Scholarship Winner

Useful, Like a Two Dollar Bill

Evan Miles gorzeman submitted to The Reedsy National Creative Writing Scholarship

Synopsis

Useful, Like a Two Dollar Bill follows Stiff, a middle-aged, single, and aloof cemetery manager whose life has not gone according to plan. A local psychic by the name of Gummy gives Stiff a prophecy to right his unfulfilled life. This sets Stiff on a journey to find what he's been missing. Haunted by the powerful women of his past, Stiff dives into the seedy criminal underbelly of his hometown Emma, Louisiana where he meets a man brought back to life after a lightning storm, a matriarchal lumber and drug mogul, and ghosts of people whose lives have petered out all around him.

Story

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About Evan

Columbia University

Born and raised in Long Beach, California, Evan studied Political Science and English at Loyola Marymount University. Currently, he is enrolled at the MFA program in Fiction at Columbia University in New York City. Some of his favorite novels are Train Dreams by Denis Johnson and Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. He lists authors such as Raymond Carver, Karen Russell, and Tom McCarthy as major influences in his work. The first chapter of his winning entry, Useful, Like a Two Dollar Bill was selected due to its excellent imagery and compelling character development straight out the gate.