Since 2001, The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award has awarded a $10,000 prize to an emerging writer — age 35 or younger — for a novel or collection of short stories. Each year, five young writers are chosen as finalists and the winner is announced at a special spring ceremony which attracts more than 400 guests — from Library donors to celebrity attendees. The writers are feted with live music, food, and drink and their words are brought to life onstage as actors read aloud from their work. The Fiction Award is a joyous celebration and important literary event that honors the most exciting new voices in literature today.
The Young Lions Fiction Award makes an enormous difference in a writer’s life at a pivotal moment in their career. Founded by Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, Rick Moody, and Hannah McFarland, the Fiction Award is part of the Library’s Young Lions program, a membership group for people in their 20s and 30s who support the Library and the young writers, artists and cultural influencers shaping our future.
This year’s judges include last year’s winner, Amelia Gray, Susan Minot, and Salvatore Sciona and the finalists include:
Clare Beams, We Show What We Have Learned
Brit Bennett, The Mothers
Kaitlyn Greenidge, We Love You Charlie Freeman
Nicole Dennis-Benn, Here Comes the Sun
Karan Mahajan, The Association of Small Bombs