To Bard or Not To Bard

by Jon Michaud


We've got an exciting new column on our site called The Book Drop by our head librarian, Jon Michaud! Jon is the author of When Tito Loved Clara, and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and The Washington Post. We're thrilled to share his new monthly column with you, in which he'll discuss all things literary! For his first piece, Jon writes about the pleasures and perils of reinterpreting William Shakespeare, a challenge some of our favorite authors are taking on in a collection from Hogarth. READ

Queer Literature Top Five
by Sassafras Lowrey 

Sassafras Lowrey, Lambda Literary Emerging Writer and author of Lost Boi, picks five of hir favorites (at least for today) from LGBTQ fiction in this new book list.

"Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer (LGBTQ) literature is a growing genre filled with a diverse array of novels that are pushing the literary envelope. These works of fiction challenge readers to explore worlds beyond conventional definitions and understandings of sexuality and gender identity/expression." READ MORE

Interested in more LGBTQ fiction? Sassafras Lowrey will lead a book group on this topic here at the Center starting on September 20th. Click here to learn more about this class and to sign up!
Five Fictions About Fiction
by Joshua Gaylord

Author Joshua Gaylord (When We Were Animals) goes "meta" with this new book list about fictional works that look back at themselves.

"I suppose what...readers admire about storytelling is its capacity to blend into real life, to erase the line between fiction and reality. But I’m not one of those readers. I like art because it’s art—because it’s different from reality—because it’s (all right, I’ll say it) better than reality." READ MORE  

Joshua Gaylord is leading our book group The Southern Gothic, starting on September 12th. Click here to learn more about this class and to sign up!

The acclaimed teacher and author Alice Mattison talks to Sarai Walker about penning a new book on writing (The Kite and the String), the best craft advice she's ever received, and the importance of diverse voices in fiction. 


"When we fail to encourage writing by people who need to earn a living and maybe support others, by women, by mothers, by those with disabilities, or those past their first youth, we lose the books they’d have written. We need those books." REAd more

And if you'd like to experience Mattison's teaching first-hand, she'll be leading a one-day workshop for us this fall. Click here to find out more and sign up. 

Join Us for Our Annual Awards Dinner! 


Join honorary co-chairs ZZ Packer and Edward P. Jones at our Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner on December 6th at the Metropolitan Club. Jonathan Lethem will present Eric Simonoff with the Maxwell E. Perkins Award. Viet Thanh Nguyen, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and last year's First Novel Prize for The Sympathizer, will announce the 2016 First Novel Prize. We hope to see you there! 



Enroll Now in Our Fall CFA Classes!


We are thrilled to announce our fall program for The Crime Fiction Academy, hailed by Laura Lippman as "one of the best developments in my field in years." Study with best-selling authors such as Jonathan Santlofer, SJ Rozan, and Lorenzo Carcaterra in weekly writing workshops and attend private receptions with crime fiction greats. Plus, read your work in our seasonal Crime Fiction Slam, submit to the CFA-branded Amazon Kindle Singles program, and access our Writers' Studio and extensive circulating collection. FIND OUT MORE

Unnatural Environments 

A Book List


With weather maps of the country blazing in the orange and red of high temperatures, California's drought still lingering despite good rainfall this year, and massive earthquakes predicted, we’re feeling a little bit, ummm, nervous these days. Normally we turn to fiction to feel better, but we’ve been seeing disasters pop up in pages these days too. Instead of hiding, we’ve become fascinated by this trend in fiction, called climate fiction or cli-fi. Here are a few novels that look at what happens when we don’t take care of our environment. Maybe we’ll even learn some survival tips….



What Else Would a Young Film Star Wear? 
by Maggie O'Farrell 

In this essay, Maggie O'Farrell, author of the new novel This Must Be the Place, writes about how an unforgettable dress found its way into her fiction.

"In my mid-20s, my friend and I managed to snag a flat near Angel tube station in London. It was narrow and lightless, with a corridor running alongside two rooms, a kitchenette you could cross in two steps and a tiny bathroom, where you could reach the loo only by turning sideways and edging past the bath. I had the back room, dark as a cave in winter, with a desk under a sash window, where I would sit working, when not at my actual job on a newspaper. I had no money; neither of us did. I was trying to write—freelance book reviews, stories, what seemed to be turning into a novel..."  read more 





We hope you'll join us for our Annual Awards Dinner on December 6th honoring Eric Simonoff and announcing the winner of our 2016 First Novel Prize. 


find out MORe & purchase tickets 


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. 

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