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 previous books have been awarded the Red Mountain Press Poetry Award, The Leapfrog Press Fiction Award, the White Pine Press Poetry Prize, the Elixir Press Fiction Chapbook Award, and the Bluestem Award. He is the founder of the BFA in Creative Writing Program at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, where he is Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing and serves as Editor of the international literary journal Lake Effect and Translation Editor of Mid-American Review. He was co-founder of the original Chautauqua Writers' Festival. He is the author of THE WORST MAY BE OVER (Elixir Press, 2020), WHAT LIGHT BECOMES: THE TURNER VARIATIONS (Red Mountain Press, 2020), and HYMN OF ASH (Elixir Press, 2008).Author City: USA