Berg is the editor-in-chief of Emerson College’s literary and arts journal, Redivider, and a Ploughshares staff member. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Indiana Review, The Literary Review, StoryQuarterly, American Short Fiction, and One Story, among others, and has received awards from Glimmer Train and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She previously taught writing at Emerson College, and currently teaches fiction at Grub Street, an independent center for creative writing in Boston.