Marissa Martinelli Visci

Marissa Martinelli Visci, from New Jersey, USA, graduated from St Andrews in 2016 with a Master of Arts in English. Her final year dissertation, on representations of blindness in Victorian and Modernist fiction, gave her the opportunity to unite her dual interests in literature and sociology.

She won the 2013 Dan Hemingway Short Story Prize for 'The Stray'. The story is set in a Scottish town and skilfully weaves together the lives of two characters in the sorry tale of a botched mugging in a back alley.

"It's difficult to nail down how the story came about, because the story I ended up writing is so different from my original idea that the shopping list at the beginning might be the only thing the two have in common. I don't have a lot of experience in writing fiction, so the story took me out of my comfort zone, which I think is usually a good thing."

Marissa currently works as an editorial assistant at Slate magazine, where she puts her passion for pop culture to good use writing for Slate’s culture blog, Brow Beat. She lives in New Jersey.

The 2013 judges were Don Paterson, Ruth Thomas, Oliver Emanuel, Sue Hemingway.

Click here to read her winning story 'The Stray'