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June 5, 2013

More Than 170 Books Received for $50,000 Literary Prize

Short List to Be Released August 15

With more than 170 submissions from mid-career authors, the jury for the $50,000 St. Francis College Literary Prize will certainly have a busy summer. The short list for the prize will be announced August 15 with the winner to be announced at the opening gala for the Brooklyn Book Festival on September 22.

The jury for the Literary Award, one of the richest book prizes in the United States, includes Jonathan Dee (The Privileges, A Thousand Pardons) as well as acclaimed authors Peter Cameron (Coral Glynn, Andorra, The Weekend) and Kate Christensen (The Great Man, The Astral, Trouble).

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.

"It's a prize that has no parallel really among existing literary prizes and comes at a perfect time in a writer's career," said Dee. "There's a lot of attention when you make your debut. There's a lot of attention if you're lucky when you die, but in between sometimes you're a little bit at sea."

The St. Francis College Literary Prize is open to mid-career authors who publish their third to fifth work of fiction within the two-year window for the prize. Self-published books and English translations are considered. More information is available on the St. Francis College website.

"We feel it is our responsibility to insure that these art­ists, who engage, amuse and inspire our students have the support they need to continue their work," said St. Francis College Provost and Academic Dean Timothy J. Houlihan. "As a small college in Brooklyn, St. Francis is blessed to be in the middle of a remarkable community of writers."

The award is part of the College's larger mission to support writers in Brooklyn and beyond. The College brings numerous authors to campus every year through events like the Walt Whitman Writers Series, including: E.L. Doctorow, Pete Hamill, Julie Orringer, Jonathan Lethem and Nikki Giovanni.

In an attempt to further support the community, St. Francis donated more than 140 copies of past submission to Brooklyn Community Services which added them to the library of Brooklyn Leadership High School.

About the Jury
Jonathan Dee
teaches in the graduate writing programs at Columbia University and the New School. He is also a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, a frequent contributor to Harper's, and a former senior editor of The Paris Review.

Peter Cameron's books The Weekend, The City of Your Final Destination, and Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, have all been made into feature films with additional plans for Andorra. He has taught at Oberlin, Columbia, Yale and The New School.

Kate Christensen's new memoir, Blue Plate Special, comes out in July. In addition to her six novels, her reviews, columns and essays have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, Bookforum, Tin House and Elle.

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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