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The Center For Fiction 2023 Annual Awards Benefit

Tyriek White Wins The Center for Fiction 2023 First Novel Prize for We Are a Haunting

Congratulations to our 2023 First Novel Prize winner, Tyriek White, author of We Are a Haunting (Astra House)! The award was announced at The Center for Fiction Annual Awards Benefit on December 5, 2023 at Cipriani 25 Broadway. Author Ayana Mathis presented White with the award, which carries with it a prize of $15,000.

We Are a Haunting was selected by a panel of distinguished American writers—Hannah Lillith Assadi, Ayana Mathis, Tochi Onyebuchi, and Deesha Philyaw. The shortlist also included Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperCollins/Ecco), Lookout by Christine Byl (Deep Vellum/A Strange Object), Pay As You Go by Eskor David Johnson (McSweeney’s), Moonrise Over New Jessup by Jamila Minnicks (Hachette/Algonquin Books), Night Wherever We Go by Tracey Rose Peyton (HarperCollins/Ecco) and Y/N by Esther Yi (Astra House). The shortlisted authors each received $1,000.

The evening’s honorees included author Salman Rushdie, who received The Center for Fiction Lifetime of Excellence in Fiction Award. To mark the occasion, Rushdie appeared in conversation with author Kiran DesaiGraywolf Press received the Medal for Editorial Excellence, presented by author Carmen Maria Machado. Director and Publisher Carmen Giménez, Editorial Director Ethan Nosowsky, and Fiona McCrae, who served as Director and Publisher from 1994 to 2022, accepted the Medal on behalf of the organization.

We also recognized author Percival Everett, filmmaker Cord Jefferson, and MGM Studios with the On Screen Award for the film American Fiction, adapted from Everett’s 2001 novel Erasure, reissued by Graywolf Press in 2011. The evening was emceed by Karah Preiss and Emma Roberts, co-founders of Belletrist Book Club.

The Annual Awards Benefit raises critical funds to support our mission as the only nonprofit organization dedicated solely to the art of fiction. This year, we raised over $580,000. We are so grateful to everyone who made this such an incredible evening, and helped us to enrich the literary community of New York City and beyond for another year. To join them in their support, we invite you to explore options for giving here.

Photos by Beowulf Sheehan and Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images