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Readers needed for the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award contest

November 15, 2013

The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, named for renowned local writer and Cabell Library namesake James Branch Cabell, is given each year to the author of an outstanding first novel published during the previous calendar year. Dozens of presses, both small and large, and writers themselves submit new novels to be in the running.

In order to select the winner, we need your help. On the first floor of Cabell Library, beside the Information Services desk, is a shelf containing the first batch of submissions for the 2014 award. To participate in the process of selecting the winner, just check out a book, read at least the first 50 pages, and then complete and return one of our brief review forms that asks you to rate the novel on features such as plot and character before April 1, 2014. You can read and review as many books as you like.

The reviews of all of the readers determine the list of semifinalists from which a committee in the VCU MFA in Creative Writing Program selects three finalists to be sent to three judges, including the preview year's award winner. The judges each read all three finalist books and convene to decide the winner.

Even if you choose not to review for the contest, please come browse the books and feel free to check some out. This is a great way of sampling new novels, discovering up-and-coming writers, and staying in touch with some of the latest trends in publishing.

To read more about the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, see the official website.

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