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A note about the winning story from our panel of judges:
THE STORYTELLER by Anjali Vaidya of San Diego, CA
This story was a haunting yet quiet fable set on a mysterious post-tragedy beach where seemingly only two children have survived. Neither polemic nor preachy, the folk tale of an ancestor brings hope to the children as they are forced to grow up too quickly in a bleak world. Full of vivid imagery and subtle character building, the story surprised our readers with its powerful and inevitable ending. We can’t wait for you to see it in Dreamers Writing!
Anjali has published a lot of nonfiction. She was moved to try fiction when she first heard of our Fellowship back in 2018. Her daughter was six months old then and she was inspired to carve out some space for her creative mind alongside motherhood. She wrote several flash stories of 100 words, and many 950 word stories, to get comfortable with the form. She called it a “wonderful sanity-saving way to being a year that was otherwise dominated by childcare and eldercare.” We are delighted to have her as our 2020 Fellow and are so grateful she made it out to accept our congratulations in person at November’s Salon.
Anjali Vaidya is a writer of environmental non-fiction and fiction, born in Washington, 20 years in Bangalore, India, and currently based in San Diego, California, where she lives with her husband and toddler. She was recently named the Pen Parentis Fellow for 2019-2020 for her short story, “The Storyteller.” Her non-fiction has been published in venues such as Orion Magazine, The LA Review of Books, Boom California, Public Books, Dissent Magazine, The Wire and Khabar Magazine. She also has a children’s book on the water cycle out with Pratham Books.