Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Phoenix writer Jessica McCann wins
inaugural Freedom in Fiction prize

Jessica McCann has won the inaugural Freedom in Fiction Prize for her historical novel, All Different Kinds of Free.

The international prize recognizes the best unpublished work of fiction with the greatest potential for imparting the ideas of free markets, liberty and personal responsibility. The honor includes a $10,000 cash award. It is sponsored by The Mackinac Center for Public Policy ( and supported by the Rodney Fund.

McCann’s novel was inspired by a true story. The narrative is about Margaret Morgan, a free black woman who was kidnapped in 1837, along with her free children, and sold into slavery. Although she fought hard to regain her freedom, Margaret endured tremendous loss and hardship. Her ordeal led to one of the most pivotal Supreme Court cases in America’s history, Prigg v. Pennsylvania, 1842. The history books will have you believe the story of Prigg v. Pennsylvania is important because it ended in controversy and fanned the early embers of the Civil War. This book will have you believe the story is important because it began with Margaret.

As a novel-in-progress, the work also was named a semi-finalist in the 2004 Dana Awards and the 2005 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing competition.

McCann is currently seeking a publisher for her award-winning manuscript and has begun work on a second novel.

A long-time professional freelance writer, McCann’s nonfiction work has been published in local, national and global publications, such as Business Week, Phoenix and ASU Research magazines. Her corporate and nonprofit clients span a variety of industries, including education, gaming, retail, waste management, health care and financial services. (

McCann lives in the Phoenix metropolitan area with her husband and their two children.

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