The Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize

The Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize is awarded to the best debut novel published between January 1st and December 31st of the award year. The author of the winning book receives $10,000 and each shortlisted author receives $1,000.


The Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize was originally established in 2006 as the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize. The Prize is in honor of  Center for Fiction board member and well-known non-fiction author, the late Nancy Dunnan, and her journalist father, Ray W. Flaherty. ABOUT RAY FLAHERTY


Announcing the Long List for the 2014 First Novel Prize

We are pleased to announce the Long List for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel PrizeThe 2014 Short List will be announced in September and the winner will be announced on December 9th at The Center for Fiction's Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner at the New York Athletic Club. view the long list


Congratulations to Margaret Wrinkle

Winner of the 2013 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize


We are thrilled to announce that Margaret Wrinkle has been awarded the 2013 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize for her debut novel, Wash (Atlantic Monthly Press)Last year's winner, Ben Fountain, presented the award to her at our Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner on December 11 at The Union League Club. Read her acceptance speech here


Wash reexamines American slavery in ways that challenge contemporary assumptions about race, power, history and healing. Published by Atlantic Monthly Press, Wash is a New York Times Editors’ Choice, an O, The Oprah Magazine top ten books to pick up now, and a People magazine 4 star pick. It was nominated for the Crook’s Corner Prize for debut Southern novel.


Margaret Wrinkle was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and earned a BA and MA from Yale University. She has taught at the San Francisco Art Institute and lives in rural New Mexico.


The 2013 award was judged by Victor LaValle, Roxana Robinson, Christine Schutt, Luis Alberto Urrea, and the 2012 winner, Ben Fountain. Click here to download the press release. VIEW THE SHORT LIST

Past Winners of the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize


Previous winners include Ben Fountain for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Bonnie Nadzam for Lamb, and Karl Marlantes for Matterhorn. For winners from years 2006-2009, see our PREVIOUS YEARS PAGE