Book by Heather Sellers Named Finalist
In Paterson Fiction Competition
Posted July 9, 2002
HOLLAND -- The book "Georgia Under Water" by Dr.
Heather Sellers of the Hope College English faculty has been
named a finalist in the 2002 "Paterson Fiction Prize"
Novels or collections of short fiction published
in 2001 were eligible for recognition in the competition,
sponsored by the Poetry Center at Passaic County Community
College in Paterson, N.J. In 2001, one winner and five
finalists were recognized in the fiction category. The
center also coordinates prizes in poetry and for books
published for young people.
"Georgia Under Water" is a collection of nine
linked stories about the struggles and triumphs of Georgia
Jackson as she grows up in Florida, always near the ocean or
a pool, living in a dysfunctional family, torn between
pleasing her parents and saving herself.
"Georgia Jackson is a heroine buoyant in spirit
and bitterly cheery in a way that is thrilling," story
writer Padgett Powell has said. Author Kim Barnes has
called Georgia "a modern-day Huck Finn, traveling the
ocean's shore, learning the hard lessons that will both scar
her and allow her to survive."
In the summer of 2001, "Georgia Under Water" was
recognized in the "Discover Great New Writers" program of
Barnes & Noble bookstores. Sellers completed work on the
book with a 1999 fellowship from the National Endowment for
the Arts (NEA), one of only 41 granted that year to writers
creating original work or translating work.
Sellers is an associate professor of English, and
has been a member of the Hope faculty since 1995. She has
also been the recipient of many other awards and writing
residencies. Her work has appeared in "Indiana Review,"
"New Virginia Review," "The Hawai'i Review," "The
Chattahoochee Review," "The Women's Review of Books,"
"Sonora Review" and many other journals.
She earned her bachelor's, master's and doctorate
at Florida State University, in 1985, 1988 and 1992