Street of Widows

Green Writers Press is honored to endow the annual Howard Frank Mosher
First Novel or Short Story Collection Book Prize.

Mosher_Howard_Frank_200Howard Frank Mosher was the author of ten novels and two travel memoirs. Born in the Catskill Mountains in 1942, Mosher lived in Vermont’s fabled Northeast Kingdom from 1964 onward, when he and his wife Phillis came to teach there. Howard was the recipient of many awards for his fiction, including Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, the American Civil Liberties Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Vermont Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the New England Book Award, and the 2011 New England Independent Booksellers Association’s President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts. Three of his novels, Disappearances, A Stranger in the Kingdom, Where the Rivers Flow North, and Northern Borders were made into acclaimed feature movies by the Vermont independent filmmaker Jay Craven. Howard’s wife, Phillis Claycomb Mosher still lives in the Northeast Kingdom and their son and daughter are grown now.

The 2018 winner is Cassie Fancher for her story collection entitled Street of Widows. The first prize winner of the award in 2017, was selected by Howard Frank Mosher himself, was Burlington, Vermont, novelist Jackson Ellis for his debut Lords of St. Thomas, published in spring 2018.

The stories in the book are powerful and according to publisher, Dede Cummings, the author’s voice is mature beyond her 22 years of age. “We judge the entries without much knowledge of the submitter, and none of us knew that the winner was just out of college and so young.” 

About the Collection:
You move away, but spend whole days thinking of your hometown. Up the hill, past the gravel pit, an Elvis impersonator is leaning on his parked car. On Memorial Day, you put flowers on your great grandmother’s grave and spend an afternoon wondering about her life. In your sister’s first apartment, there are terrible figures drawn on the walls with Sharpies. You take a figure drawing class and the model, a skinny blonde woman, opens her mail and cries while you draw her. You learn that your great grandmother was a widow, that her town was a community of widows, a whole street renamed in their honor:
La Strada Delle Vedove, the Street of Widows.

In Cassie Fancher’s debut collection of stories, small town American women navigate grief and loss. Piecing together images from her own life, Cassie creates stories that prioritize not the trauma itself but the relationships these women find in order to survive. This collection, and the characters within, consider home from afar, from close up, from the past and the present.

Advance Praise

Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, blurbs that the stories in the collection are “graceful, lucid, and absorbing,” and adds that this “debut collection of stories that launches this fine new storyteller to the ranks of Vermont writers.”

PEN New England award winner, Robin MacArthur says “Street of Widows took my breath away. Cassie Fancher is a young Alice Munro.”

About the Author
Cassie Fancher grew up in New Haven, Vermont. She is a graduate of Hampshire College. This is her first book.


About the Judge
Robin MacArthur lives on the hillside farm where she was born in southern Vermont. Her debut collection of short stories, HALF WILD, won the 2017 PEN New England award for fiction, and was a finalist for both the New England Book Award and the Vermont Book Award. Her novel, HEART SPRING MOUNTAIN, was published by Ecco (HarperCollins) in January of 2018, and was a IndieNext Selection and a finalist for the New England Book Award.

Robin is also the editor of Contemporary Vermont Fiction: An Anthology, one-half of the indie folk duo Red Heart the Ticker, and the recipient of two Creation Grants from the Vermont Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. When not writing, editing or teaching, Robin spends her time prying rocks out of unruly garden soil, picking blackberries and raspberries outside her back door, and traipsing through woods with her big-hearted and half-wild children. Website:

Edmond Stevens for “Skating to New York”
C. R. Resetarits for “North of Me: Stories”

200 pages  /  Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.25  /  Price: $19.95
Trade Paperback Original
ISBN: 978-1-950584-01-7
Publication Date: Octobern22, 2021
Distributor: IPG.
Also available from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Follett.
Foreign rights sold: Available  /  Rights Contact: Dede Cummings,
German Language: Oliver Brauer  /  Tel: 089 125 09 65-25  /