Mark Brazaitis chosen as finalist judge for the 2014 Leapfrog Fiction Contest.

Mark Brazaitis is the author of five books of fiction: The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award; Steal My Heart, winner of the 2001 Maria Thomas Fiction Award; An American Affair: Stories, winner of the 2008 George Garrett Fiction Prize; The Incurables: Stories, winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize; and Julia & Rodrigo, winner of the 2012 Gival Press Novel Award. His book of poems, The Other Language, won the 2008 ABZ Poetry Prize. He is also a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship.

His short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in many literary journals, and his journalism in The Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, American Medical News, the Charleston Gazette, Glamour, and elsewhere. He is the screenwriter of the Cine Golden Eagle Award-winning Peace Corps video How Far Are You Willing to Go to Make a Difference? His writing has been featured on the Diane Rehm Show as well as on public radio in several cities. Brazaitis is a professor of English at West Virginia University and director of the West Virginia Writers’ Workshop, the fundraising committee chair of the Appalachian Prison Book Project, and the advisor to the WVU Figure Skating Club.

Mark will be joining Leapfrog editors in the final round of judging. Mark says: “I share Leapfrog Press’s love of work that tells a strong story. I also love beautiful, descriptive writing-and work that explores significant issues of our time such as the environment and international conflict-and stories and novels that delve with sensitivity and surprise into the lives of complex characters. But if I am not compelled by what I am reading, if I am not asking myself that fundamental question of storytelling-What happens next?-my love for the work will likely be tempered. I love a strong story. I look forward to reading yours.”

All unpublished stories in story collections submitted to the contest will be considered for Crossborder.

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About Leapfrog Press
Leapfrog Press was created to search out, publish, and aggressively market books that tell a strong story. Leapfrog began its life in Wellfleet, Mass., at the outer end of Cape Cod, in 1993. In 2008 we migrated to Falmouth, Mass., and in 2012 we made the move to Fredonia, N.Y., a town with a rich creative history and an equally rich present in the arts and science. Our list is eclectic and includes quality fiction, poetry, and nonfiction; books that are described by the large commercial publishers as midlist, and which we regard as the heart and soul of literature.

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