The essay "Victory Gardens" by Dr. Heather Sellers of the Hope College English faculty has been named a finalist in the Fall 2009 Story Contest sponsored by "Narrative Magazine."

The contest, which recognized 10 finalists, and first-, second- and third-prize winners, was open to previously unpublished short shorts, short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, all forms of literary nonfiction, and excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction, no longer than 15,000 words.  The guidelines noted, "As always, we are looking for works with a strong narrative drive, with characters we can respond to as human beings, and with effects of language, situation, and insight that are intense and total.  We look for works that have the ambition of enlarging our view of ourselves and the world."

Founded in 2003, "Narrative Magazine" is an online publisher of fiction, nonfiction and poetry.  Its digital library of new literature by celebrated authors as well as new and emerging writers is available for free.

Sellers is a professor of English at Hope, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1995.  She is the author of three volumes of poetry, three books on the writing process and a children's book.  She was one of only 41 writers nationally to receive a National Endowment for the Arts grant for 2000-02 to create original work or translate work, through which she completed "Georgia Under Water," a collection of linked short stories that was named a Barnes and Noble Discover pick.

Her poems, short fiction, memoir and creative nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals, anthologies and magazines, including "O," Oprah's magazine, and "Best of the South."  She has been invited to read her work around the country, including most recently as one of three writers featured during "Sunday Best: Readings at Hudson View Gardens" in Manhattan on Sunday, Jan. 10.