Author Bio and Writings


J. A. Bernstein’s forthcoming novel, RACHEL’S TOMB (New Issues), won the AWP Award Series Prize, and his forthcoming story collection, STICK-LIGHT (Eyewear), was a finalist for the Robert C. Jones and Beverly Prizes. A Chicago-native, he studied Near Eastern History and Arabic at Brown University and in Jordan on a Fulbright Scholarship. He then lived in the Middle East for five years and completed a Ph.D. in the Creative Writing and Literature Program at the University of Southern California, where he held the Middleton Fellowship. Having formerly taught as an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth, he will begin this fall in the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is also the fiction editor of Tikkun.


RACHEL’S TOMB (novel), New Issues, 2019, forthcoming

  • 2017 AWP Award Series for the Novel
  • 2016 Hackney Literary Award for the Novel
  • 2015 Knut House Novel Contest
  • Finalist, 2013 James Jones First Novel Fellowship Competition
  • Semifinalist, 2016 Elixir Press Fiction Award

STICK-LIGHT (short story collection), London, U.K.: Eyewear, 2018, forthcoming

  • Shortlist, 2016 Beverly Prize, Eyewear Editions
  • Finalist, 2015 Jones Book Prize, Pleiades Press
  • Finalist, 2015 Prose Book Prize, Augury Books
  • Long-list, 2015 Serena McDonald Kennedy Award for Fiction, Snake Nation Press

IN JOSAPHAT’S VALLEY (essay collection), in submission

  • Finalist, 2017 Cleveland State University Poetry Center Nonfiction Book Prize
  • Runner-up, 2016 Nonfiction Book Prize, Red Hen Press
  • Finalist, 2015 Prose Book Prize, Augury Books
  • Runner-up, 2015 Palooka Chapbook Prize (shortened form)

Short Works

Stories Online:

Nonfiction and Verse:

Coming Soon:

Other Stories:

Other Nonfiction:

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