Our first-year judge was Lauren Groff. She showed extreme kindness and generosity taking a chance on a publication that wasn’t even a few months old. She championed for our cause because she remembered what it was like when her story was selected by Stephen King for Best New American Voices, a very pivotal moment in her young career. She chose a beautiful collection of stories to start us off and we’re so thankful for her participation.
Not surprisingly, Lauren continues to amaze. Not only does she remain a strong literary voice with her novels and short stories, but she’s aligned some of the literati’s most beloved women for a cause that helps other women. As part of her participation with the North Florida Planned Parenthood, Lauren has developed an auction to help raise money for funding. From now through September 15, 2014, you can bid on a pretty amazing treasure trove of items: bid to win coffee with Jami Attenburg or name a character in Emma Straub’s next book. Elliott Holt is giving away signed copies of her book… and vodka. There’s even a manuscript critique, signed books by Roxane Gay, and a date with Lauren van den Berg. Lauren… Ladies…. you rule! Check out the auction here.