O. Henry Memorial Award Prize Stories of 1924/Introduction

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This volume results from a cumulative process of elimination and attrition. Six readers selected from American magazines of 1924 (January to November, inclusive) more than six hundred stories by American authors. Two readers, who are members of the annual committee of judges, chose the best third of these and submitted them to two other judges, whose ratings were recorded with those of the first two. Out of two hundred, thirty-six ranked highest in the opinions of these four judges. Three additional judges read these thirty-six. Twenty-four stories survived.

The following plan indicates the degrees and proportions of responsibility.

R  1. Niña Jay Dusenberry
E  2. Shirley V. Long
A  3. Emma K. Temple
D  4. Isabel Walker
E  5. Blanche Cotton Williams ANNUAL COMMITTEE J
R  6. Frances Gilchrist Wood
S  7. Edward J. Erwin
 8. Robert L. Ramsay
 9. Ellis Parker Butler
10. Ethel Watts Mumford
11. Allan Nevins

Readers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Annual Committee: 5, 6, 7, 8.

Judges: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Ethel Watts Mumford and Blanche Colton Williams (Chairman) have served six years in judging stories and awarding prizes offered by the Society of Arts and Sciences. Frances Gilchrist Wood has served four years. Edward J. Erwin, instructor of short-story writing in Davidson College, North Carolina; and Robert L. Ramsay, of the University of Missouri and editor of “Short Stories of America,” were the new members on the annual committee. Ellis Parker Butler, author of “Pigs Is Pigs,” retiring President of the Authors’ League of America; and Allan Nevins, literary editor of the Sun (New York), were the remaining members of the committee of seven who adjudged the thirty-six stories.

At a meeting on November 25th, of a committee quorum, twenty-four stories were discussed as candidates for three prizes. Those present besides the Chairman were Ethel Watts Mumford, Frances Gilchrist Wood, Ellis Parker Butler, and Allan Nevins. The absent members, Edward J. Erwin and Robert L. Ramsay, telegraphed their preferences. The judges differed not only over the best of the few best stories but on the quality of brief fiction published in 1924. One expressed the fear that there were not enough stories to make a volume. Another commented that no peaks rise above the level—a level, however, admittedly high. The Chairman believes more good stories have appeared than in any year preceding.

Consideration of the candidates for the $100 prize, which is awarded to the best short short story, disclosed that four were in the running. “Fly Paper,” by Mary Arbuckle; “The Uninvited,” by Thomas Boyd; “Rachel and Her Children,” by Frances Newman; and “The Man Who Loved Hate,” by Wallace Smith. It was agreed that this last-named story bears strongest resemblance to O. Henry’s tales; but—it should be repeated—this prize is not to perpetuate O. Henry’s influence. O. Henry would be the first to approve that one who most honoured his technique by destroying it, if after the destruction the vandal built something better. The strong realism of “Fly Paper” was granted but with the regret that it falters toward the close. “The Uninvited” and “Rachel and Her Children” (both, as it happens, having been published in the American Mercury) remained. The merits of these were duly weighed, with the result that the committee unanimously voted the special prize to “Rachel and Her Children.”

In its mental revolutions around a single incident, Miss Newman’s narrative illustrates a growing reliance of present-day writers on the single point of view. The external incident is a funeral, at which are numerous mourners. Narrowing the mourners to one, the author follows the reminiscences of an old mother—presumably overcome with grief under the heavy swathes of her English crêpe—who does not weep, for entertaining reasons, but at length bursts into tears, for reasons even more entertaining. A whole life is rounded through the moments of reflection of old Mrs. Overton whose mind the author, once having entered it, never leaves. It is a hard story, hard as a precious stone and as luminant. Since Miss Newman is the author of “The Short Story’s Mutations,” a work which bespeaks her interest in the development of the short story, it may be guessed that this gem is no accident. She knew the particular technique she was employing, was cognizant of its advantages—as Henry James would have been cognizant.

Over the first prize there was more debate. “White Apes,” by Fannie Hurst, headed two lists. But four judges held that since the story was published in two parts, it falls outside the limitations imposed on this committee who consider only one-part stories. Its employment of heredity, its application of the Freudian theory, its vigour, the Greek quality of its tragedy, the vivid style by which these are conveyed—all contribute to one of the best tales Miss Hurst has written. ‘White Apes” is superior, even, to “Humoresque” (reprinted in the first volume of this series), which in its motion-picture version became popular throughout the earth.

