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Leah Eichler of Toronto, Canada wins the 18th Annual Gival Press Short Story Award-2021

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Arlington, VA—January 2022

Gival Press is pleased to announce that Leah Eichler of Toronto, Canada has won the Gival Press Short Story Award-2021 for her story My Pompeii, chosen anonymously by the judge Vikram Ramakrishnan. The award includes a $1K cash prize and the story will be published on Gival Press’s website.

Praise for the Story

My Pompeii is more than a story. It is a sophisticated excavation of history and memory, known and unknown. It’s a search for who we are–a difficult path to embark on, one that seems to build on itself. Yet, Eichler helps us navigate the path, culminating in a gestalt. The excavation burrows deep. It digs into our core, raising questions of family and self: How do our deep familial histories inform us? How will our brief personal histories guide us? What if we learn something about our past which conflicts with what we think about ourselves? Though Eichler does not directly answer these questions, she instead gives us an eloquent way to think about them: ‘Sometimes you don’t really know who you are, and when you figure it out, it can be hard to be anyone else.’ The work leaves it up to the reader to interpret the questions further. In this way, My Pompeii pushes us to dig deeper into our history. And to that end, the work thrives. An absolute joy to read.”

About the Author

Leah Eichler launched her writing career as a journalist working for the Jerusalem Report. Her success in the Middle East led to a fifteen-year career in journalism, in which she interviewed the famous and infamous alike, including Salman Rushdie, Henry Morgentaler and the Nazi-hunter, Simon Wiesenthal. Eichler spent seven years as a weekly, national business columnist for the Globe and Mail. She lives in Toronto with her partner, Isac, and two children, Lilith and Azriel. Her fiction can be found in The Jewish Literary Journal. She recently completed her first novel, The Never Ending.

Here's the link to the winning story by Leah Eichler, posted at


Runner up:

Día de los Muertos by Andrea Hansell

of Rockville, Maryland

Milk Tea with Pearls by Emmeline Chang

of Brooklyn, New York

Licking the Sacred Toad by Seth Schindler

of Tucson, Arizona

Civilization by Mark Connelly

of Milwaukee, Wisconsin



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