Jenessa Abrams ‘17 Wins Second Place in 2018 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, September 7, 2018

Headshot of Jenessa AbramsAlumna Jenessa Abrams ‘17, who concentrated in Fiction and Literary Translation at Columbia, won second place in the 2018 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest for her story Explain It To Me.


Now in its 18th year, the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is one of the most renowned fiction contests in the world. Featuring prominent guest judges and offering $2,500 across five prizes, the contest delivers exciting new fiction. Abrams’ prizewinning story Explain It To Me will appear alongside the work of all five finalists selected by guest judge Susan Perabo in the Fall 2018 issue of Carve Zine. Founded in 2000, Carve, named in honor of Raymond Carver, publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction that respects the power of language and craft and elicits genuine emotional truths.


Abrams is a Norman Mailer Fiction Fellow. Her writing has been published in Tin House Online, TriQuarterly, Guernica, Washington Square, Joyland, BOMB Magazine, The New York Times, and elsewhere. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Colony, where she was named the Nadya Aisenberg Fellow, the Ucross Foundation, and the Vermont Studio Center.