Author Bio and Writings

IMG_3779J. A. Bernstein’s forthcoming novel, RACHEL’S TOMB, won the AWP Award Series Prize, Hackney Award, and Knut House Contest, and his forthcoming story collection, STICK-LIGHT, 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 USC, where he held the Middleton Fellowship. He is an assistant professor of English at the University of Minnesota Duluth and the fiction editor of Tikkun magazine. He’s also formerly the world’s #9 ranked cherry-pit spitter after notching a personal best of 52’7” at the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship in Eau Claire, Michigan in 2012.


Selected Publications

Available Online:


Nonfiction and Poetry:

Coming Soon:

Available at a Fine Retailer Near You:




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

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

STICK-LIGHT (short story collection), forthcoming, Eyewear Editions

  • 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)

  • 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 (in shortened form)

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