“What Do You Mean—Americans?” held first place on one list but was voted out inasmuch as Mr. Steele has received two prizes from the Society of Arts and Sciences. Oddly enough the judge who preferred it remarked that having been recently to Cape Cod he found the story a perfect reflection of the life he saw there, while the judge who gave it the lowest rating—a Steele fan and friend, at that—averred that having been many times on Cape Cod she found it not at all adequate.

“A Different Country,” by Josephine Daskam Bacon, stood first on another list. But most of the committee, though admitting its charm, felt it to be another in the long chain of tales that began with “The Brushwood Boy” and reached the stage last season in “Outward Bound.”

“The Spring Flight,” by Inez Haynes Irwin; “Margaret Blake,” by Chester T. Crowell; “The Most Dangerous Game,” by Richard Connell; “The Courier of the Czar,” by Elsie Singmaster; and “Uriah’s Son,” by Stephen Vincent Benet—held high place on all lists. “The Spring Flight” had first place on the lists of two judges, second place on another, and ranked among the three highest on a third list. One judge argued tentatively that an episode in the life of Shakespeare is opposed to the spirit of the American short story, to which another replied that it is so much more than an episode and that any subject is subject for the American writer. Perhaps, too, the use of historical material is largely a matter of fashion. Another of the committee thought the story over-long for the content, the author having too generously endowed it with details of fact or apparent fact. Perhaps there may be too many men in the tavern scene; but, as the writer saw it, they were all men who helped to make Shakespeare what he was; every one of them helped to make the mood in which he found himself. Someone advanced that what the reader brings to a story of Shakespeare gives it apparent greatness. To which the obvious answer was that any story gains—or loses—by what the reader brings; he may bring so much, conceivably, as to throw most tales about the Man of Avon into the discard, whereas this particular one richly satisfies the reader’s demands. Not in Warwickshire had the weary writer been able to set in motion his “diamond sharp creative wheels”; to London he rode. Not at Montjoy’s, hearing much of plays and players from his garrulous hostess; not at the Mermaid, among his familiars; not at John Harvard’s home. But in the theatre—whither, after he confessed himself beaten, his feet bore him—he heard from a carpenter the small narrative which set those creative wheels turning. Whoever reads the story will feel the discouragement, prolonged sense of struggle to crystallize the drama in solution, the despair—“The game was up”—and will know when the ex-sailor tells of his voyage with Sir George Summers that the crystallizing agent has been found. Who reads will feel, too, Mrs. Irwin’s insight into the great dramatist’s soul—who can analyze and dramatize better than a writer the struggle of a writer? Further, after the slowly moving action so harmonious with the deadlock of the mind, the reader with a leap of the pulses will rush through the final words that tell not only of Shakspere's winning the game but flash the thousands of performances of the most beautiful play belonging to his latter days—a play argent bright in the dust of centuries.

Finally, only one dissenting voice urged "The Most Dangerous Game"; the judge who had cast his vote for Mr. Steele's story joined those favouring "The Spring Flight." Having the largest number of votes, therefore, "The Spring Flight" was awarded the first prize, $500.

All the remaining stories considered for first prize were considered in awarding the second prize. "Uriah's Son" was praised for its sentiment and delicately firm treament of an original situation. One judge, however, could not accept as basically possible this situation in spite of the skill expended by the author to make it convincing. Another believed that Frances Jerome was a trifle stupid throughout the years not to see what the reader sees in the first episode whereby David Davenant tests the courage of his stepson. The author had to steer his craft through narrow straits. He must let the reader see—otherwise the end would not be credible—and he must prevent, apparently, the stepson's understanding what his stepfather had been about. A difficult feat and of necessity attended by incomplete success. But it is a noble effort.

"The Most Dangerous Game," by the author of the second-prize story of 1923, is distinctive among the year's horror stories. One judge wrote of it: "Impossible situation, of course, but most interesting to the last word." Another recalled that it absorbed 100 per cent. of his attention, provoked him to sit erect and hold his breath while awaiting the outcome of the struggle to the death between the champion hunters, Rainsford and General Zaroff. In its final phases the struggle is over-condensed, but the ultimate thrill more than compensates. Poe would have envied the author this tale.

