If you needed more evidence of Spokane's recent literary boom, here you go: Shawn Vestal has been nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.
The $25,000 prize is awarded for the best debut book by an author and Vestal's collection of short stories, Godforsaken Idaho, made the final cut, along with four other books.
Vestal, who we profiled upon the release of his book, is likely best known in Spokane as a columnist for the Spokesman-Review. But after receiving his MFA from Eastern Washington University's Inland Northwest Center for Writers, Vestal dove into fiction and received rave reviews for his debut collection of stories, which are heavily influenced by his youth growing up in rural Idaho.
Vestal will find out if he won the prestigious honor on on July 30.