Tarrytown, NY. January 31, 2012 The Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library, and the American Booksellers Association today announce a new partnership to promote the seven shortlisted novels in the Center's annual Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize. The ABA will select 450 bookstores around the U.S. focused on literary fiction to receive tabletop displays, posters and shelf talkers for the seven novels. In addition, fifty booksellers across the country will be asked to be first-tier readers for the Prize.
The Flahery-Dunnan First Novel Prize is awarded to the best debut novel of the year. The author of the winning book receives $10,000 and the other shortlisted authors receive $1,000 each. The Prize was originally established in 2005 as the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize. The Center for Fiction board member and author, Nancy Dunnan (How to Invest $50-$5,000), has underwritten the Prize since 2010, naming it in honor of her journalist father, Ray W. Flaherty. The selection of the shortlist and winning novel is determined through a two-tiered process. First, a network of booklovers read submissions. Their recommendations create a Long List, which is then forwarded to a committee of distinguished American writers. From those recommended novels, our panel of judges chooses the shortlist and the winner. The short list is announced in late summer and the winner is announced at The Center for Fiction's Annual Benefit and Awards Dinner in early December.
American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher says, "The ABA is delighted to partner with The Center for Fiction to promote the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize shortlist for 2012. We are honored that a group of ABA-member independent booksellers from throughout the country will serve as first-tier readers for this year's Prize, and look forward to working with the Center to develop materials to be used by our member stores to celebrate and feature the books of the finalists for this very worthy award."
Center for Fiction Executive Director Noreen Tomassi says, "We believe that there are no better readers than the people who continue against all seeming odds to own and operate independent bookstores. We are thrilled that we will be working with ABA, an organization we admire so much, to include these booksellers as readers and to feature the short-listed books at more than 450 stores all across the country."
Past winners of the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize are: Lamb by Bonnie Nadzam (Other Press), Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes (Grove/Atlantic), Woodsburner by John Pipkin (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday), The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (The Dial Press), The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (Riverhead/Penguin), and Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (Viking).
About The Center for Fiction The Center for Fiction is the only nonprofit in the U.S. solely dedicated to celebrating fiction, and works every day to connect readers and writers. Time Out called The Center one of the top three reasons to stay in Manhattan for literary events, citing the innovative panels, lectures and conversations that take place in its beautiful building on East 47th Street. The Center provides workspace, grants, and classes to support emerging writers, reading groups on classic and contemporary authors, programs to help get kids reading, and centerforfiction.org to connect readers and writers around the country. The Center recognizes the best in the world of fiction through its annual awards, publishes fiction by emerging and established authors in its online magazine The Literarian, and operates one of the few independent fiction bookshops in the country. The Center for Fiction is also an important piece of New York City history, continuing to build its renowned circulating library collection of 85,000 fiction titles, begun in 1820 by New York City merchants before the advent of the public library system. www.centerforfiction.org
About the American Booksellers Association Founded in 1900, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) is a not-for-profit trade association devoted to meeting the needs of its members-independent booksellers and supporters and affiliates of the book industry-through education, information, business products and services, marketing support, and advocacy. ABA is the only trade association representing the interests of all independent booksellers in the United States, and it provides a respected national forum through which booksellers work together to protect and enhance their businesses. The association is governed by a 10-member Board comprised of booksellers. ABA is headquartered in Tarrytown, New York.