Shawn Vestal wins PEN/Bingham prize

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Another day, another reminder of Spokane's status as a booming literary destination...

This evening in a ceremony in New York City, Shawn Vestal, who spends his day job writing those damn good editorials for the Spokesman Review, was named the winner of the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for his debut short story collection Godforsaken Idaho.

The judges for the award said that Vestal's stories "dare to charge into the well-trodden arena of the hapless male and make that subject fresh again.”

With the award, Vestal takes home a purse of $25,000 and the knowledge that, at least for today, Jess Walter is not Spokane's most famous author.