Meet the 2011 Discover Great New Writers Award Judges for Fiction

Dear Readers,

We’ve had some fantastic authors serve as judges for the Discover Great New Writers Awards over the years, including this year’s judges for fiction:

Poet and novelist Chris Abani is a professor of literature at the University of California, Riverside, and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize, and a Guggenheim Award, among other prizes. His novel GraceLandwas a 2004 Discover selection, and his most recent book is the poetry Collection, Sanctificum. Born and raised in Nigeria, he lives in Los Angeles.

Novelist Lauren Belfer was born in Rochester, New York, and grew up in Buffalo.  She attended Swarthmore College and holds an M.F.A. from Columbia University. Her debut novel, City of Light, was a 1999 Discover selection, a New York Times Notable Book as well as a New York Times bestseller, a Library Journal Best Book, and a Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. Her most recent novel, A Fierce Radiance, was a Washington Post Best Novel of the Year and an NPR Mystery of the Year.  She lives in New York City.

Bo Caldwell is the author of the national bestsellers City of Tranquil Light and The Distant Land of My Father. The recipient of a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and a fellowship in literature from the National Endowment from the Arts, her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Epoch, O, The Oprah Magazine, and The Washington Post Magazine. She lives in Northern California.

We’ll post the shortlist here with comments from our judges on 2/1; Two winners (fiction and non-fiction) will each receive $10,000 from Barnes and Noble at a private event in New York on March 7th.

Cheers, Miwa


Miwa Messer

Miwa Messer is the Director of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, which was established in 1990 to highlight works of exceptional literary quality that might otherwise be overlooked in a crowded book marketplace. Titles chosen for the program are handpicked by a select group of our booksellers four times a year. Click here for submission guidelines.