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Payton Prize Winner2015 Payton James Freeman Prize

Cheryl Strayed has selected Tammy Delatorre’s essay, “Out of the Swollen Sea,” as the national winner of the 2015 Payton Prize. This year, the contest called for essays to address the theme, “After the Unhappy Ending.” Tammy will travel to Drake University to read and discuss her winning work as part of The Susan Glaspell Writers and Critics Reading Series.

Tammy is available for interview about her winning essay or writing process. Contact her at Tammy Delatorre (all one word) at Yahoo dot com.

About the Payton James Freeman Prize

The Payton Prize is sponsored by the Freeman family in honor of their son Payton James Freeman. Payton’s ability to move – even to smile – was stolen by a disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Diagnosed as an infant, Payton was expected to live perhaps six months. Instead he fought for five and a half years as his parents worked with doctors and scientists, fundraising in hopes of a cure.

SMA ultimately took Payton’s life, but his story lives on in all those who continue striving against uncountable odds, and who struggle to put life’s most complex and trying events into words.