Cabell First Novelist Award Top 20 finalists for 2024 announced

April 3, 2024
20 books in a bookshelf, with the spines facing outward.

VCU’s Cabell First Novelist Award announces the long list for the 2024 Award year. These 20 titles are the top selections of volunteer readers and VCU’s MFA in Creative Writing students. Award administrators extend thanks to all publishers and authors who submitted works for consideration and to all the readers who offered their time and energy toward the creation of this list of exceptional debut novels. 

The long list titles are:

  • Ghost Season by Fatin Abbas (W. W. Norton)
  • The Museum of Human History by Rebekah Bergman (Tin House)
  • Disorderly Men by Edward Cahill (Fordham Press)
  • Flux by Jingo Chong (Melville House)
  • Monstrilio by Gerado Samano Cordova (Zando)
  • Lucky Red by Claudia Cravens (Dial Press)
  • The Skin and Its Girl by Sarah Cypher (Ballantine)
  • The Kudzu Queen by Mimi Herman (Regal House)
  • The Lookback Window by Kyle Dillon Hertz (Simon and Schuster)
  • Godfall by Van Jensen (University of Nebraska Press)
  • I Will Greet The Sun Again by Khashayar J. Khabushani (Hogarth)
  • Thirst For Salt by Madelaine Lucas (Tin House)
  • American Mermaid by Julia Langbein (Doubleday)
  • Prophet by Sin Blanche and Helen MacDonald (Grove Press)
  • Atomic Family by Ciera Horton McElroy (Blair)
  • Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind by Molly McGee (Astra House)
  • What Napoleon Could Not Do by D.K Nnuro (Riverhead)
  • Glassworks by Olivia Wolfgang-Smith (Bloomsbury)
  • In Memoriam by Alice Winn (Knopf)
  • Y/N by Esther Yi (Astra House)

The top 10 shortlist will be announced later in April. The recipient of the award will be announced by July 1 and celebrated in a fall event on campus. 

The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award sponsors are the VCU Department of English, VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, VCU Libraries and Barnes & Noble at VCU. 

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