The 2015 Christopher Doheny Award


The Christopher Doheny Award, supported by Audible, Inc. and the friends and family of Christopher Doheny, 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, either his or her own or that of a close relative or friend.


Judges for the 2015 award are Charles Bock, previous winners Michelle Bailat-Jones and Mike Scalise, along with two representatives from Audible. The winning book-length manuscript must demonstrate high literary standards while exploring the impact of illness on the patient, family and friends, and others. The award includes a $10,000 prize and production and promotion of the book in an audio edition, with the option to pursue print publication with Audible's assistance. The award will be presented annually for a completed manuscript that has not yet been published.


The 2015 Christopher Doheny Award is now closed for submissions. Thank you to everyone who sent us their work! The winner will be announced in late February.


Questions about the award and submission process can be sent to Writing Programs Director Sara Batkie at


Congratulations to Mike Scalise

Winner of the 2014 Christopher Doheny Award


The winner of the second annual $10,000 Christopher Doheny Award is Mike Scalise, for his memoir The Brand New Catastrophe. Mr. Scalise was selected by a panel of five judges: Elliott Holt, Rene Steinke, and the previous winner Michelle Bailat-Jones, along with two representatives from

Mike Scalise’s work has appeared in AgniIndiewireNinth LetterThe Paris ReviewWall Street Journal, and other places. He’s an 826DC advisory board member, has received fellowships and scholarships from Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and the Ucross Foundation, and was the Philip Roth Writer in Residence at Bucknell University.


We are thrilled to announce that Mike's manuscript will be published by Sarabande Books in 2017. Sarabande Books is a non-profit literary press founded in 1994 by Sarah Gorham and Jeffrey Skinner and is based in Louisville, Kentucky. Sarabande publishes ten to twelve books each year and its authors have been awarded and shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the LA Times Book Prize, and several PEN/American honors, among many others.

With the Generous Support of the Following Individuals


Melody Aberg, Janet Albrecht, Maria and Rick Albrecht, Beth Anderson, Elizabeth Aronson, Chris Avello, Sharmeen Azmudeh, Beverly B., Jennifer Bassuk, Christopher Belelieu, Rob Bentley, Ryan Bing, Erica Bohde, Daniela Botterbusch, Louise Brabston, Frederick Brantley, Dean A. & Lois C. Brianik, Chelsea Bridgewater, Kathryn Burns, The Champagne Family, Amy Chapman, Laura Colebank, the Colleagues of Bayonne Medical Care Center & CarePoint Health Plan, John & Genevieve Connaughton, Jameson & Penelope Cooper, Andrew Cox, Emily Cox, Katherine Cox, Justin Crimmins, Tracy Crimmins, Mary and Jim Cristiano, Gilbert Cruz, Amanda D'Acierno, Anna & Angelo Danza, Diana Dapito, Kathy DiTomasso, Kerry Donahue, Dana Doheny, Justin Doheny, Kevin Doheny, Timothy Doheny, John & Viola Donnelly, Lisa Edelmann, Leslie Fannon, Merritt Farren, Dianne Flagello, Donis Flagello & Kathleen Doheny-Flagello, Genevieve Flagello, Diane Fox, The Robert J. Fox Family Trust, Sarah Fox, Molly Kay Frandson, Fiona Frawley-Hawes, Marsella Fults, Katherine Furman, Vivek Garipalli, Jeanneatte & Robert Geary, Bruce Gelb, Doreen Getz, Brian & Janet Giesen, James Golan, Lorraine Golan, Lois Golan-Lorusso, Leslie Gold, Lisa Goldstein, Melody Guerra, Denis Hadjiliadis & Tara Morrison, Chris Hajduk, T.M. Hakim, Christina Harcar, Ian & Fiona Hawes, Barbara Herrera, Richard & Erin Hill, Judy Hull, Ann Hunt & Laurie Ozelius, Victor Irmiere, Dawn & Gianfranco Isaia, Amy Johnson & Dave Santopietro, Daniel Kane, Joe Kim, Marie & Anthony Kenzie, Emily Krasner, Mary Ann & John Langevin, Domini Latorraca & Jacalyn L. Sharpe, James Lawler, Jennifer Lee, Randall Lotowycz, Marlene H. Lubinger, Jenny Lui, Julie M., Makiko, Sara Margolis, Marilyn MacDonall, Nicholas Mallis, Jennifer Mandel, Sarah Master, Christopher & Jennifer Usdan McBride, Daniel McCarthy, Deborah McGovern, Marie & Anthony McKenzie, Mita Menezes, Jonathan Mesagaes, Robert Miller, Paul & Kathleen Minarik, Tom Mitchel, Paul Monfardini, Jane Moreschi, Catherine Muldowney, Richard Murphy, James Myers & Judith Thomson, Rebecca Nackson, Susan & Harvey Nagler, Christopher Nammour, Sandra & Art Nelson, John & Adeline Olivo, Laurie Ozelius & Ann Hunt, Emily Parliman, Lara Patton, Raymond & Joan Podesfinski, Chris Podesfinski, Michael Powell & Todd Sorbee, Pamela Promer, Edward Pudup, Mary H. Reed, Chris Reilly, Michael & Barbara Renaldo, Jennifer Ridgeway, Wade Rifkin, Mary Beth Roche, Matthew Rosen, Patrick Roeder, Matthew Rosen, Kenneth Roush, Carol Santi, Mark Saran, Aalap Shah, Martha Shapiro, Alex Sharp, Sheryl Silverman, Jeffrey & Lisa Silvershein, Edith Simonelli, Marissa Simonelli, Jeff Singer, Maureen Soyars, Dr. Mark Spektor, Helen & H. Karl Springob, Mike Stevens, JoAnn Suckiel, Erin Sullivan, Martha Szescila, Patricia & Anthony Testa, Christina Therrien, Judith Thomson & James Myers, Matthew Thornton, Steven Tsounis, Angela Tucciarone, Erika Tucker, Cori Turkowski, Patricia Upton, Daniel & Denise Valvano, Nina Vij, Sean Vij, William & Karen Vivino, Marilyn Walz, Dave & Denise Wasserman, Workman Publishing Company, Marion & Charles Yanovsky, Lin Zeng.


If you would like to donate to the Christopher Doheny Award, please click the link above or checks should be made out to: The Mercantile Library Association. Please make sure you put "Doheny Award Donation" on the subject line of your check. Thank you for your generosity and if you have any questions about donating, please contact Meghan Maguire Dahn at 


About Christopher Doheny


Chris Doheny joined Audible, Inc. while in college as a summer intern in 2002 just a few years after the company was founded. After graduating from Georgetown University in 2003, he returned to Audible, Inc. and spent the next eight years helping to build the company. Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was just a baby, Chris strived to live as normal a life as possible. Chris received a double lung transplant in June 2010. He passed away on February 20, 2013.


Previous Winners of the Christopher Doheny Award


Michelle Bailat-Jones received award in 2013 for her novel Fog Island Mountains. Michelle visited The Center in November 2014 to give a reading from her winning work. Please click here to view video of the event.