MFA alumna Tegan Nia Swanson wins fiction prize

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College of LAS MFA alumna Tegan Nia Swanson is the winner of the 2014 Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize for her debut novel, Things We Found When the Water Went Down. The annual award, recently announced by Black Balloon Publishing, includes a $5,000 prize and publication for a novel or short story collection.

The editors selected Swanson’s book from more than 1,500 submissions. “Tegan’s novel is organized as a series of artifacts,” says Black Balloon associate editor Julie Buntin. “Reading Things We Found When the Water Went Down is a process of discovery, of excavation and it’s precisely this narrative ambition that makes the book such a perfect fit for this prize.”

Swanson is a graduate of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State, where she was the 2011 Pearl Hogrefe Fellow. Her fiction has appeared in Ecotone, Bellingham Review, and Connu, and in the Black Earth Institute’s About Place Journal. She won the 2013 Tobias Wolff Award in Fiction. She currently lives in Lyon, France.

Her manuscript will be published by Black Balloon in fall 2016.