"The Courier of the Czar," by Elsie Singmaster, will be recognized as one of the Shindledecker sisters series by Saturday Evening Post readers, most of whom will agree with the committee in thinking it the best of those centring about the two Pennsylvania German women. No writer of recent years has exemplified more touchingly, more humorously, the gnawing of mental hunger and the satisfying of that hunger. The Bible, the Book of Martyrs, and the Almanac, Tilly and Betsey knew by heart. Some extraordinary motive must lead to their sin of reading a worldly book. What wonder that after the fifty-eighth quilt Tilly’s sight was endangered—and her mind? Nothing less tragic would have impelled Betsey to the sin, which later she had to confess. Easily, simply, the author permits Betsey’s concern over her sin to give away the part of the story she has read, with the result that the whole congregation hangs in suspense over the fate of “The Courier of the K-zar” and treks to the Shindledecker cottage. You smile when Betsey complacently announces she will begin once again in the beginning—a smile that forges past a lump in your throat. The simplicity of these Mennonite folk brings before you the genre paintings of Teniers and Van Eyck. At the same time you stand convicted, “And yet it is part of America.”

Condensed novel, rather than short story, “Margaret Blake” achieves its effect within short-story limits. With the judges, every reader will approve its freshness and spontaneity. On a subject too frequently associated with the unwholesome and salacious, its sanity and wholesomeness alone raise it above the ordinary. Its clever reversal of the usual situation is so cunningly managed as to hide in a seemingly natural series of events all traces of cleverness. Margaret Blake’s strength lay in her lack of self-consciousness. She had no education, but “was incapable of envy, malice, or revenge. . . . She practised something akin to polyandry in a strictly orthodox, puritanical community for more than a decade, named three illegitimate sons after their fathers, wrecked all three of the fathers, flourished as probably no green bay tree ever dreamed of flourishing, and finally in her mature years chased those who wanted to tell the truth about her to evasion, silence, or actual falsehood.” At last, she gave her life in the attempt to save that of another, and thereby made the community safe in public confession of that love all had felt for her and which had tortured them in the years when they felt compelled to hate her.

“What a masterpiece of economy!” exclaimed one judge. “Original, simple, direct,” said another. A beautiful piece of work, beautifully made, beautifully thought out, “Margaret Blake” was unanimously awarded the second prize—$250.

Of the remaining stories, Raymond S. Spears’s “A River Combine—Professional” ranks among the first for its interpretation of the river spirit, for poetry half revealed through dialect, the élan of life when life is young. To read it is to watch through Prenaux’s violin the motion of geese and cranes flying through the blue sky, wings flashing in the sunshine, to see May Gardner translating that motion in the dance, flying down the stage “like great white swans fly down the line travelling out of the north, white, strong, shimmering. Lawse! Lawse!” To hear “Caving Bends” is to hear the water “suckling an’ sawing—an’ then lumping-lumping down as the ground falls in, a tree swings out and falls a splashing.” Here are the apotheosis of river sound and motion, an idyllic love story and a struggle that ends right.

The Forum offered, in 1924, a prize of $1,000 for the best story submitted in the first six months of the year. The contest closed on July first, with an entry of nearly six hundred stories. Out of these six hundred the best were passed on to a committee which unanimously selected “The Secret at the Crossroads,” by Jefferson Mosley, as most worthy of the award. The committee from the Society of Arts and Sciences are glad to add their appreciation of its strength. In the first place, it is a story—no mere sketch or mood. It presents through the climactic events of a single evening the heroic struggle Doctor Agard made for his black brothers among a people suspicious of them, of whom they were suspicious. Perhaps the locale is purposefully veiled; but mosquitoes, swamps, rail-fenced corn, and cotton clearing are of the South, whatever the particular section. The epic is one that could be adventured nowhere else; only this region affords the conditions. One judge suggests that the ending loses by the introduction of the name of Lincoln, but most readers will hear in the name the whip crack which snaps out the significance of what has gone before.

In connection with this prize story, Harper’s contests demand a word. The editors offered, in 1924, $10,000 in prizes. For the best story submitted before March 31, $1,250; for the second best, $750; for the third best, $500. Similar prizes were offered in contests closing June 30th, September 30th, and December 31st. The committee from the Society of Arts and Sciences have read with peculiar interest the winning stories which have been published and have found—as may be seen by reference to the lists below—Fleta Campbell Springer’s “Legend” among the best thirty-six of the year.

