Geoffrey Becker, "Bluestown," 1989What the award meant: Winning the Algren Award meant an enormous amount to me. The prize money was extremely helpful. I remember shopping for a suit so I'd have something to wear to the ceremony. The prize gave me something big for my résumé, which was still pretty thin back then, and it probably helped make me more competitive when I began applying for teaching positions.
Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times