See photos and video of the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award night!

Thanks to everyone who made it out, this past Tuesday, to another wonderful Cabell First Novelist reading and award presentation! Tuesday’s event brought more than two hundred attendees to the W.E. Singleton Center on the VCU campus for a reading by Helene Wecker, winner for her debut novel The Golem and the Jinni, as well as a panel discussion featuring Ms. Wecker and her agent, Sam Stoloff of the Frances Goldin Literary Agency in New York City. The panel was moderated by former Cabell Fellow Shannon O’Neill.

Here are some photos from Tuesday’s event:

For those who missed Tuesday’s event, or those who attended and would like to relive the memories, VCU Libraries has already uploaded a video of the event on their Youtube page. Thanks again to all who helped honor Helene Wecker’s debut novel, The Golem and the Jinni. It was a magical evening we won’t soon forget!

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The Golem and the Jinni wins a 2014 Mythopoeic Award

Congratulations are in order for Helene Wecker, this year’s VCU Cabell First Novelist winner, whose novel The Golem and the Jinni has just been awarded a Mythopoeic Award in the category of Fantasy Adult Literature.

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Each year the Mythopoeic Society, an international organization “promoting the study, discussion and enjoyment of fantastic and mythopoeic literature” recognizes a fantasy novel or story collection for adults which “best exemplifies the spirit of the Inklings,” an informal Oxford literary circle, active between the 1930s and 1950s, which included writers J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.

For more on the Mythopoeic Awards, including other 2014 winners, check out the press release.

For more on the Inklings, start with the Mythopoeic Society’s brief history and bibliography, or everyone’s favorite open-source encyclopedia.

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Announcing the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Finalists!

Following a yearlong reading period of over 110 debut novel submissions and an initial selection round of twelve semifinalists, we are proud to announce the three finalists for the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award:

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The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (Harper)

Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon (Simon & Schuster)

Fort Starlight by Claudia Zuluaga (Engine Books)

Once again, we’d like to thank all of our volunteer readers, as well as the authors and publishers who submitted debut novels this year.

This year’s winner will be announced in early July, so please keep an eye on our Facebook page and blog!

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The 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Semifinalists!

After months and months of sometimes-frenzied but always enjoyable reading, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award committee is excited to announce that, from a field of 112 debut novels submitted in all, we have finally narrowed the selection to 12 semifinalists.

We’d like to thank all of those who submitted to the award this year, as well as our wonderful volunteer readers in the VCU English Department, the MFA program in creative writing, the Friends of the VCU Library, the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, the Richmond literary community, and beyond.

Without further ado, the 2014 semifinalists are:

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Y by Marjorie Celona

Borrowed Horses by Sian Griffiths

Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman

The Revolution of Every Day by Cari Luna

Dear Lucy by Julie Sarkissian

Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith

The Blood of Heaven by Kent Wascom

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

The Assembler of Parts by Raoul Wientzen

The Sound of Songs Across the Water by Rob Yardumian

Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon

Fort Starlight by Claudia Zuluaga

Stay tuned for news on our three finalists in just a few more weeks!

Photos from the 2013 Award Ceremony!

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Here’s some great photos from the 2013 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Ceremony. Many thanks to our friends at VCU Libraries!

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Announcing the Winner of the 2013 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award…

This year’s winner was chosen from nearly 140 titles which were read by diverse members of Virginia Commonwealth University’s academic community and a panel of judges. Each of the finalists came from a strong and uniquely talented writer.

We are happy to announce that the winner of this year’s award is Ramona Ausubel for her outstanding debut novel, No One Is Here Except All of Us!
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Praise for No One Is Here Except All of Us:

“Ramona Ausubel’s debut, No One Is Here Except All of Us (Riverhead), captures the magical group-think of a Romanian village that retreats into an imaginary reality at the outbreak of war.” — Vogue

“Fantastical and ambitious… infused with faith in the power of storytelling… Light and tenderness persevere – in a shining moon, in a candle still aglow, in a mother’s embrace of her child.” — The New York Times Book Review

“Here we are, benevolent and cruel, gorgeous and deranged, in a truly enthralling saga which simply staggered me with its capacity for gratitude. No One is Here Except All of Us is a special work of the imagination, an original gift, dark and light, and Ramona Ausubel colors it all with a glowing wisdom.” — Ron Carlson, author of The Signal

Stay tuned for more information about the award event this fall. Until then, check out Ms. Ausubel’s novel and website!

And Now, The 2013 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Finalists…

After much reading and discussion, the First Novelist Committee has chosen three superb novels as finalists for the 2013 award:

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No One Is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel
When Captain Flint Was Still A Good Man by Nick Dybek
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

We’d like to thank all the volunteer readers who participated in the selection process this year, and also, many thanks to the authors who submitted their debut novels!

The winner of the 2013 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award will be announced in early July.

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The 2013 VCU Cabell First Novelist Semifinalists

This year we had a record-breaking number of submissions, nearly 140 first novels in all.  After many months of reading and reviewing, we have finally narrowed the selection to 14 semifinalists.

We’d like to thank all of those who submitted to the award last year, and also, all of our wonderful volunteer readers in the VCU English Department, the James Branch Cabell Library, and the Richmond literary community.

Without further ado, the 2013 semifinalists are….

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Fobbit by David Abrams
Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander
No One Is Here Except All Of Us by Ramona Ausubel
The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung
The Book of Jonas by Stephen Dau
When Captain Flint Was Still A Good Man by Nick Dybek
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
The Girl Below by Bianca Zander
Stay tuned for news on our three finalists in just a few more weeks!

FN Winner Named to National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35”

The National Book Foundation has named Justin Torres a recipient of their “5 under 35” Award!

Now in its seventh year, the celebration honors five young fiction writers selected by past National Book Award Winners and Finalists.  Congrats Justin!

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Announcing the Winner of the 2012 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. . .

This year’s winner was chosen from nearly 100 titles which were read by diverse members of Virginia Commonwealth University’s academic community and a panel of judges. Each of the finalists came from a strong and uniquely talented writer.  

We are happy to announce that the winner of this year’s award is Justin Torres for his outstanding debut novel, We the Animals!


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Stay tuned for more information about our upcoming festival in November. Until then, check out Mr. Torres’ book and website: http://www.justin-torres.com/
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