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November 4, 2014

$50,000 St. Francis College Literary Prize Open for Submissions

The Only Award Aimed at Helping Mid-Career Authors

Submissions are now being accepted for the fourth $50,000 St. Francis College Literary Prize, one of the richest book prizes in the United States.

The St. Francis College Literary Prize is open to mid-career authors who published their third to fifth work of fiction between June 2013 and May 2015. Self-published books and English translations will be considered. More information is available on the St. Francis College website.

All submission must be entered by May 1, 2015. A Short list will be announced August 15, 2015 and the winner will be announced in September 2015 at the Brooklyn Book Festival Gala.

The jury for the Literary Award, includes Sigrid Nunez (Boston University), Erin McGraw (Ohio State University), and Daniel Torday (Bryn Mawr).

david vann

The 2013 prize was won by David Vann for his novel, Dirt. His book topped more than 170 entries and came out on top of the shortlist which also included:

  • Carry the One (Simon & Schuster), by Carol Anshaw
  • The Middlesteins (Grand Central Publishing), by Jami Attenberg
  • Mule (Mariner Books), by Tony D'Souza
  • The Right-Hand Shore (Picador), by Christopher Tilghman

"The best two functions of literary prizes are to publish a book that couldn't get published otherwise, or to give a book a second life and bring it into visibility," Vann said. "Even more [important] than the money is the recognition that the book is worthwhile," he said. "I'm really grateful for a second chance."

Watch David Vann at the Brooklyn Book Festival

Jonathan Dee was the second winner of the bi-annual $50,000 Prize for his novel The Privileges. The first award was handed out in 2009 to Aleksandar Hemon for his collection of short stories, Love and Obstacles.

"Brooklyn is a hotbed for contemporary literature and St. Francis College is proud to do its part to support writers in several ways," said Provost Timothy Houlihan. "Our students, faculty and the whole Brooklyn community benefit by weaving these authors into the fabric of the College."

The College brings numerous authors to campus every year through events like the Walt Whitman Writers Series, Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series, and partnership with BookCourt, including: Salman Rushdie, Colum McCann, Pete Hamill, Julie Orringer, Jonathan Lethem and Nikki Giovanni.

About the Jury
Sigrid Nunez has published six novels, including A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind, and, most recently, Salvation City. She is also the author of Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. Among the journals to which she has contributed are The New York Times, Threepenny Review, Harper's, McSweeney's, The Believer, and Tin House. Her honors and awards include four Pushcart Prizes, a Whiting Writer's Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters: the Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Rome Prize in Literature.

Erin McGraw is the author of six books of fiction, most recently the novels The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), and Better Food for a Better World (Slant Books, 2013). Her short fiction and essays have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Story, The Atlantic Monthly, Good Housekeeping, The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, Allure, and other magazines and journals. She teaches at the Ohio State University, and is married to the poet Andrew Hudgins.

Daniel Torday's debut novel, The Last Flight of Poxl West, will be published by St. Martin's Press in 2015. His novella, The Sensualist, won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for debut fiction. Torday's short stories and essays have appeared in Esquire Magazine, Glimmer Train, Harvard Review, The New York Times and The Kenyon Review. He is currently the Director of Creative Writing at Bryn Mawr College.

Attached photo: 2013 Literary Prize Winner David Vann

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City's five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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