Steve Yarbrough's Safe from the Neighbors appears in January. This should give awards-panel judges plenty of time to eat it and digest.
Many years ago, when I was a tiny and miserable 17 year old truant in dismal Fresno, I managed to talk someone at Fresno State into letting me take Steve Yarbrough's fiction writing class. It's arguable that Steve's class saved my life. It's inarguable that he is in the classroom as he is on the page: sympathetic, serious, hilarious, honest and direct.
Steve recently escaped from Fresno and is teaching at Emerson. He is interviewed here.