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The Idaho Review wins fifth Pushcart Prize

Idaho Review cover art by Bill Carman.
Bill Carman, a professor of illustration in the Department of Art, Design and Visual Studies, created this piece for the cover of the current issue of The Idaho Review. It is based on “Aunt Job,” the prize-winning story.

The Idaho Review, a publication of Boise State’s MFA program in creative writing, has again won a Pushcart Prize.

“The Pushcart Prize is the top of the heap in the lit mag world,” founding editor Mitch Wieland said. “It’s our version of winning an Oscar or Emmy. I was thrilled when editor Bill Henderson called me with the news.”

The winning story, “Aunt Job” by Nickalus Rupert, appeared in issue No. 19 of the journal.

E.J. Pettinger, a third-year MFA candidate in fiction and current associate editor of The Idaho Review, was first reader on “Aunt Job,” selecting the manuscript from the thousands of submissions sent to the journal each fall and spring. The Idaho Review staff read the story, then sent it on to then-associate editor Mary Lowry, author of “The Roxy Letters,” published this spring by Simon and Schuster. Lowry sent the story to incoming associate editor Jacqui Teruya, fiction editor Brady Udall, and editor-in-chief Wieland. The editors voted unanimously to publish the manuscript.

Founded in 1974, The Pushcart Prize is one of the most honored literary series in America. Each year, the editors of the national prize anthology select 60-70 works from several thousand published stories, poems and essays. The new edition of The Pushcart Prize is due out on Dec. 8.

The Idaho Review has acquired an impressive track record in publishing prize winning stories. From its 19 issues, 13 stories have been selected for reprint in the top national prize anthologies. In addition to five Pushcart Prizes, The Idaho Review has had multiple stories reprinted in The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, New Stories from the South, and Best of the West. Another twenty-eight stories have earned Honorable Mention in these same prize anthologies. Past contributors to the journal include Joyce Carol Oates, T.C. Boyle, Joy Williams, Rick Moody, Ann Beattie, Rick Bass, Anthony Doerr, Jess Walter, and Andrea Barrett.

In a recent tweet, author Joyce Carol Oates called The Idaho Review an excellent journal with imaginative and provocative editing. The author said the journal “should be read widely.”

Issues of The Idaho Review are available for sale at the Bronco Shop on campus, or can be ordered online from The Idaho Review website.