Los Angeles, CA –Fiction writer Sean Bernard and poet Craig Santos Perez are the recipients of this year’s California Writers Exchange Award. Bernard and Perez will each receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to give a public reading and to meet with top literary professionals, including editors, agents, publishers, and prominent writers. The judges were Karen Tei Yamashita for fiction and Juan Felipe Herrera for poetry. The winners were chosen from a pool of 692 fiction entries and 712 poetry entries.
Modeled on P&W’s Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, the California Writers Exchange was open to writers who had lived in the state for at least two years and had not published more than one book in the genre in which they were applying. The California Writers Exchange contest is funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation.
Sean Bernard, who won with the short story “California,” works as an associate professor of writing at the University of La Verne and edits the literary journal Prism Review. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in several journals, including Fourteen Hills, Santa Monica Review, and West Branch. He is currently writing a period novel about Basque immigrants and angels. He lives in Claremont, California.
Craig Santos Perez, a native Chamoru originally from the Pacific Island of Guahan (Guam), won with poems selected from his collection from unincorporated territory [hacha] (Tinfish Press, 2008). His poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in the Colorado Review, the Denver Quarterly, the Iowa Review, New American Writing, Pleiades, and ZYZZYVA, among others. He is a co-founder of Achiote Press. He received an MFA from the University of San Francisco and is currently a PhD candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Santa Clara, California, and blogs at craigsantosperez.wordpress.com.