“The Tie That Binds,” by George Pattullo (“The Metrolopus by Moonlight” Ethel Watts Mumford joyously suggests for sub-title) the committee liked for its humour and management of group psychology. Anchored in the Grecian port, Young America uses its fists three times on an evening ashore, then rows back to the boat and sleeps—after carefully removing automatics and stowing them under pillows. In 4,000 words this sunburst of merriment epitomizes, to the reader’s chuckles, the preferred way of declaring oneself patriotic. And it offers other causes for smiles. One judge recommended that this account of America in a foreign country be placed, for the gain in contrast, alongside the drama of Greeks and Portuguese and Russians on Cape Cod. “What Do You Mean—Americans?” by the way, will meet approval for being not so much a lesson in patriotism as an instance of “The King Is Dead! Long Live the King!” With sympathy for the last of the old-timers on the Cape, Mr. Steele welcomes the foreigners who also speedily become Americans. The emergence of his idea compels admiration. The story takes shape as a statue hewn out of granite; at first but dimly owning the likeness of a human being, it grows in counterfeit, and stands revealed at length a particular portrait only when the final touches are bestowed. Or, rather as a ship sails in through harbour mist, vaguely, then more clearly, and with the lifting of the mist appears as herself and no other, so in the last words the story becomes succinct and wholly rounded.

The challenge of “Progress,” by Harriet Welles, is so individual as to have drawn these opposing comments. Number One: “Unreal, affected.” Number Two: “Seems to me the best of the entire lot.” For the one, theme is too dominant and too artificially conveyed through the story medium. For the other, theme develops logically with the successive epochs of progress that mark Jem Brown’s life. Perhaps, too, in the rush of to-day he agrees with Jem that progress is “inventin’ somethin’ to carry you over the country so fast you can’t see nothin’ you’re a passin’.” The dénouement binds together tightly the preceding threads: Camel train wound into the settlement—and his mother was gone; locomotives thundered upon their scheduled way—and soon Jenny’s place knew her no more; in the airplane Jem sees his own signal for departure. That signal gives the reader a moment of startled wonder over the future—“What next?” The wife of Admiral Welles knows and loves most of the earth—except possibly the sea, the desert best of all. Skilfully she has introduced the history of camels in America and made them subservient to her purpose. Her passage from “The Seven Lamps of Architecture” recalls her “According to Ruskin,” which at last accounts had been translated into the twenty-fifth foreign tongue.

“Old men stories go so far and no farther,” one judge commented on reading “Horse and Horse.” Perhaps that very comment implies a sincerity to life, a faithfulness to character. Hank is a Western Ulysses who cannot rest from travel; he is strong to strive, to seek, and—having yielded once to temptation that proved his undoing—not to yield again. Some of the judges enjoy the neat architecture of this narrative. Unobtrusive clues—connections between ground plan and superstructure; building and balancing of character—stone on stone making for height and symmetry; the final emotional thrust—which is the topmost tower; these satisfy the demand that a story be put together featly, for strength and whatever of beauty the design permits. And the light in the house is that honour and pride scorn the taking of a secret advantage. Charles Caldwell Dobie is a master of the art by which one tells a story or paints pictures with words. A resident of San Francisco and member of the Bohemian Club, he knows the alkali desert and the trout brooks, which he has unobtrusively, perhaps symbolically, employed in this Odyssey.

‘Lijah” will recall to readers of the 1923 volume Edgar Valentine Smith, who was awarded the first prize for “Prelude.” One judge said of ‘Lijah,” “A darling story—not so well done.” Another commented upon the resemblance of Judge Holmsted to Colonel Carter of Cartersville. But, remarked another, who had lived four years on the Tombigbee, “What are you to do about it if those old aristocrats are pretty much alike? His creation of ’Lijah sets the Judge apart from his class, as the embellishment of ’Lijah distinguishes ’Bama.” The mica deposit—so fortuitously found—worried another; but, again, mica is just what that farm land would yield. One of the committee admitted to particular pleasure in the requirements of the closing lines. Than Mr. Smith no Southern writer of to-day is more familiar with his people or more adequately expresses through his stories those characteristics which are the soul of the old South.

By a miss that is better than a mile, “Professor Boynton Rereads History,” by Edith Mirrielees, just escapes being an essay. For the narrow dividing line that separates the purpose of the essay from the entertainment of the story disappears. The essay, in effect, is conveyed by the story vehicle. One critic may affirm that the professor’s rereading of the familiar passage is unnecessary to the point; but another will be ready to argue that Miss Mirrielees could take no chances. As Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never leaves his Sherlockian exploits to possible apprehension of the Doctor Watson order of intellect, so this author doubtless thought it best to emphasize her point. The Doctor Watsons are those she wished to impress, needed to impress. The final division of the story may be, then, superfluous to one reader; to ninety-nine others it will be essential. If there is more truth than fiction in this eye-opener, it was high time somebody was exploiting that truth under the guise of the garment in which fact popularly masquerades.

