The Columns

Shenandoah Editor R.T. Smith Receives 2017 William Peden Fiction Prize

— by on September 12th, 2017

R.T. Smith

R.T. Smith, Shenandoah editor and Washington and Lee University writer in residence, won the 2017 William Peden Fiction Prize, presented by The Missouri Review for the best short story chosen from their four issues published in the last year. Smith’s winning story is titled: “The Satans.”

“Receiving the Peden Prize certainly pleases me, and it’s made all the sweeter by my affection for “The Satans,” which is raw, mythic and, I hope, at once vernacular and inventive,” said Smith. “Set in Appalachia, it’s about the devil and old beanstalk Jack, fellows we’re all a little familiar with.”

Novelist Phong Nguyen judged the competition and personally chose Smith’s short story as the winner. Due to his teaching schedule, Smith will accept the award and give a reading via teleconference during the upcoming conference in Missouri.

Recently, Smith also published a poem in “Scribner’s Best American Poems 2017,” edited by Natasha Trethewey. The collection of 75 poems will be released this month. Smith’s poem is entitled “Maricon” and originally appeared in Prairie Schooner, a literary journal at the University of Nebraska.

Smith, the author of 14 books, teaches courses in the W&L English Department and previously taught poetry writing at Virginia Military Institute. He has twice received a Library of Virginia Book of the Year Award for his books “Messenger” (2001) and “Outlaw Style” (2007).