The winner of the Peace Corps Collection Award is Jane Albritton (India 1967-69) senior editor of four books of essays by RPCVs published by Travelers’ Tales/Solas House. The books are:
One Hand Does Not Catch a Buffalo — Volume One, Africa, Edited by Aaron Barlow (Togo 1988-90)
Gather The Fruit One By One — Volume Two, Americas–Edited by Pat Alter (Paraguay 1970-72) and Bernie Alter (India 1967-69)
A Small Key Opens Big Doors — Volume Three, The Heart of Eurasia–Edited by Jay Chen (Kazakhstan 2005-08)
Even The Smallest Crab Has Teeth — Volume Four, Asia & The Pacific, Edited by Jane Albritton (India 1967-69)
Jane Albritton undertook a herculean task: to gather enough Peace Corps personal experience essays to fill a multi-volume anthology. After four years of intense work, she completed the task in 2011 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps’ inception. The four volumes include more than 200 essays that describe the Peace Corps Experience in 88 of the 139 nations served during the past half century.
The founder of a writing and editing firm (as well as a university writing instructor), Jane began her project by posting a call for personal experience essay submissions. She then recruited editors, oversaw editing, negotiated publication, supervised formatting, cover design and finally manages marketing.
Her reason for this project she said was because she came from a family of storytellers. “It was through stories that I learned where I had come from and who I am. We all come to know who we are through the stories, our cultural memory. It seemed to me that stories of Peace Corps service tell us much about ourselves at our best. My fear was that we were already losing those stories.”
Thanks to Jane Albritton that is is no longer possible.
Winners of the Peace Corps Writers Awards receive a certificate and small cash award.