In November, Danny Trigili ‘21 was named one of two runners-up for the 2019 Stony Brook Short Fiction contest. Their story, “Earning a Living,” was judged by Paul Harding, a Pulitzer Prize winning author and professor at Stony Brook University.
In a press release from the contest’s coordinators, Harding wrote: “‘Earning a Living’ plunks readers into a post-apocalyptic town with full artistic certainty and control, without fuss or explanation. It is terse and elliptical and knowing. Of all the things it might present us from a world where civilization possibly hangs by a last thread, it brilliantly and with total conviction chooses a gutsy, fraught, and fleeting reunion of two former bandits who just may have broken one another’s hearts years ago.”
“It’s been a really cool opportunity to participate in the contest. They said they’d get back to me in October and I forgot about it, then I got the email on November 2nd and was like ‘OMG!’ It’s really been a great opportunity, and I enjoy being a part of it,” said Trigili of their prize.
Trigili is an English major and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights concentrator. They first heard about and were encouraged to submit to the contest from a creative writing class taught by Professor Asali Solomon, Haverford’s Director of Creative Writing and an associate professor of English.
“Earning a Living” was originally submitted as an assignment for Solomon, though a scheduling misunderstanding helped Trigili refine the story into its final form. After misreading the due date for the assignment to be a week earlier than it actually was, Trigili scrambled to finish ‘Earning a Living’ before realizing their mistake and taking the extra time to perfect the story before submitting it. “I was really happy with it by the time I actually turned it in,” Trigili explained. “It was just one of those happy coincidences!”
For now, Trigili envisions pursuing a career in non-profit work, in line with their Peace, Justice, and Human Rights coursework. But, they also hope to grow their talent and passion for creative writing. “The dream is always to be the next J.K. Rowling. Everyone wants to write a book and make it big, I would love that. Recently creative writing is something I’ve realized I’d like to work on in my future, I’d love to get a book published at some point. But it’s not my main path.”
Though Trigili is currently studying abroad in Denmark, they hope to become more active in Haverford’s creative writing community upon their return next semester. As for advice for others interested in creative writing at Haverford, they had this to say: “My advice would be to just do it. I guess that goes for any art, anything. Just write, just submit to contests, it really doesn’t matter. Even just the process of filling out the form and getting the ‘thanks for your submission’ message is gratifying itself. Just getting it done is the best advice I can give.”
To read Trigili’s “Earning a Living,” click here.