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.

MFAlogogreen

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.

Article | Comments Off on The Golem and the Jinni wins a 2014 Mythopoeic Award

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:

2014FinalistsPiclarge

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!

Article | Comments Off on Announcing the 2014 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Finalists!

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!
CFN 2013 Promo

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:

2013FinalistsPic

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.

Article | Comments Off on And Now, The 2013 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Finalists…

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….

2013semifinalists

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!

“The Afterlife of Emerson Tang” by Paula Champa

AfterlifeofEmersonTang_ecard_0313_DJ

Congrats to Paula Champa, VCU MFA alum, for publishing her first novel!  Grab a copy of “The Afterlife of Emerson Tang” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) at your nearest bookstore!

Article | Comments Off on “The Afterlife of Emerson Tang” by Paula Champa

FN 2012 Winner: We the Animals Now Available in Paperback

The paperback version of Justin Torres’s first novel, “We The Animals,” was released earlier this month. Pick up your copy at the campus Barnes and Noble or your nearest bookstore!

Article | Comments Off on FN 2012 Winner: We the Animals Now Available in Paperback

Brain Games: Reading (and Writing), More than a Pastime

The New York Times recently ran this piece on how reading fiction actually stimulates the brain.

“Scientists call this capacity of the brain to construct a map of other
people’s intentions ‘theory of mind.’ Narratives offer a unique
opportunity to engage this capacity, as we identify with characters’
longings and frustrations, guess at their hidden motives and track their
encounters with friends and enemies, neighbors and lovers.”

While those of us that read and write probably already have experienced this, it is nice to know that by writing fiction we may actually be helping others have a deeper relationship to the world. And, more importantly, now the NYT can be referenced when the random family member wonders what it is we writers do all day.

Article | Comments Off on Brain Games: Reading (and Writing), More than a Pastime

Lights, Camera, Literature?

As we emerge from the stacks of exciting submissions for next year’s award, as our friend’s across the pond at The Guardian have observed, it’s 2012 and literature is still alive and kicking–now, at a theater near you!  Of this year’s nine Best Picture Oscar nominees–six were based on books.

While it’s no shock that there is a link between literature and film, it says something that the majority this year’s nominees were books first.  After all, what struggling author doesn’t dream of their book making the leap to the silver screen?  The fact that Katherine
Stockett’s “The Help,” Kaui Hart Hemmings’s “The Descendants” were first novels is inspiring to those of us who approach our manuscripts with a combination of hope and anxiety.

So, go ahead, enjoy a guilt-free trip to the movies (just buy the book first).

Article | Comments Off on Lights, Camera, Literature?

In the Age of E-reading, is Book Pirating a Concern?

amazon-kindle.jpg

Back when music sales where making the move to the internet, many worried–rightly–about music pirating.  Some customers were even sued by the music industry.  Will the same chaos rule as book sales move on-line as well?

Yes and no, says The New York Times in this insightful article.
Article | Comments Off on In the Age of E-reading, is Book Pirating a Concern?