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 is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry, several of which have won national awards, a novel, a novella, and a collection of stories, all three of which won national awards. He is Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, where he has taught for over twenty years and where he founded the BFA in Creative Writing Program. He serves as Editor of the literary journal Lake Effect and Translation Editor of Mid-American Review, and he was co-founder, with the poet Philip Terman, of the original Chautauqua Writers' Festival. His most recent works include ODE TO THE EARTH IN TRANSLATION (Red Mountain Press, 2021), THE WORST MAY BE OVER (Elixir Press, 2020), THE ITINERATE CIRCUS NEW AND SELECTED POEMS 1995-2020 (Red Mountain Press, 2020), and WHAT LIGHT BECOMES: THE TURNER VARIATIONS (Red Mountain Press, 2019). Author City: USA