“One Uses the Handkerchief,” by Elinore Cowan Stone, met with general favour. It is further testimony to Miss Stone’s understanding of the heart of childhood and to her keen sense of humour, her sympathy, and her ability to extract the smiles and sobs from an everyday situation, which the committee first noticed with pleasure in “What Do We Wear?” (Century, September, 1922). Humour, stalked by its attendant shade, appears in Raphael who, by serving as monitor of the handkerchiefs, learned in his humble way to be “the good American.” A touch of genius endears that seminaked youngster of the scuffed shoes as a heroic figure worthy the gold watch fob presented by the Big Boss.

While they were considering the virtues of Raphael the committee observed that a large proportion of American stories—American in setting, in feeling, and in tone, as in the required authorship—had fallen among those adjudged best. Mexico-American, Mennonite, Cape Cod old-timer and Cape Cod new citizen, gobs in Greece, Professor in West Brookins, Margaret Blake, American sportsman, David Davenant—business man, Southern doctor, Mississippi River professionals, Southern aristocrat, old lady Daughter of the Revolution and Daughter of the Confederacy—all are varieties of the genus Americanus. Only the first prize story is wholly outside the American scene. And even there, not to press the matter too far, one links the Harvard home with New England, shuttles between the memorial room in St. Saviour’s and a certain statue in the grounds of Harvard University.

This continuity of scene and character is quite accidental and proves nothing, though it happens to differentiate this volume from its predecessors. If any conclusion is to be drawn it is that this group of judges appreciates the art that prompts our story writers to find fictional worth in what is near at hand.

Robert L. Ramsay says he was most impressed by “the increasing number of symbolistic short stories, stories with a touch or more than a touch of mysticism. Many of these, such as Roy Dickinson’s ‘The Ultimate Frog’ and Fleta Campbell Springer’s ‘Legend’ are imperfect in execution and uncertain of aim, but there is in them an originality and sincerity missing in most stories that follow older grooves.” Frances Gilchrist Wood and the Chairman rate “The Ultimate Frog” among the best stories of the year. The Chairman recommended it to the editor of Current Opinion and understands that he, too, charmed by its unusual character, chose it for reprinting.

Mr. Ramsay also notes the brave persistence of the local colour story—such as “The River Combine” and Paul Green’s “The Devil’s Instrument”—in spite of the fact that certain critics have sounded its death knell. He comments on the apparent recrudescence of the historical story and “the curious epidemic of kid stories.” He also finds promise among the new writers—particularly in May Freud Dickenson, Meigs Frost, and Margaret Culkin Banning.

The following list is of stories that ranked highest with the annual committee. Those starred totalled a somewhat higher number of points and were therefore the thirty-six submitted to the three additional judges:

Ailen, James Lane, The Violet (Harper’s, June).

Anderson, Sherwood, Caught (American Mercury, February).

Arbuckle, Mary *Fly Paper (Real Life, April); Mirage (Midland, September).

Bacon, Josephine Daskam., *A Different Country (Saturday Evening Post, June 7).

Banning, Margaret Culkin. A Great Club Woman (Harper’s, November).

Barker, Elsa, A Ticket to Brooklyn (Harper’s, February).

Bechdolt, Frederick R., Brazos (Cosmopolitan, August).

Beer, Thomas, Sophistication (Saturday Evening Post, October 11).

Benet, Stephen Vincent, *Uriah’s Son (Red Book, May).

Boogher, Susan Meriwether, *Fear (Saturday Evening Post, February 23).

Boyd, Thomas, *The Uninvited (American Mercury, November).

Brady, Mariel, *The Autograph Album (Good Housekeeping, October).

Brinig, *The Synagogue (Munsey’s, March).

Burt, Katharine Newlin, Triggerfinger (Cosmopolitan, June).

Burt, Struthers, Pepper’s Ghost (Red Book, June).

Butler, Ellis Parker, Finding Mr. Wing (Delineator, February).

Caruthers, om, *What Killed Brush Flat (Collier’s, May 31).

