Author Bio and Writings


J. A. Bernstein is the author of a forthcoming novel, RACHEL’S TOMB (New Issues, A.W.P. Award Series, 2019); and a forthcoming story collection, STICK-LIGHT (Eyewear, 2019). A Chicago-native, he studied Middle Eastern History and Arabic at Brown University and in Jordan on a Fulbright Scholarship. After living in the Middle East for a number of years, he completed a Ph.D. in the Creative Writing & Literature Program at the University of Southern California, where he held the Middleton Fellowship. He is an assistant professor of English in the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi and the fiction editor of Tikkun. He can be reached via email here.


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

  • 2017 AWP Award Series Prize 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: Eyewear, 2019, forthcoming.

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

DESERT CASTLES (creative nonfiction), Southern Indiana Review, 2019, forthcoming.

  • 2017 Thomas A. Wilhelmus Short Prose Award
  • Runner-up, 2015 Palooka Chapbook Prize

IN JOSAPHAT’S VALLEY (creative nonfiction), in submission.

  • Finalist, 2018 Autumn House Books Nonfiction Book Prize
  • 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

Short Works

Stories Online:

Nonfiction and Verse:

Coming Soon:

Other Stories:

Other Nonfiction:

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