Press Release: 2022 Saroyan Prize Shortlist

The 2022 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing Shortlist Announced

The Stanford Libraries has announced the shortlist for the tenth William Saroyan International Prize for Writing (Saroyan Prize), a Prize intended to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan literary legacy of originality, vitality and stylistic innovation. The Prize recognizes newly published works of both fiction and non-fiction. $5,000 will be awarded in each category. Winners and finalists will be announced in late summer/early fall. The 2022 Saroyan Prize shortlist is as follows:



Congratulations to the authors and publishers!

The Saroyan Prize is a biennial competition jointly awarded by the Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation. It commemorates the life, legacy and intentions of William Saroyan - author, artist, dramatist, composer - and is intended to encourage new or emerging writers, rather than to recognize established literary figures. The 2020 winners were Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Friday Black, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) for the fiction category, and Jennifer Croft (Homesick: A Memoir, Unnamed Press, 2019) for the non-fiction category.

The 2022 Prize engaged over 230 Stanford alumni and friends who participate as readers and judges. "On this tenth anniversary of the Prize, we were thrilled to have a record number of entries submitted by new and emerging writers and evaluated by a dedicated, enthusiastic band of volunteers," said Vice Provost and Ida M. Green University Librarian Michael Keller.

This year's distinguished judging panel for fiction consists of award-winning authors Sumbul Ali-Karamali, Richard Holeton, and Elizabeth McKenzie. The non-fiction panel includes Stanford Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus John Bender, author and 2016 Saroyan Prize winner Lori Jakiela, and Scott Setrakian Vice Chairman of, and board member of the William Saroyan Foundation. More information on our judges can be found here.

Literary fiction, including novels, short story collections, and drama, are eligible for the Saroyan Fiction Prize. Literary non-fiction of any length is eligible for the Saroyan Non-fiction Prize, most particularly writing in the Saroyan tradition: memoirs, portraits and excursions into neighborhood and community. Entries in either category are limited to English language publications that are available for individual purchase by the general public.

William Saroyan, an American writer and playwright, is a Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winner best known for his short stories about humorous experiences of immigrant families and children in California. Much of Saroyan's other work is clearly autobiographical, although similar in style and technique to fiction. Saroyan was the fourth child of Armenian immigrants. He battled his way through poverty and rose to literary prominence in the early 1930s when national magazines began publishing his short stories, such as The Daring Young Man on the Flying TrapezeMy Name Is AramInhale & ExhaleThree Times Three, and Peace, It's Wonderful. Saroyan soon moved on to writing plays for Broadway and screenplays for Hollywood, including: My Heart's in the HighlandsThe Time of Your LifeThe Beautiful People, and The Human Comedy.


Contact: Sonia Lee
650-736-9538 (office)

Thursday, May 5, 2022