Fiction. THE WORST MAY BE OVER, a short story collection by George Looney, won the Elixir Press 2019 Fiction Award. Contest judge, Gary Fincke, had this to say: "These stories open in quick and intriguing ways, but then the writer has the ability and patience to hold what's most significant until its discovery is surprising, yet earned. 'All I can do,' a character in THE WORST MAY BE OVER says, 'is hold you and keep watch.' Some small comfort perhaps, among the variety of troubles that follow the characters in this solid collection of stories that do what good realistic fiction does—create characters who engage us emotionally, follow a well-observed portion of their lives that convinces us of the authenticity of their experiences, and stir our empathy even as they fumble and struggle to make decisions that might better their lives."
George Looney's books include the recently-released ODE TO THE EARTH IN TRANSLATION (Red Mountain Press, 2021), THE WORST MAY BE OVER (Elixir Press, 2020), which won the Elixir Press Fiction Award, THE ITINERATE CIRCUS: NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1995-2020 (Red Mountain Press, 2020), the Red Mountain Press Poetry Award-winning WHAT LIGHT BECOMES: THE TURNER VARIATIONS (Red Mountain Press, 2019), and the novel Report from a Place of Burning (Leapfrog Press, 2018) which was co-winner of The Leapfrog Press Fiction Award. He is the founder of the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Penn State Erie, editor-in- chief of the international literary journal Lake Effect, translation editor of Mid-American Review, and co- founder of the original Chautauqua Writers' Festival.