Clark, Valma, Crumbs (Holland’s, June); Service (Scribner’s, October).

Cobb, Irvin S., *A Crown Prince in Banishment (Cosmopolitan, June).

Connell, Richard, *The Most Dangerous Game (Collier’s, January, 19); Pieces of Silver (Century, September).

Cooper, Courtney Ryley, Voices of the Sea (Red Book, February).

Crawford, Charlotte Holmes, The Point of Recoil (Scribner’s, October).

Crowell, Chester T., *Margaret Blake (Century, February); The Four Smith Gils (Pictorial Review, September).

Davis, Aaron, The Polka-Dot Hounds (Saturday Evening Post, October 25).

Derieux, Samuel, Wild Bill McCorkle (American, August).

Dicken May Freud, *The Mouse (American Mercury, July).

Dickinson, Roy, The Ultimate Frog (Harper’s, November).

Dobie, Charles Caldwell, The Cracked Teapot (Harper’s, January); *Horse and Horse (Harper’s, July).

Ferber, Edna, Our Very Best People (Cosmopolitan, March); *Holiday (Cosmopolitan, June).

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, Diamond Dick (Hearst’s International, April); John Jackson’s Arcady (Saturday Evening Post, July 26).

Frost, Meigs O., *The Challenge of the Snake (Short Stories, February 25); The Mirror of Courage (Collier’s, June 28).

Gaither, Rice, The Phantom Taxi (McCall’s, January).

Glenn, Isa Urquhart, The Shuttle (Scribner’s, January).

Green, Paul, *The Devil’s Instrument (Atlantic Monthly, July).

Hart, Frances Noyes, The Happy Ending (McCall’s, October).

Hopper, James, Father and Son (Saturday Evening Post, October 25).

Howard, Sidney, *A Likeness of Elizabeth (McCall’s, November).

Hurst, Fannie, *White Apes (Forum, March-April).

Irwin, Inez Haynes, *The Spring Flight (McCall’s, June).

Jackson, Charles Tenney, For His Tribe (Popular, April 20).

Kelland, Clarence Budington, The Gate in the Wall (Saturday Evening Post, July 5).

Lane, Rose Wilder, Autumn (Harper’s, June).

Lea, Fannie Heaslip, It Was Not Love (McCall’s, June).

Macauley, Ward, Smilson (Scribner’s, January).

Mason, Grace Sartwell, The Closed House (Red Book, April).

Miller, Helen Topping, *The Far Side of Thunderbolt (Pictorial Review, March).

Mirrielees, Edith R., *Professor Boynton Rereads History (Atlantic Monthly, August).

Morris, Gouverneur, The Mouse Woman (Cosmopolitan, July).

Mosley, Jefferson, *The Secret at the Crossroads (Forum, November).

Mumford, Ethel Watts, Mine (Everybody’s, February).

Newman, Frances, *Rachel and Her Children (American Mercury, May).

Parker, Dorothy, Mr. Durant (American Mercury, September.)

Pattullo, George, *The Tie That Binds (Saturday Evening Post, June 28).

Pratt, Lucy, The Dark Gate (Good Housekeeping, October).

Rinehart, Mary Roberts, The Altar on the Hill (Saturday Evening Post, June 14).

Roe, Vingie E., Vengeance Is Mine (McCall’s, October).

Singmaster, Elsie, *The Courier of the Czar (Saturday Evening Post, June 7).

Smith, Edgar Valentine, Silhouette (Harper’s, May); *’Lijah (Harper’s, August).

Smith, Wallace, *The Man Who Loved Hate (Collier’s, September 27).

Spears, Raymond S., *A River Combine—Professional (Argosy-Allstory, May 3).

Springer, Fleta Campbell, *Tragedienne (Harper’s, March); *Legend (Harper’s, November).

Steele, Wilbur Daniel, *What Do You Mean—Americans? (Pictorial Review, April); Lost at Sea (Pictorial Review, May).

Stone, Elinore Cowan, *One Uses the Handkerchief (Woman’s Home Companion, November).

Stringer, Arthur, The Cat (Cosmopolitan, November).

Suckow, Ruth A Start in Life (American Mercury, September).

Tarkington, Booth, My Heart (Ladies’ Home Journal, October).

Tarleau, Ysaye, Loutré (Harper’s, September).

Terhune, 'Albert Payson, Have You Seen Him? (Saturday Evening Post, September 13).

