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2014 Contest Judges


Nathan Englander was selected as one of “20 Writers for the 21st Century” by The New Yorker, has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Nathan EnglanderPEN/Malamud Award, and the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. He is the author of The Ministry of Special Cases and the story collections For the Relief of Unbearable Urges and What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, which won the prestigious Frank O’ Connor International Short Story Award in 2012. His fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker. Englander translated the text for the New American Haggadah (ed: Jonathan Safran Foer) from Hebrew to English, and is translating some short stories by the renowned Israeli writer, Etgar Keret. The theatrical adaptation of his short story “The Twenty-Seventh Man”, premiered at The Public Theater in New York in November, 2012. (www.nathanenglander.com)


Helen BenedictHelen Benedict is a professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and the author of six novels and five books of non-fiction. Her latest novel, Sand Queen, is about two women on opposite sides of the Iraq War, and her last non-fiction book was The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women Serving in Iraq. She is also the author of a play, The Lonely Soldier Monologues, which was produced in New York and is currently due to be performed at The History Theater in St. Paul, MN and in London, England. In 2013, Benedict was granted the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism and named one of the 21 Leaders for the 21st. Century by Women’s eNews . Her books and numerous articles on women in the military have won the Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Ken Book Award, and the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism. Benedict’s writings inspired an ongoing class action suit against the Pentagon on behalf of women and men who were sexually assaulted in the military, and also inspired the Oscar-nominated documentary The Invisible War, in which she appears. Benedict has testified twice to Congress on behalf of women veterans, consulted for Women, War & Peace series on PBS 2011, and is featured in two documentaries on women at war. (www.helenbenedict.com)

Tina Chang
Tina Chang, Brooklyn Poet Laureate, is the author of the poetry collections Half-Lit Houses (2004) and Of Gods & Strangers (2011). She is also co-editor of the Norton anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. Her poems have been published in journals such as American Poet, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and Ploughshares. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Poets & Writers, among others. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence College and she is also a member of the international writing faculty at the City University of Hong Kong, the first low-residency MFA program to be established in Asia. (www.tinachang.com)

Photo Credits:
Nathan Englander: Photo ©Juliana Sohn