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The First Novel Prize

2020 First Novel Prize: The Long List

The Center for Fiction


We are so pleased to announce the long list for the 2020 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. The twenty-seven titles were selected from 119 submissions with U.S. publication dates between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. The shortlisted titles will be announced this fall.

The First Novel Prize, first awarded in 2006, was created to honor the best debut fiction of the year. The winner receives a $15,000 prize with each shortlisted author receiving $1,000. In these particularly challenging times, we are enormously grateful to a generous donor who has made it possible to increase this year’s prize from the previous amount of $10,000 in order to be more supportive of talented emerging writers. The winner is announced in December at our Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner.