2016 Submission Guidelines
PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for 2016 submissions has passed. Information for the 2017 award will be posted in early January.
Any U.S. publisher may enter books that will be published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016. We prefer that these be submitted as finished copies, if available. Bound galleys and bound, edited manuscripts are also acceptable. There is an entry fee of $50/title. You may pay online and apply with this entry form, or you may send the entry form and fee directly to:
The First Novel Prize
The Center for Fiction
17 East 47th Street
New York, NY 10017
Small independent publishers may apply for a fee reduction; please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-755-6710 for more information.
All entry forms and books must be postmarked no later than March 14, 2016. Entry forms and books may be sent separately. The Center for Fiction must receive eight copies of each book, bound galley, or bound, edited manuscript.
Publishers are urged not to hold submissions until the last possible date, but to send books, bound galleys, or bound, edited manuscripts AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Our reading process begins immediately upon receipt.
Only first-time novelists who are American citizens or permanent residents are eligible for this award.
Only full-length first novels written in English are eligible. Novellas, collections of short stories, whether related or unrelated, and YA novels are NOT eligible.
Novels in ALL genres are welcome.
Only books published for the first time in the United States between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 are eligible.
Books previously published elsewhere are NOT eligible.
Self-published books and eBook-only editions are NOT eligible.
There is no limit on the number of books entered by each publisher, provided each submission complies with the rules as above.
In the event of a dispute as to eligibility, The Center for Fiction will decide whether a book is eligible, and its decision will be binding.
Any books entered for the Awards process by the publishers that are subsequently determined to be ineligible, will still be subject to the stated entry fee of $50 per title.
The panel also may request titles that have not been submitted by publishers. Publishers are then asked by the Center to submit these titles for consideration and the entry fee will be waived.
The selection of the shortlist and winning novel is determined through a two-tiered process. The Center’s network of booklovers, which includes writers, librarians, and staff, will act as first-tier readers. The long list recommended by these readers is then forwarded to a committee of distinguished American writers. From those recommended novels, our panel of judges chooses the shortlist and the winner. (Our judges in 2015 were Tiphanie Yanique, Siri Hustvedt, Ann Packer, and Akhil Sharma, along with a representative from The Center.)
ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS OF THE AWARDS
Publishers of the winning and shortlisted books must agree:
A. To indicate that the book is a finalist or winner of the First Novel Prize by including the award medallion or approved text on future editions.
B. To inform authors of entered books that if chosen for the shortlist they must be present at the Center for Fiction’s Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City and The First Novel Fête, both held in December. Travel and accommodations for each shortlisted author will not be covered by The Center for Fiction.
C. To inform authors that, if shortlisted, they must agree to participate in the Center’s related publicity, including a finalist reading (The First Novel Fête), at The Center for Fiction, just prior to the Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner. The shortlisted authors agree that their readings may be used in audio and/or video formats on The Center for Fiction’s website.
D. All shortlisted writers agree to be interviewed for the Center’s website in audio and/or print formats. The shortlisted writers also agree that the interview may be used in an anthology of first novel finalist interviews.
E. The recipient of the Award must agree to allow his/her acceptance speech to be published in print, audio or video formats by The Center for Fiction on its website, and to be published in the Center newsletter and in a future anthology of first novelists’ interviews.