Awards: Center for Fiction First Novel; SCBWI Book Launch

The Center for Fiction has announced seven debut novels short-listed for its annual $10,000 First Novel Prize. The winner will be announced on December 5 at the Center for Fiction's Annual Dinner in New York City. The titles are:

As Lie Is to Grin by Simeon Marsalis (Catapult)
Empire of Glass by Kaitlin Solimine (Ig Publishing)
Mikhail and Margarita by Julie Lekstrom Himes (Europa Editions)
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers (Algonquin Books)
Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar (Little, Brown)
Tiger Pelt by Annabelle Kim (Leaf~Land)
What to Do About the Solomons by Bethany Ball (Atlantic Monthly Press)

The Center for Fiction is also presenting the 2017 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction to Morgan Entrekin, CEO and publisher of Grove Atlantic.


The winners of the 2017 SCBWI Book Launch Award, sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and providing authors or illustrators with $2,000 in funds to supplement the promotion and marketing of newly published works for children, are:

Tami Charles, whose middle grade novel Like Vanessa (Charlesbridge), which, SCBWI said, follows a 13-year-old beauty pageant hopeful who is inspired by Vanessa Williams, the first black woman to be crowned Miss America. "A story about self-acceptance and redefining beauty, Like Vanessa is based on Charles' own experience growing up in New Jersey in the 1980s. She will use the grant to bring the book to public schools, especially in inner city Newark, where novel is set. Charles also has a marketing plan that includes a social media campaign centered on the phrase 'It's Okay,' which will encourage kids to think positively about their bodies."

Emma Otheguy won the Honor Award for Martí's Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad (Lee & Low), a bilingual picture book that tells the story of José Martí, the 19th-century poet whose work became a rallying call for Cuban independence. Otheguy plans to use the $1,000 Honor grant to launch her book at NCTE, as well as in New York and Miami, where she wants to teach Cuban-American children about Martí.

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