The Plaza Literary Prize – 2017 Jury

The Plaza Literary Prize welcomes our 2017 Jury–Michael Dean Clark, Rachel Howzell Hall, R. Dean Johnson, Yi Shun Lai, and Krys Lee–an inspiring panel of authors, editors, journalists, and professors. Submissions for our annual novella competition begin on March 1, 2017. When the submission period closes on April 30, 2017, our judges will select one (1) novella to be published by 1888.

Michael Dean Clark is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Azusa Pacific University where he focuses on creative and professional writing. An author of fiction and nonfiction, his work has appeared in PleiadesAngel City Review, and Relief among other outlets. He is also the co-editor of the books Creative Writing Innovations and Creative Writing in the Digital Age. Currently, he lives and works in the East San Gabriel Valley.

Rachel Howzell Hall is the author of A Quiet Storm (Scribner), The View from HereNo One Knows You’re Here, and the Detective Elouise Norton series (Forge Books). She serves on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers of America, and has participated as a mentor in the Association of Writers & Writing Programs’ Writer-to-Writer program.

An Associate Professor at Eastern Kentucky University, R. Dean Johnson is Director of the Bluegrass Writers Studio Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program. He is the author of Californium: A Novel of Punk Rock, Growing Up, and Other Dangerous Things (Plume Books) and Delicate Men: Stories (Alternative Book Press).

Yi Shun Lai is the author of Not a Self-Help Book: The Misadventures of Marty Wu (Shade Mountain Press) and the nonfiction editor of the Tahoma Literary Review. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, at,, and many other venues.

Krys Lee, author of the short story collection Drifting House (Viking, Penguin Random House) and the forthcoming novel How I Became a North Korean (Viking, Penguin Random House). She is a recipient of the Rome Prize and the Story Prize Spotlight Award, the Honor Title in Adult Fiction Literature from the Asian/Pacific American Libraries Association, and a finalist for the BBC International Story Prize. Her fiction, journalism, and literary translations have appeared in GrantaThe Kenyon ReviewNarrativeSan Francisco ChronicleCorriere della Sera, and The Guardian, among others. She is an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at Yonsei University, Underwood International College, in South Korea.



The Plaza Literary Prize is a national novella competition. We believe a great story is never defined by its length and welcome all genres and themes with compelling characters and evocative moments. We’re looking for our generation’s Hemingway, Oates, or Steinbeck.

The City of Orange, California was incorporated on April 6, 1888. The center of the town became known as the Plaza, which has become a symbol of the community and a catalyst for storytelling.

  1. Write a novella and submit via Submittable.
  2. Submissions are accepted from March 1 through April 30. Our team of readers will consider each submission for content, craft, and voice and select ten (10) finalists to be reviewed by our jury. One (1) novella will be selected for publication.