Meet our 2022 Literary Debutantes

At this year’s Literary Debutante Ball, we’ll be celebrating our Literary Debutantes: seven One Story and One Teen Story authors who have published (or will very soon publish) their first books.

This year’s Debutantes are:

Aamina Ahmad, The Return of Faraz Ali, author of OS #259, “The Red One Who Rocks”

Aamina Ahmad, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, has received a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, a Pushcart Prize, and a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award. Her short fiction has appeared in One Story, The Southern Review, Ecotone, and elsewhere; she is also the author of a play, The Dishonored. She lives in Berkeley, CA.


Lydia Conklin, Rainbow Rainbow, author of OS #285, “Sunny Talks”

Lydia Conklin has received a Stegner Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, three Pushcart Prizes, a Creative Writing Fulbright in Poland, a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation, a Creative Writing Fellowship from Emory University, work-study and tuition scholarships from Bread Loaf, and fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, Djerassi, the James Merrill House, and elsewhere. Their fiction has appeared in Tin House, American Short Fiction, The Paris Review, One Story, and VQR. They have drawn cartoons for The New Yorker and Narrative Magazine, and graphic fiction for The Believer, Lenny Letter, and the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. Last year they served as the Helen Zell Visiting Professor in Fiction at the University of Michigan and they are currently an Assistant Professor of Fiction at Vanderbilt University. Their story collection, Rainbow Rainbow, will be published in May 2022 by Catapult in North America and Scribner in the UK.


Kate Folk, Out There, author of OS #235, “Pups”

Kate Folk is the author of Out There: Stories (Random House, 2022). She’s the recipient of a Stegner fellowship from Stanford University, and has written for publications including The New YorkerThe New York Times MagazineGranta, and Zyzzyva. She lives in San Francisco.


Omer Friedlander, The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land, author of OS #287, “The Miniaturist”

Omer Friedlander is the author of The Man Who Sold Air in the Holy Land. He was born in Jerusalem in 1994 and grew up in Tel Aviv. He earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Cambridge, England, and an MFA from Boston University, where he was supported by the Saul Bellow Fellowship. His short stories have won numerous awards, and have been published  in the United States, Canada, France, and Israel. A Starworks Fellow in Fiction at New York University, he earned a Bread Loaf Work-Study Scholarship as well as a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. He currently lives in New York City.


Michelle Hart, We Do What We Do in the Dark, author of OTS #29, “Spit”

Michelle Hart’s fiction has appeared in Joyland, One Teen Story, and Electric Literature, and she has written nonfiction for Catapult, NYLON, The Rumpus, and The New Yorker online. Previously, she was the Assistant Books Editor at O, the Oprah Magazine and Oprah Daily. She received her MFA from Rutgers-Newark and lives in New Jersey. We Do What We Do in the Dark is her first novel.


Arinze Ifeakandu, God’s Children Are Little Broken Things, author of OS #256, “The Dreamer’s Litany”

Arinze Ifeakandu was born in Kano, Nigeria, and currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida. An AKO Caine Prize for African Writing finalist and A Public Space Writing Fellow, he is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from A Public SpaceGuernicaThe Kenyon ReviewPloughsharesOne Story, Redemption Song and Other Stories: The Caine Prize for African Writing 2018God’s Children Are Little Broken Things is his first book.


Gwen E. Kirby, Shit Cassandra Saw, author of OS #240, “Mt. Adams at Mar Vista”

Gwen E. Kirby is the author of the debut collection Shit Cassandra Saw. She has an MFA from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati. Her stories appear in One Story, Tin House, Guernica, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, SmokeLong Quarterly, and elsewhere. Currently, she is the Associate Director of Programs and Finance for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference at the University of the South, where she also teaches creative writing.

Join us for a free virtual reading from these authors on Thursday, June 2nd with Greenlight Bookstore. Details will be announced soon!

Tickets are on sale for the Ball now.

Posted On:
April 27, 2022
Lena Valencia
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