Winners and Finalists

2021
Winner: Sue William Silverman, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences. See Sue’s interview on the Jane’s Stories Press Foundation YouTube channel.
Finalist: Nikki Dolson, Love and Other Criminal Behavior 
Finalist: Ellen Birkett Morris, Lost Girls
Finalist: Sarah MinorBright Archive

2020

Winner: Dina Nayeri, The Ungrateful Refugee
See Dina’s interview on the Jane’s Stories Press Foundation YouTube channel.
Finalist: Sarah Blake, Naamah
Finalist: Susan Straight, In the Country of Women

2019

Winner: Tayari Jones, An American Marriage
See Tayari’s interview on the Jane’s Stories Press Foundation YouTube channel.
Finalist: Devi S. Laskar, The Atlas of Reds and Blues
Finalist: Gale Massey, The Girl from Blind River
Finalist: Laura van den Berg, The Third Hotel

2018

Winner: Terese Mailhot, Heart Berries
Finalist: Z.P. Dala, The Architecture of Loss
Finalist: Camile T. Dungy, Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History
Finalist: Connie May Fowler, A Millions Fragile Bones
Finalist: Jill McCabe Johnson, Revolutions We’d Hoped We’d Outgrown

Submissions

Check this page in Spring 2022 for submission information for the 2022 Clara Johnson Award.

About Clara Johnson

Johnson, who died in 2017, was one of a handful of women who worked as chemists in the defense industry during WWII. After the war, she worked at the US Department of Agriculture Illinois Northern Regional Research Lab in Peoria, IL, for 40 years.

During her life, Johnson was active in the League of Women Voters, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and other activist groups working for social justice and the inclusion of all voices in our democracy. She managed the Illinois National Organization for Women (NOW) office during and after the ERA ratification campaign in that state. 

A self-published memoirist, Johnson was a co-founder of Prairie Moon Feminist Bookstore in Arlington Heights, IL. As one of the first editors of the Jane’s Stories anthologies by women, she pushed for “stories with a purpose.” This award was founded in her memory in 2018 to honor her leadership and dedication to telling our purposeful stories.