Noor Naga, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan on Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize 2022 shortlist.

Noor Naga and Mecca Jamilah Sullivan are on the shortlist for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize 2022 announced on September 28, 2022.

The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize is an annual award presented by The Center for Fiction, a non-profit organization in New York, USA since 2006. It recognizes the year’s best debut novel as selected by a panel of distinguished American writers and carries with it an award of $15,000. Previous winners include De’Shawn Charles Winslow, Tiphanie Yanique, Junot Diaz, Margaret Wrinkle, and Raven Leilani.

This year’s judges are Matt Bell, Nicole Dennis-Benn, Megha Majumdar, Rebecca Makkai, and Chigozie Obioma. They announced a longlist on July 28 before the shortlist was made public. These are the writers of African descent who made the shortlist;

  • If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English by Noor Naga (Graywolf Press)
  • Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (W. W. Norton & Company / Liveright)

Mecca Jamilah Sullivan on finding out she made the cut tweeted, “This list is absolutely amazing! So honored to see BIG GIRL on the @Center4Fiction First Novel Prize shortlist w @DaphnePalasiA @isabelkaplan @noor_naga @anarasong @vauhinivara & Claw homie @jessaminechan! Big congrats to everyone, + Huge thanks the stellar judges! This is a dream.”

The shortlisted authors will be celebrated at the First Novel Fête on Friday, December 2, 2022, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at The Center for Fiction Annual Awards Benefit.