Student Gauraa Shekhar Nominated for the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize

BY Nicole Saldarriaga, December 16, 2020

"Other Significant Others: A Glossary," a short story by fiction student Gauraa Shekhar, has recently been nominated for the 2021 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers by Nimrod Journal.


The PEN/Robert J. Dau Prize is awarded each year to 12 emerging writers for their "debut short story published in a literary magazine, journal, or cultural website." Each recipient of the prize receives $2,000 and the winning stories are published in an anthology—Best Debut Short Stories: The PEN America Dau Prize—by independent book publisher Catapult. 


According to Shekhar, "I wrote 'Other Significant Others: A Glossary' for my first workshop here at Columbia. I’d just come out of a long-term relationship, and found myself thinking a lot about the life-cycle of romance and dating. I was interested in the concept of the ‘little black book,’ but one that recorded indignities and embarrassments rather than numbers and addresses. When you look back at a relationship—with a person, or a song, or even a tree you pass on the way to work—what do you remember? I wanted to document those consequences of intimacy.

"I'm honored to be nominated! I really appreciate the TLC the editors at Nimrod gave this piece, and I'm so, so grateful they took a chance on me with my first story." 


Gauraa Shekhar is a writer based in Manhattan. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod Journal, Contrary, Sonora Review, The Toast, Literary Hub, and elsewhere. She is the Interviews Editor at Maudlin House and a Founding Editor of No Contact Magazine.