Alumna Crystal Hana Kim Wins PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers

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Writing Program alumna Crystal Hana Kim ‘14 has won a 2017 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers.

PEN bestows the award each year on 12 emerging writers who have published a debut work of short fiction in a magazine or on a Website during the previous calendar year. Kim received the award for her story “Solee,” which was published in The Southern Review.

Kim’s audio reading of the story is available on SoundCloud. “I count the stray dogs’ ribs on my way to school,” the story begins. “Five bones protrude, like the rounded claw of a Dokkaebi clutching his club. Last month, there were six showing through the skin of his belly. I am happy. I am fattening him up after all.”

Each recipient of the award receives a monetary prize of $2,000. The awards will be given out at the annual PEN American Literary Awards in New York. In addition, the independent publisher Catapult will anthologize the winning stories in a book, The PEN America Best Debut Short Stories, which will be published in 2017.

Earlier this year, another Writing Program alumnus, Joel Whitney ‘02, received the PEN/Nora Magid Award for Editing, for his work on the online literary magazine Guernica. He shared the award with his Guernica co-editor Michael Archer.

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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.