Timothy Jay Smith

From a young age, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that saw him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.

Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he has won top honors for his novels, screenplays and stage plays in numerous prestigious competitions. Fire on the Island (Arcade 2020) won the Gold Medal in the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel, and his screenplay adaptation of it was named Best Indie Script by WriteMovies. Another novel, The Fourth Courier (Arcade 2019), was a finalist for Best Gay Mystery in the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards. Previously, he won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the de Groot Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012.

Tim was nominated for the 2018 Pushcart Prize. His stage play tribute to Matthew Shepard, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award. His screenplays have won competitions sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Fresh Voices, StoryPros, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater.

Award Category
Golden Writer
This submission is private and only visible to judges.


JB Penrose Thu, 10/08/2023 - 18:00

Wow. With life experiences like you've described, there are a million stories in that brain! Congrats on being a PTA finalist. Smiles//jb

Shirley Fedorak Fri, 11/08/2023 - 05:19

A timely and unique account of the human suffering that forces desperate acts such as fleeing a home country. You've captured the fear and urgency quite well. I'm curious as to why this story is labelled LGBT since it's obviously high drama. Perhaps that comes out later. Good work.

Gale Winskill Tue, 22/08/2023 - 16:48

Has potential to be an interesting story, but felt that the beginning needs less backstory and more drama and action to engage readers and maintain their attention.

Paula Sheridan Thu, 31/08/2023 - 18:17

This is a comment from a publisher judge who asked us to post this comment:

A timely, interesting portrait of the human condition. We get a sense that Viet Dinh's After Disasters would be a fitting comp title. While it is still early in the story, Ahdaf is figured as compelling and likable, and we’re very curious to follow him along his complex journey.