Van de Water, Frederic F., *Yellow Cargo (Saturday Evening Post, April 26).

Warren, Hamilton, The Faithful Image (Scribner’s, July).

Welles, Harriet, *Progress (Scribner’s, June).

Whitman, Stephen French, Cretheus and the Lions (American Mercury, March).

Williams, Ben Ames, *The Wine of Violence (Ladies' Home Journal, May); His Own Petard (Collier's, September 20); A Finished Story (Good Housekeeping, October).
Williams, Jesse Lynch, The Actress and the Lady (Cosmopolitan, October).
Wood, Charles W., *Spook (Collier's, March 1).

The following list is of stories that rank next in merit with a majority of the annual committee.

Alexander, Elizabeth, Tyrant—Woman (Saturday Evening Post, June 28); Ties (Saturday Evening Post, September 13).

Andrews, Clarence Edward, Love in the Flea Market (Atlantic Monthly, June).

Bailey, Ledyard M., The Horse That Broke the Town (People's Home Journal, August).

Beach, Rex, Frenchy (Hearst's International, November).

Beaumont, Gerald, Flower of Napoli (Red Book, March).

Bechdolt, F. R., The Soft Side of Hate (Cosmopolitan, November).

Benet, Stephen Vincent, The Raveled Sleeve (Cosmopolitan, October).

Blodgett, Ruth Robinson, The Curve of Adventure (Saradner's, September).

Brinig, Myron, Maw (Munsey's, November).

Brown, Alice, The Girl in the Tree (Harper's, August).

Brown, Bernice, Freda Waldensen (Ladies' Home Journal, February).

Bryson, Lyman, The Cyprian (Atlantic Monthly, November).

Buckley, F. R., The Primitive Method (Adventure, November 10); Cartel to Wm. Shakespeare (Adventure, November 30).

Burke, Morgan, Champlin (Blue Book, August).

Butler, Ellis Parker, Mighty Tight Money (Woman's Home Companion, March); Green Paint (Saturday Evening Post, July 19).

Child, Richard Washburn, The Cat (Designer, November).

Clark, Valma, Superstition (Holland's, October).

Cobb, Irvin S., The Surprised Party (Cosmopolitan, August); Standing Room Only (Cosmopolitan, October); We of the Old South (Cosmopolitan, November).

Connell, Richard, Only Three Hundred Dollars (Saturday Evening Post, March 29); The Wronging of Edwin Dell (Harper’s Bazaar, May); Big Lord Fauntleroy (Saturday Evening Post, August 16); Cold-Blooded (American, October).

Cooper, Courtney Ryley, Circus Hearts (Macfadden Fiction-Lover’s, October).

Crowell, Chester T., Pariah (American Mercury, August).

Dickson, Harris, The Fight at Boggy Bayou (Popular, April 20).

Dobie, Charles Caldwell, The Dancing Girl from Pieng-an (Century, January).

Dold, Douglas M., Kalambo (Collier’s, August 23).

Ertz, Susan, Relativity and Major Brooke (Harper’s, April).

Ferber, Edna, Classified (Cosmopolitan, November).

Gaither, Frances O. J., Hitchcock (Ainslee’s, September); Poor Estelle! (Ainslee’s, November).

Glenn, Isa Urquhart, The Coffee-Cooler (Scribner’s, November).

Hall,Holworthy, Commencement (Saturday Evening Post, March 29).

Hull, Helen R., The Playboy (Cosmopolitan, April).

Irwin, Inez Haynes, A Mother’s Heart (Hearst’s International, August).

Kirk, R. G. Nemesis at Number Five (Collier’s, September 13).

Kniffin, Harryy A., The Name Forbidden (Delineator, April); Patchwork (Delineator, July).

Larsson, Genevieve, Ingeborg the Proud (Pictorial Review, June).

Lovelace, Delos W., Wheat (Ladies’ Home Journal, July).

McCutcheon, George Barr, Horatio Shard’s. Enemy (McClure’s, March).

Mathes, Hodge, The Linkster (Everybody’s, March).

Mellett, Berthe K., The Bacchae (Ainslee’s, March).

Morris, Gouverneur, Lady Bluebeard (Cosmopolitan, August); A Postscript to Divorce (Hearst’s International, September).

Mumford, Ethel Watts, Everything Money Can Buy (Hearst’s International, August); The Hat (Ainslee’s, August).

Mygatt, Gerald, That’s Human, Too! (Metropolitan, January).

