Announcing the 2017 First Novel Prize Long List

Center for Fiction

The long list for the 2017 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize has been announced, chosen by a panel of five distinguished writers: Sonya Chung, Anne Landsman, Fiona Maazel, Rick Moody, and Kia Corthron, who won the 2016 Prize for her debut novel The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter. Over 140 debut novels were submitted by publishers this year. The panel will also select the short list and winner of the award.   CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FINALISTS

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, 2017 were eligible for this year's prize. The winner receives a $10,000 prize with each shortlisted author receiving $1,000. The short list for the award will be announced in September 2017 and the prize will be given at The Center for Fiction’s Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner held on December 5, 2017.

Previous winners include Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer), Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk), Hannah Tinti (The Good Thief) and Junot Díaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao). CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL LIST OF RECIPIENTS.

About Kia Corthron and The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter 
Kia Corthron was awarded the Center for Fiction's 2016 First Novel Prize for her debut novel, The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter (Seven Stories Press). Judges for the 2016 First Novel Prize were Chris Abani; Kate Christensen; Rivka Galchen; Kate Walbert; and Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the 2015 First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize. 

Castle Cross was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; reviewer Leonard Fitts, Jr. said, “[it] succeeds admirably in a novel's first and most difficult task: It makes you give a damn. It also does well by a novel's second task: It sends you away pondering what it has to say.” Famed political activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis called it “a stunning achievement by any measure… The untidiness of history is conveyed through experiences, dreams, and inevitable eruptions of violence, yet also unexpected patterns of escape and possible orbits of justice.”

The author of more than fifteen plays produced nationally and internationally, Kia Corthron came to national attention in the early nineties with her play Come Down Burning. Portraying characters who live in extreme poverty or crisis and whose lives are otherwise invisible, her plays paint a disturbing picture of American history and its repercussions on our most intimate relationships. She has also written for television, receiving a Writers Guild Outstanding Drama Series Award and an Edgar Award for The Wire. She grew up in Cumberland, Maryland, and now lives in Harlem, New York City. 

About the Center for Fiction
"The Center for Fiction is the only nonprofit literary organization in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction, and we work every day to connect readers and writers. Time Out calls The Center one of the top three reasons to stay in Manhattan for literary events, citing the innovative panels, lectures and conversations that take place in our beautiful building on East 47th Street."
"We also feature workspace, grants, and classes to support emerging writers, reading groups on classic and contemporary authors, and programs to help get kids reading. We recognize the best in the world of fiction through our annual awards, and we operate one of the few independent fiction book shops in the country."
"We are an important piece of New York City history, continuing to build our renowned circulating library collection, begun in 1820 by New York City merchants before the advent of the public library system."