The Center for Fiction is the only nonprofit literary organization in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction, and we work every day to connect readers and writers. In February 2019, we opened the doors to our new building in Downtown Brooklyn, creating a home for NYC’s literary community, and in July we launched this website to reach readers and writers around the globe.
We’re known for our special literary events, including our innovative panels, lectures and conversations. In 2019 we hosted Salman Rushdie, Mitchell S. Jackson, Christine Schutt, Salvatore Scibona, Téa Obreht, Laila Lalami, Maaza Mengiste, Jessica Hagedorn, Kaitlyn Greenidge, Jacqueline Woodson, Cherríe Moraga, Rigoberto González, Geoff Dyer, Miriam Toews, Meg Wolitzer, Julia Alvarez, Deborah Eisenberg, Alexander Chee, Cristina Rivera Garza, Jonathan Lethem, Rachel Cusk, Domenico Starnone and many, many more.
We provide grants and hold workshops to support emerging writers. We host book groups on classic and contemporary fiction to help readers discover their next favorite author. We provide free books and host events for NYC students from K-12th grade to get kids reading, as well as summer writing workshops for budding authors. And we recognize the best in the world of fiction through our annual awards.
In our new home in Brooklyn we also run an independent bookstore featuring everything from the latest bestseller, to hard to find works in translation. Our welcoming cafe & second floor terrace bar are spots where friends can come have a quick bite to eat or drink and discuss the latest in literature. The bookstore, cafe, and terrace bar are open to the public and their proceeds go to support our nonprofit programs.
The Center for Fiction is also an important piece of New York City history, and we continue to build our renowned circulating library collection, begun in 1820 by New York City merchants before the advent of the public library system. Our library features historic and rare finds as well as the latest acquisitions.
The Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library, is the only organization in the United States devoted solely to the vital art of fiction. The mission of The Center for Fiction is to encourage people to read and value fiction and to support and celebrate its creation and enjoyment. With all our resources, including our exceptional book collection, our expanding website, and our ever-growing array of creative programs, we seek to serve the reading public, to build a larger audience for fiction, and to create a place where readers and writers can share their passion for literature.
Our Writer’s Council includes widely acclaimed writers such as Jacqueline Woodson, Edward P. Jones, Stephen King, Louise Erdrich, Jhumpa Lahiri, George Saunders, Salman Rushdie, and Esmeralda Santiago.
Board of Directors
Find out more about our Board of Directors, including Erroll McDonald, our Chair, and Wendy Gimbel, our Vice Chair.
Find out more about the people behind the scenes at The Center for Fiction.