Events Archive: 2022-23

Cabell First Novelist Award 2022


Dawnie Walton, winner of the 2022 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award for The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, gives a reading and participates in a moderated Q&A session about the writing and publishing of her book.

The event is free and open to all and will be held in person but will also be live streamed through Zoom. The in-person location will be James Branch Cabell Library, Room 303, 901 Park Ave., Richmond, Va. 23219. Parking is available for a fee in the West Broad Street, West Main Street and West Cary Street parking decks.

Please register to attend in person or online. For questions or accommodations, please contact the VCU Libraries Events Office at or 804-828-0593.

Register Here

About the Author

Dawnie Walton is the author of The Final Revival of Opal & Nev, winner of the 2022 Aspen Words Literary Prize, longlisted for the 2022 Women’s Prize for Fiction, and named one of the best books of 2021 by The Washington Post, NPR, Esquire, and former U.S. President Barack Obama, among others. The audiobook version of the novel won the 2022 Audie Award for Fiction. Walton's work explores identity, place and the influence of pop culture. Formerly an editor at Essence and Entertainment Weekly, she has received fellowships from MacDowell and Tin House, and an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Fla., she lives in Brooklyn with her husband.


The Cabell First Novelist Award is presented on behalf of VCU's M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program in partnership with the James Branch Cabell Library Associates and VCU Libraries. Additional Sponsors are the VCU Department of English, Barnes & Noble @ VCU and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

Image: Dawnie Walton portrait, photo by Rayon Richards

For more information please visit our First Novelist web page