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Karen E. Bender


Karen E. Bender is the author of two story collections: Refund, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award, shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize, and longlisted for the Story prize, and The New Order, which was longlisted for the Story Prize. Her novels are Like Normal People and A Town of Empty Rooms. Her fiction has been published in magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, The Harvard Review and The Yale Review, included in Best American Short Stories, and won two Pushcart prizes. She has also received a grant from the NEA.

The Value of Support

"The support of a Rona Jaffe grant stays with you long after the actual financial award has been used. The recognition, at an early and vulnerable stage in your career, that you are doing work of value, that your vision matters, that it is worthy of this support, is uplifting and priceless. I'm deeply honored to be a Rona Jaffe alum."


The New Order, published by Counterpoint Press in 2018, was Longlisted for the Story prize.

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