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April 1, 2011

Last Days to Submit Book for $50,000 Literary Award

Award Winning Jury Announced

Time is running out for writers to submit their books for the second edition of the St. Francis College $50,000 Literary Award, one of the richest literary prizes in the United States. Submissions from a mid-career writer for their third to fifth book are due May 1, 2011.

The jury for the award is composed of three award winning writers; Francine Prose (A Changed Man, Blue Angel, My New American Life), Rick Moody (The Four Fingers of Death, Garden State, The Ice Storm) and Darcey Steinke (Easter Everywhere, Milk: A Novel, Suicide Blonde).

St. Francis established the $50,000 biannual award to offer encouragement and significant financial support to a mid-career writer. (

"The number of submissions we've received so far trumps by far the number sent in for the first award, but we know there are still authors out there who should be considered for this award," said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean Tim Houlihan. "Writers on their third to fifth book sit at a delicate crossroads where they can choose to continue to pursue their craft or head in different directions. We want to be the reason why a talented writer will continue to share their work with the world."

The jury will consider books published from July 2009 to May 2011. Self-published books and English translations will be considered. A short list will be announced in mid-August 2011 with the winner announced at the Brooklyn Book Festival in September 2011.

"The literary award is part of St. Francis's larger program to support writers in Brooklyn and beyond," said St. Francis English Professor Ian Maloney. "Through the Walt Whitman Writers Series we are continually bringing authors to campus to read and discuss their work, and we are happy to host dozens of events at the annual Brooklyn Book Festival."

The next Walt Whitman Writer will be Kate Christensen, on April 11 at 4:30pm.

The first St. Francis College Literary Prize went to Aleksandar Hemon for his book, Love and Obstacles (Riverhead Books). Hemon, raised in Sarajevo and now residing in Chicago wrote his first work in English in 1995. He was awarded the prize at the Gala Opening Night Party of the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 12, 2009 and returned to the College to read from his work, teach a class to aspiring writers and meet with a group of students. (Watch the full reading)

The jury which selected Hemon's work included; Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem, Heidi Julavits, Ben Marcus and Ayelet Waldman.

Inquiries can be made via email to Ian Maloney to: [email protected].

Submissions (6 copies) should be mailed to:

Professor Ian Maloney
Department of English
St. Francis College
180 Remsen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

About the Jury:
Francine Prose
is the author of many bestselling books of fiction, including A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the nonfiction New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. Her novel, Household Saints, was adapted for a movie by Nancy Savoca. Another novel, The Glorious Ones, has been adapted into a musical of the same name by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, which ran at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York City in the fall of 2007. Her latest novel, My New American Life, is due out this month. She is the president of PEN American Center. She lives in New York City.

Rick Moody is the author of Garden State (Pushcart Press Editors' Book Award), The Ice Storm (made into a major motion picture) and his most recent novel, The Four Fingers of Death. His other work includes: Purple America, The Diviners; two collections of stories, The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven and Demonology; and a memoir, The Black Veil, winner of the PEN/ Martha Albrand Award. He has also received the Addison Metcalf Award, the Paris Review's Aga Khan Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Darcey Steinke has written several novels including, Milk: A Novel, Suicide Blonde and Jesus Saves, and twice been named to the New York Times Most Notable Books of the Year list. Moody and Steinke recently co-edited the collection, Joyful Noise: The New Testament Revisited. Steinke also writes for the New York Times Book Review.

Photo: St. Francis College Vice President of Academic Affairs with Literary Prize Winner Aleksander Hemon

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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