The Christopher Doheny Award

This award recognizes excellence in prose on the topic of serious physical illness by a writer who has personally dealt or is dealing with life-threatening illness. The winner of the 2017 Award is Sharon Solwitz for Abra Cadabra. READ MORE

The First Novel Prize

The First Novel Prize is awarded to the best debut novel of the year. The winner receives a $10,000 prize and each finalist receives $1,000. The 2018 winner is Tommy Orange for There There. READ MORE

Maxwell E. Perkins Award

This Award honors an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of their career has discovered, nurtured, and championed writers of fiction. This award is dedicated to Maxwell Perkins in celebration of his legacy as one of the country’s most important editors. READ MORE

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. READ MORE

Congratulations to Sharon Solwitz 
Winner of the 2017 Christopher Doheny Award


The winner of the fifth annual Christopher Doheny Award is Sharon SolwitzAbra Cadabra, a novel in stories centered on a family coping with a son’s illness, is based on the author’s own experiences. ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


The Christopher Doheny Award recognizes excellence in fiction or nonfiction on the topic of serious physical illness by a writer who has personally dealt or is dealing with life-threatening illness. The award carries with it a $10,000 prize and production and promotion of the Audible book, with the option to pursue print publication.

The winner was selected by a panel of three distinguished writers: Alissa Torres, Catherine Kapphahn, the 2015 winner of the Christopher Doheny Award, and Michelle Bailat-Jones, the inaugural prize winner, as well as four representatives from The panel also named three honorable mention manuscripts: Tornado Season by Doug Crandell; Leg by Greg Marshall; and Blazing Woman by Brahna Yassky.