Paradise, Viola, A Calabrian Goes Home (Harper’s, October).

Perry, Lawrence, The Hired Man (Hearst’s International, July).

Peyton, Mary Wetzell, Passage Money Home (American, April).

Pierce, Frank Richardson, Kerry (People’s Home Journal, May).

Roche, Arthur Somers, The Kiss of Papa Joffre (Cosmopolitan, May).

Rossiter, William Sidney, Two Ivory Cupids (Atlantic Monthly, September).

Royer, Lucy March, The Doubtful Inheritance (McCall’s, January).

Rutledge, Maryse, An Old Man’s Fiddle (Collier’s, June 14).

Saxby, Charles, After Eden (Delineator, March).

Scoggins, C. E., The Cherub (Woman’s Home Companion, May).

Sholl, Anna McClure, Pennyroyal (Woman’s Home Companton, November).

Singmaster, Elsie, A Man in the House (Saturday Evening Post, February 9); His Wife’s Money (Metropolitan, June).

Steele, Wilbur Daniel, Marriage (Pictorial Review, August.)

Storrs, Marguerite Lusk, Doc Queer (McCall’s, April).

Street, Julian, A Speaking Likeness (Saturday Evening Post, August 9).

Synon, Mary, Mrs. Hartigan (Good Housekeeping, July).

Tarkington, Booth, The Power of the Press (McCall’s, January).

Terhune, Albert Paysort, The Last Adventure (Good Housekeeping, August).

Terrill, Lucy Stone, That Broader Outlook (Saturday Evening Post, September 27).

Train, Arthur, The Lost Gospel (Saturday Evening Post, June 7).

Van Doren, Carl, The Shadow of a Triangle (Century, October).

Van Vorst, Marie, The Witch of Top-Hell (Pictorial Review, September).

Walshe, Douglas, The Custom of the Country (McClure’s, April).
Weimans, Rita, Matinee Idle (Saturday Evening Post, August 2).
Wharton, Edith, The Spark (Ladies' Home Journal, May).
Whitman, Stephen French, The Ladies of Boccaccio (Everybody’s, February).
Williams, Ben Ames, Perfectly Absurd (Ladies' Home Journal, February); Northeaster (Saturday Evening Post, September 20).
Williams, Jesse Lynch, The Lovely Lady (Saturday Evening Post, April 19).
Williams, Margery, The White Flower (Everybody’s, November).
Wister, Owen, Sun Road (Cosmopolitan, July).

The following summary indicates the year of serial publication, the titles of the stories, the authors, and the prizes awarded by the Society of Arts and Sciences:

  1. England to America, by Margaret Prescott Montague. $500.
  2. “For They Know Not What They Do,” by Wilbur Daniel Steele. $250.
  1. Each in His Generation, by Maxwell Struthers Burt. $500.
  2. “Contact!” by Frances Noyes Hart. $250.
  1. The Heart of Little Shikara, by Edison Marshall, $500.
  2. The Man Who Cursed the Lilies, by Charles Tenney Jackson. $250.
  3. Special prize to Wilbur Daniel Steele for the best work of 1919, 1920, and 1921. $500.
  1. Snake Doctor, by Irvin S. Cobb. $500.
  2. Innocence, by Rose Wilder Lane. $250.
  3. Gold-Mounted Guns, by F. R. Buckley. $100.
  1. Prelude, by Edgar Valentine Smith. $500.
  2. A Friend of Napoleon, by Richard Connell. $250.

1924.3. Towers of Fame, by Elizabeth Irons Folsom. $100.

1924.1. The Spring Flight, by Inez Haynes Irwin. $500.

1924.2. Margaret Blake, by Chester T. Crowell. $250.

1924.3. Rachel and Her Children, by Frances Newman. $100.

First possible through gifts by members of the Society of Arts and Sciences, these prizes have been perpetuated through the sale of the volumes. The chairman understands that more than half the receipts from royalties have been converted into these prizes. The various committee members—critics and writers of the short story—have given largely of time and energy, having undertaken the labour out of interest in the American short story and a desire to help in preserving the examples they have adjudged the best.

But for the coöperation of editors and authors, however, this annual volume would be impossible; the present committee thank both for their prompt and cordial assistance. Since the expense incurred in buying magazines is one of the most considerable met by the committee, the chairman would thank particularly those editors who, unsolicited, have sent their publications free of charge.

New York City,
19, 1924.