Sasha Wolff ’17 Named a Finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award

Jessie Shohfi
February 22, 2023

Alumna Sasha Wolff ’17 is a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award for her manuscript, The Boy Bandit

The St. Lawrence Book Award is presented annually by Black Lawrence Press to an unpublished first collection of poetry or prose. It is judged by a revolving panel, which includes the Executive Editor of the Black Lawrence Press, other members of the editorial staff, and previous winners of the St. Lawrence Book Award. Any writer who has not yet published a full-length manuscript in any genre is free to submit to the award, and the winner earns a $1,000 cash prize, as well as publication of their book. 

“I’m honored to have been named a finalist for the St. Lawrence Book Award,” Wolff said. “I really appreciate the opportunity, and the fact that Black Lawrence Press is so open to speculative fiction and that which defies genre.”

A story by Wolff, also titled The Boy Bandit, appeared in The Oxonian Review last spring. In it, she introduces the character of “the boy bandit,” who unsettles a town when he starts removing random items from their homes. Toilet paper, marshmallows, and a canoe are among the items stolen. Told mostly in short, fragmented sections, the story is both a character study and a peek into small-town life. In a section entitled “Why we love the Boy Bandit,” Wolff writes, “Biology. We can’t help it. He is our troublemaker brother, our rebellious lover, our nose-pierced son, our poster harsh boy. He is quiet. He is critical. He is nobody; he’s in all of us. He is fifteen and wild. He has bruises everywhere. He comes home at 11 pm, smelling of honeysuckle. Under his bed are sparklers. He can’t spell. The cat bolts from him. When he musses your hair, a tiny street of houses lights up in you. He stands in the doorway of your room, shirtless, devouring a chicken drumstick. He teases you. He ignores you. You want to reach out and touch him, but he’s gone away.”

Sasha Wolff is a queer writer based in New York City. While at Columbia, she was nominated for the Henfield Prize. Her fiction has appeared in Parhelion Literary, Maudlin House, and The Oxonian Review