ISABELLA DAVID OF RIDGFIELD, CONNECTICUT, has been selected as winner of the eighth annual Danahy Fiction Prize by the editors of Tampa Review. She will receive a cash award of $1,000 and her winning short story, “If the Meek Inherit the Earth, They'll Have Sons-of-Bitches for Lawyers,” will be published in the Fiftieth Anniversary Issue of Tampa Review.
David is a French-American writer and actress, whose short story was partly inspired by her experiences as a “law spouse” at Washington and Lee University.
“There were no other grad students in Lexington, so law spouses complained about being the odd men out (though most of us were women),” David says. “I got all the benefits of a small, tight-knit community without actually attending. The Black Law Student Association’s poetry meetings were the first time I read any of my writing aloud, and. . . . I became braver about sending my work out to be published instead of sitting on it as I’d been mostly doing. Now most of my friends are lawyers, and it was a wonderful opportunity for a shy writer.”
David earned her degree in Comparative Literature and Languages from the University of Virginia, graduating early as an Echols scholar. She spent her senior year teaching high school French and English at a boarding school in Colorado. Subsequently, she moved to New York and began acting professionally on stage and in films in English and French. Along the way, in 2007 she won an award for Best in Festival at the Bad Plays Festival and in 2011, she wrote, directed and starred in a one-act play produced by Centerstage’s Friend Me Festival in Manhattan.
David’s work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Lascaux Review, Slippery Elm, Contemporary Haibun, Interrupt Mag, The First Line Literary Magazine, Adbusters, Every Day Fiction, Every Day Poets, Postcard Shorts, and Postcard Poems & Prose among other places online and in print.
This year the judges also named six finalists for the Danahy Prize:
“Ruint Horse” by Thomas Atkinson of Anderson Township, Ohio;
“The Beer Garden” by Jill Birdsall of Rumson, N.J.;
“My Friend Bobby” by Michael Cuglietta of Orlando, Fla.;
“Fun With Color” by Dana Fitz Gale of Missoula, Montana;
“Natural Order” by Laurie Frankel of Corona Del Mar, Calif.; and
“For Mr. Potenza” by Ian Walters of Lafayette, Calif.
The Danahy Fiction Prize was established by Paul and Georgia Danahy as an annual award for a previously unpublished work of short fiction judged by the editors of Tampa Review, the faculty-edited literary journal of the University of Tampa, published twice yearly in a distinctive hardback format and this year celebrating fifty years of literary publishing. Subscriptions are $22 annually, and those received before June will begin with the issue featuring David’s prize-winning story. The Danahy Fiction Prize is open to both new and widely published writers, with an annual postmark deadline of November 1. The $20 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Tampa Review, and all entries submitted are considered for publication.
Complete guidelines are available on the Web at http://tampareview.ut.edu or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Danahy Fiction Prize, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.