This year, for the first time, we have awarded two Narrative Prizes—a testament to the quality of work we’ve had the privilege of sharing with you across these months. Please join us in celebrating Morgan Talty and Tryphena L. Yeboah for their remarkable talent and singular voices. (Below you’ll find the official press release.) Talty and Yeboah take their places in the richly talented lineage of Narrative Prize winners who’ve gone on to expand and deepen our understanding of story—past, present, and future.


Photos of Morgan Talty and Tryphena L. Yeboah SAN FRANCISCO (September 29, 2021)—The editors of Narrative announced today that for the first time, two $4,000 Narrative Prizes, given annually for exceptional work by an emerging writer published in the previous year in Narrative, will be awarded—one to Morgan Talty and a second to Tryphena L. Yeboah.

Talty, a fiction writer and citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation, earns the prize for his stories “Food for the Common Cold” and “The Gambler.” His previously published work in Narrative includes “Burn,” “Safe Harbor,” and “In a Jar.”

Yeboah, a writer from Ghana, earns the prize for her story “If the Body Makes a Sound” and essay “The Ravages of an Unloved Life.” Her previously published work in Narrative includes “First Light” and “To this God I Will Say.”

In honoring Talty and Yeboah each with the Narrative Prize—with funds totaling $8,000—Narrative cofounder/editor Tom Jenks remarked, “While Morgan Talty and Tryphena Yeboah are two young writers from ostensibly very different worlds—one from the Penobscot Nation in Maine and the other from Ghana—they share a great-heartedness and an intense, nuanced focus on familial roles and the fraught relationships that occur when the known world narrows and grows inimical despite one’s best intentions and desires. Yeboah traverses a previously unexplored land of tribal prejudices and taboos, and Talty recounts the difficult survival of members of a diminished tribe. With lyric power, both writers bring love amid pathos.”

Author and Narrative cofounder/editor Carol Edgarian added, “We have published Morgan’s and Tryphena’s stories across several years, and both writers have put in the hard, patient work to find themselves at an exciting and pivotal moment in their careers. We felt they deserved the recognition that the Narrative Prize brings—and in this year, when so much of the news is grim, why not celebrate with joy and abundance the work of two talented writers! Quite simply, the world needs to hear the stories that only they can tell.”

Talty is a current Lit Event Fellow for Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. He teaches courses in English and Native American Studies and is on the faculty at the Stonecoast MFA program in creative writing. He received his BA in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and his MFA in fiction from Stonecoast. His story collection, Night of the Living Rez, is forthcoming from Tin House Books (2022). He lives in Levant, Maine.

Yeboah earned her MFA from Chapman University and an MA in development communications from the Ghana Institute of Journalism. Her debut chapbook, A Mouthful of Home (University of Nebraska Press, 2020), was selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New-Generation African Poets chapbook series. Her writing has recently appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and at Literary Hub, IceFloe Press, and more.

The Narrative Prize recognizes writers whose talent and accomplishments place them at the forefront of a new generation of storytellers. Previous winners include Gbenga Adesina, Brenden Willey, Paisley Rekdal, Javier Zamora, Sara Houghteling, Ocean Vuong, Austin Smith, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Nathan Poole, Natalie Diaz, Kevin A. González, Anthony Marra, Maud Newton, Alexi Zentner, Michael Dickman, Alma García, Saidiya Hartman, Mermer Blakeslee, Ned Parker, Pia Z. Ehrhardt, and Min Jin Lee.


Founded in 2003, Narrative, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is dedicated to advancing the literary arts in the digital age by supporting the finest writing talent and encouraging readership across generations, in schools, and around the globe. As the premier digital publisher of first-rank fiction, poetry, essays, and art, each year Narrative publishes hundreds of well-known and emerging writers. The Narrative in the Schools program supports teachers and students around the world, who are too often hampered by limited resources, by providing free reading, lesson plans, video tutorials, and the annual Narrative “Tell Me a Story” high school writing contest to inspire the next generation of readers and writers. Narrative was founded on the conviction that there should be no socioeconomic barriers to accessing great literature. Our ever-expanding modern library of thousands of stories, poems, and essays is free to all.