Anthony Doerr is as nice as he is talented. And he's a world-class talent. Last April, Doerr won what the Times of London boasts to be "the world's biggest short fiction cash prize" for his short story "The Deep." And while he was regaled at the Great Hall of Christ College at Oxford University, he's a lot more comfortable kicking back with his Boise friends over a cup of coffee. And by the way, Doerr doesn't write. He's quick to remind us that he rewrites. His first payday as a writer, for a short story in The Atlantic, took six months of rewriting, six to seven hours a day.
Second Place: Alan Heathcock
Third Place: Brady Udall