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The 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize: Short List

The Center for Fiction


We are pleased to announce that debut novels by Chia-Chia Lin, Julia Phillips, Pitchaya Sudbanthad, Ocean Vuong, Joe WilkinsLauren Wilkinson, and De’Shawn Charles Winslow are shortlisted for the 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize! The finalists read from their books and celebrated their achievement with the wider literary community at the First Novel Fête on December 9, 2019, held at the Center’s downtown Brooklyn location. The following evening, we presented the award to the winner, De’Shawn Charles Winslow, at the Center’s Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in New York City. Judges this year were Maaza Mengiste, Claire Messud, Tommy Orange, Emma Straub, and Monique Truong.

The First Novel Prize, launched in 2006, was created as part of our literary nonprofit’s central mission to promote the art of storytelling and help further the careers of new writers. This annual prize carries a $10,000 cash award. Each of the other shortlisted authors receive a $1,000 award. Learn more about the First Novel Prize.

The 2019 winner, In West Mills is listed first. The remaining finalists are listed alphabetically by author.

Click here to view the 2019 Long List.