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Elizabeth Crane

Elizabeth Crane Serves as the 2004 Final Judge

Press release February 20, 2004

Elizabeth Crane has agreed to serve as the professional judge for the 2004 Nick Adams Short Story Contest. She is the author of When the Messenger is Hot, a collection of short stories published in January 2003 by Little, Brown and Company. describes When the Messenger is Hot as a collection that "explores love and its many permutations, from sexual passion to the illusion of young love now remembered to grief over a mother's death (at 63) to a lonely protagonist's relationship with a ghost baby."

Elizabeth Crane

USA Today describes When the Messenger is Hot as a collection that "explores love and its many permutations, from sexual passion to the illusion of young love now remembered to grief over a mother's death (at 63) to a lonely protagonist's relationship with a ghost baby."

The sixteen stories in the collection are written in a conversational and rambling tone, and Crane employs first- and second-person narratives, footnotes, and other unique literary mechanisms in her writing.

In an article recently published at powells.com, Crane noted, "As a writer, whatever ends up inspiring you, you hope that your writing is its own thing ..." ("On the Subject of Influences Blatant, Less Blatant, Random or Otherwise").

Crane's first collection of stories, When the Messenger is Hot has received strong reviews. The Washington Post calls it "a boldly original collection," and the Chicago Tribune praises the stories as "unique, intriguing, and often hilarious." The New York Times Book Review comments, "Crane has a distinctive and eccentric voice that is consistent and riveting from the first story to the last, and When the Messenger is Hot expresses a remarkably strong and coherent artistic vision."

Elizabeth Crane grew up in Manhattan, received a degree in communications from The George Washington University, and worked odd jobs in New York for a number of years, as a video store clerk, waitress, substitute teacher, and talent booker. In 1994 she worked in Chicago for six months while tutoring Macaulay Culkin's siblings. Crane moved to Chicago for good in 1996, took a job as a preschool teacher, and began to write seriously.

Crane's short stories have been featured in publications including The Sycamore Review, Washington Square, New York Stories, Book, The Florida Review, Eclipse, Bridge Magazine, Sonora Review, and the Chicago Reader. Crane was the winner of the Chicago Public Library's 21st Century Award in 2003, and her second book of stories, All This Heavenly Glory, will be published by Little, Brown and Company in 2005.

More information is available on Elizabeth Crane's website at www.elizabethcrane.com.