Jane's Stories Press Foundation
nurturing emerging and established women writers since 2000

Bright Archive by Sarah Minor (Rescue Press) is a unique collection of essays 
that combines visual art with memoir to create an imaginative collection that 
challenges what it means to read. Stories are told in a variety of ways, linking 
words with shapes as varied as a log-cabin-quilt square, a soffit, and a knot.

                                                        In her memoir How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences (University of                                                         Nebraska Press), Sue William Silverman confronts her fear of death by reflecting                                                         on past traumas and experiences and discovers how an early sexual assault                                                         impacted her life and inaugurated her fear of death.

Ellen Birkett Morris explores the experiences of girls and young women as they 
come to terms with the limitations and potentialities of their womanhood 
in her short story collection Lost Girls (Touch Point Press).

                            Nikki Dolson presents us with tales of crime fiction with black women protagonists 
                            as diverse as military officers, detectives, and boxers in Love and Other Criminal                             Behaviors (Bronzeville Books). 


The victims of masochistic mass murderer Countess Bathory are given 
a voice in Many Restless Concerns (a testimony) 
by Gayle Brandeis (Black Lawrence Press).

                                                The Snow Collectors (Dzanc Books) by Tina May Hall combines trauma, loss, 
                                                mystery and Arctic exploration in this gothic tale set in the present yet haunted 
                                                by the ghosts of 19th century exploration

Wanting Radiance (South Limestone Books, University of Kentucky Press),
 by Karen Salyer McElmurray follows Miracelle Loving on her odyssey 
in search of her mother's murderer, the father she never knew, love, 
and her own self.

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. 

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Nominees for the 
2020 Johnson Award for Women's Literature 
Short List titles are bold and in red.