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2016 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award contest semifinalists announced

May 20, 2016

The VCU Department of English has just announced the semifinalists for this year's VCU Cabell First Novelist Award:

  • The Marauders by Tom Cooper (Crown)
  • The Turner House by Angela Flournoy (Mariner Books)
  • Black River by S.M. Hulse (Mariner Books)
  • Contenders by Erika Krouse (Rare Bird Books)
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)
  • Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • After the Parade by Lori Ostlund (Scribner)
  • The Given World by Marian Palaia (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Long Fire by Meghan Tifft (The Unnamed Press)
  • Dragonfish by Vu Tran (W.W. Norton)
  • Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins (Riverhead Books)
  • Inscription by Christine Whittemore (Sowilo Press)

These 12 books were selected from a group of more than 150 debut novels published in 2015. Volunteer readers from the VCU and wider Richmond communities, including Friends of VCU Libraries members and students from the Appomattox Regional Governor's School, submitted reviews, rating the books for plot, characters, quality of language, and other elements of writing.

The next step in the contest process: The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award committee will discuss the semifinalists and the reviews from the readers and choose three books to pass along to the three official judges. We expect to announce the winner of the award later this summer.

Thanks to everyone who read for the contest this year, and we hope to see you in the fall for the award ceremony.

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