How to Submit a Novel
Please send one digital copy (required), i.e. an easy to read PDF file, to email@example.com and five hard copies to:
VCU Cabell First Novelist Award
c/o VCU Libraries
901 Park Ave., Box 842033
Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Submissions for the 2021 contest are currently open. Postmark deadline is December 30, 2020. The winner will be announced in June or July 2021.
Rules for Submission
- The submission must be the author's first novel, published in calendar year 2020.
- The author may have published previous books in a different form, such as collections of poems or short stories, but the submission must be their first published book marketed as a novel. This may include hybrid works such as novels-in-verse and novels-in-stories. Collections of linked short stories not marketed as novels are not eligible. Graphic novels are also not eligible.
- The USA must be the country of first publication for the submission.
- 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.
- Books available in e-format only are not eligible.
- Self-published novels are not eligible, nor any novel published (via a hybrid press or otherwise) using an author's financial investment or fundraising efforts.
- Note: Since the inception of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, the award process has served as a teaching tool for VCU's MFA in Creative Writing students and the greater Richmond community and has featured a unique examination of the traditional path a debut novel takes, from early manuscript in the writer's hands, to agent, and finally to publisher. The process is intended, in part, to illuminate the inner workings of the publishing process, including how the publishing industry acquires new novels and what makes a particular novel a success within the confines of the publishing industry. Self-published novels take a very different path and are therefore outside the scope of the award.
- Books authored by alumni or affiliates of the VCU MFA in Creative Writing program are not eligible
- The winning author must agree to attend the award event, usually scheduled for November.
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