Rion Scott, an English instructor at Bowie State University in Maryland, has received the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Award for Debut Fiction.
Scott recently received the award, which came with a $25,000 cash prize, at the 2017 PEN Literary Awards ceremony, where he was honored for his collection of short stories, “Insurrections.”
The work is a collection of tales from residents in the fictional town of Cross River, Md., a largely black settlement founded in 1807, following the only successful slave revolt in the United States.
Judges for the awards described the collection as “hard, humane stories, free of grandstanding, yet full of grace that looms in the mind long after reading.”
Scott, a native of Silver Spring, earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at George Mason University.