Congrats to 2018 First Novel Prize Winner 

Tommy Orange for There There


We are pleased to announce that Tommy Orange has been awarded the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize for his novel, There There (Alfred A. Knopf)! Last year's winner, Julie Lekstrom Himes, presented the award to him at our Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner on December 11th.


This annual award was created in 2006 to honor the best first novel of the year. Debut novels published between January 1 and December 31, 2018 were eligible for this year's prize. The winner receives a $10,000 prize with each shortlisted author receiving $1,000.  Judges for the 2018 First Novel Prize were Jeffery Renard Allen, Katie Kitamura, Rachel Kushner, Dana Spiotta, and Julie Lekstrom Himes.


Tommy Orange’s “groundbreaking, extraordinary” (The New York TimesThere There is the “brilliant, propulsive” (People Magazine) story of twelve unforgettable characters, Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. It’s “the year’s most galvanizing debut novel” (Entertainment Weekly). READ MORE

We're Now Accepting Submissions for 2019! 


The Center for Fiction is now accepting submissions for the 2019 First Novel Prize. The deadline is March 22, 2019 to receive entries at our new location at 15 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217


See the guidelines for details on submitting and to pay the application fee. 

Previous Award Winners


Julie Lekstrom Himes was our 2017 award recipient for her novel Mikhail and Margarita (Europa Editions). Kia Corthron was our 2016 award recipient for her novel The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter (Seven Stories Press). Previous winners include Marisha Pessl for Special Topics in Calamity Physics (Viking), Junot Díaz for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead/Penguin), Hannah Tinti for The Good Thief (The Dial Press), John Pipkin for Woodsburner (Doubleday/Nan A. Talese), Karl Marlantes for Matterhorn (Atlantic Monthly Press with El León Literary Arts), Bonnie Nadzam for Lamb (Other Press), Ben Fountain for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco/HarperCollins), Margaret Wrinkle for Wash (Atlantic Monthly Press), Tiphanie Yanique for Land of Love and Drowning (Riverhead Books), and Viet Thanh Nguyen for The Sympathizer (Grove Press). For a closer look visit PREVIOUS WINNERS PAGE



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  • Aldo filomeno Posted on January 30, 2019 15:04When is the 2019 contest? Any guidelines, please? Thank you
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