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O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1919   By:

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First Page:

O. HENRY MEMORIAL AWARD

PRIZE STORIES

of 1919

CHOSEN BY THE SOCIETY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY

BLANCHE COLTON WILLIAMS

1924

CONTENTS

ENGLAND TO AMERICA. By Margaret Prescott Montague

"FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO." By Wilbur Daniel Steele

THEY GRIND EXCEEDING SMALL. By Ben Ames Williams

ON STRIKE. By Albert Payson Terhune.

THE ELEPHANT REMEMBERS. By Edison Marshall

TURKEY RED. By Frances Gilchrist Wood

FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS REWARD. By Melville Davisson Post

THE BLOOD OF THE DRAGON. By Thomas Grant Springer

"HUMORESQUE." By Fannie Hurst

THE LUBBENY KISS. By Louise Rice.

THE TRIAL IN TOM BELCHER'S STORE. By Samuel A. Derieux

PORCELAIN CUPS. By James Branch Cabell

THE HIGH COST OF CONSCIENCE. By Beatrice Ravenel

THE KITCHEN GODS. By G.F. Alsop

APRIL 25TH, AS USUAL. By Edna Ferber

INTRODUCTION

On April 18, 1918, the Society of Arts and Sciences of New York City paid tribute to the memory of William Sydney Porter at a dinner in honour of his genius. In the ball room of the Hotel McAlpin there gathered, at the speakers' table, a score of writers, editors and publishers who had been associated with O. Henry during the time he lived in Manhattan; in the audience, many others who had known him, and hundreds yet who loved his short stories.

Enthusiasm, both immediate and lasting, indicated to the Managing Director of the Society, Mr. John F. Tucker, that he might progress hopefully toward an ideal he had, for some time, envisioned. The goal lay in the establishing of a memorial to the author who had transmuted realistic New York into romantic Bagdad by the Subway.

When, therefore, in December, 1918, Mr. Tucker called a committee for the purpose of considering such a memorial, he met a glad response. The first question, "What form shall the monument assume?" drew tentative suggestions of a needle in Gramercy Square, or a tablet affixed to the corner of O. Henry's home in West Twenty sixth Street. But things of iron and stone, cold and dead, would incongruously commemorate the dynamic power that moved the hearts of living men and women, "the master pharmacist of joy and pain," who dispensed "sadness tinctured with a smile and laughter that dissolves in tears."

In short, then, it was decided to offer a minimum prize of $250 for the best short story published in 1919, and the following Committee of Award was appointed:

BLANCHE COLTON WILLIAMS, Ph.D. EDWARD J. WHEELER, Litt.D. ETHEL WATTS MUMFORD ROBERT WILSON NEAL, M.A. MERLE ST. CROIX WRIGHT, D.D.

It is significant that this committee had no sooner begun its round table conferences than the Society promised, through the Director, funds for two prizes. The first was fixed at $500, the second at $250.

At a meeting in January, 1919, the Committee of Award agreed upon the further conditions that the story must be the work of an American author, and must first appear in 1919 in an American publication. At the same time an Honorary Committee was established, composed of writers and editors, whose pleasure it might be to offer advice and propose stories for consideration. The Honorary Committee consisted of

GERTRUDE ATHERTON EDWARD J. O'BRIEN FANNIE HURST JOHN MACY BURGES JOHNSON MRS. EDWIN MARKHAM ROBERT MORSS LOVETT JOHN S. PHILLIPS WILLIAM MARION REEDY VIRGINIA RODERICK WALTER ROBERTS CHARLES G. NORRIS EDWARD E. HALE MAX EASTMAN CHARLES CALDWELL DOBIE MARGARET SHERWOOD HAMLIN GARLAND JAMES BRANCH CABELL STUART P. SHERMAN WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE STEPHEN LEACOCK MAJOR RUPERT HUGHES EUGENE MANLOVE RHODES

The Committee of Award read throughout the year, month by month, scores of stories, rejecting many, debating over others, and passing up a comparative few for final judgment. In January, out of the hundred or more remaining, they salvaged the following:

1. The Kitchen Gods, by Guglielma Alsop ( Century , September).

2. Facing It, by Edwina Stanton Babcock ( Pictorial Review , June)... Continue reading book >>




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