Submit a First Novel
The First Novelist Committee is eager to discover another rising star. Please have your editor or publicist send us your work, or feel free to send it yourself!
Books published July–December 2015: January 14, 2016
The Winner will be announced in June 2016.
How to Submit
Send three copies for review, with complete contact information, to:
VCU Cabell First Novelist Award
Department of English
900 Park Ave.
Hibbs Hall, Room 306
P.O. Box 842005
Richmond, VA 23284-2005
Rules for Submission
- The submission must be the author’s first novel, published in calendar year 2015.
- The U.S.A. must be the country of first publication.
- The author may have published or produced previous work in a different form, such as poems or short stories, but the submission must be his or her first novel.
- No self-published novels can be considered.
- Books available in e-format only are not eligible.
- While books with crossover audience appeal may be considered, we reserve the right to eliminate those with a primary audience of young (YA or middle-grade) readers.
- The author must agree to attend the award event, usually scheduled in November.
Prose Contest Type:
Published Prose Book Novel
Postal Mail Only
Book must have been published in the previous calendar year. No self-published books. Books available in e-format only are not eligible. Author must agree to attend the award event in Virginia, usually scheduled in November.
This is a “spotlight” contest. We especially recommend it for Intermediate writers.
Authors with Published Books
Experience Level Comments:
Award is for published first novels. (The author may have published or produced previous work in a different form, such as poems or short stories, but the submission must be his or her first novel.)
Geographic Eligibility Comments:
The US must have been the country of first publication, though authors need not be American.
Age of Entrant:
Winning Writers Editor’s Comments:
Sponsor confirmed cash prize amount via email on 8/25/15.
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) is a premier urban, public research university based in Richmond. “Symbolized by a three-dimensional compass, the Award is a tribute to writers who have navigated their way through the maze of imagination–who have invented their own compasses and created characters, plots, and voices to enliven the common hours.”
(Award year is based on when the January deadline falls; thus, the 2016 award is for books published in 2015 and will be presented in June 2016.)
See links to past winners at: