Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize is an annual award presented by The Center for Fiction, a non-profit organization in New York City, for the best debut novel. From 2006 to 2011, it was called the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize in honor of John Turner Sargent, Sr., and, from 2011 to 2014, the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, named after Center for Fiction board member Nancy Dunnan and her journalist father Ray W. Flaherty.
Publishers nominate English-language works by first-time United States novelists. There is a two-tiered selection process for the prize. First, the nominees are read by a network of booklovers (referred to as Common Readers), including librarians, writers, staff, members, and friends of The Center for Fiction, giving rise to a long list of recommended books. Next, the Common Readers' long list is forwarded to a committee of distinguished American writers, who select a short list, typically comprising five to seven titles, which is publicly announced in the late summer. All finalists are invited to read from their works at a First Novel Fête, and the winning novel is then announced at an awards event—both events usually occurring in December. The winning novelist receives a cash prize of $10,000; each finalist receives $1,000.
Winners of the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize:
- 2006: Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics
- 2007: Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
- 2008: Hannah Tinti, The Good Thief
- 2009: John Pipkin, Woodsburner
- 2010: Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn
- 2011: Bonnie Nadzam, Lamb
- 2012: Ben Fountain, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
- 2013: Margaret Wrinkle, Wash
- 2014: Tiphanie Yanique, Land of Love and Drowning
- 2015: Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer
- 2016: Kia Corthron, The Castle Cross the Magnet Carter
- 2017: Julie Lekstrom Himes, Mikhail and Margarita
- 2018: Tommy Orange, There There
- The First Novel Prize The Center for Fiction website, The Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, accessed 2015/06/03.
-  Poets & Writers Magazine, Grants and Awards, accessed 2015/06/03.
-  Lizzie Simon, "Agent Wins Literary Prize," Wall Street Journal, Dec. 8, 2010, accessed 2015/06/03
-  The Center for Fiction website, Flaherty-Dunnam Submission Process, accessed 2014/11/27.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2016-07-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, First Novel Prize Winners, accessed 2017/02/09.
- The First Novel Prize, official website.