Simpson Literary Project



Announcing the 2017-2018 Simpson Literary Prize Shortlist

The Simpson Family Literary Project announces the four finalists for the inaugural Simpson Family Literary Prize. The $50,000 Prize is to be awarded to an author of fiction in the middle of a burgeoning career. The Prize is administered by the Simpson Project, which is the collaboration of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation and the University of California, Berkeley, English Department. There was no application process. An anonymous jury selected the finalists from writers confidentially nominated by distinguished authors, professors, booksellers, and book reviewers from around the country.

The finalists for the 2017-2018 Simpson Prize are:

T. Geronimo Johnson, of Berkeley, California, was born in New Orleans. He is the author of Welcome to Braggsville and Hold it ‘Til it Hurts.

Valeria Luiselli, of New York City was born in Mexico City. She is the author of The Story of My Teeth and Faces in the Crowd.

Lori Ostlund, of San Francisco, California, was born in Minnesota. She is the author of After the Parade and The Bigness of the World.

Dana Spiotta, of Syracuse, New York, was born in New Jersey. She is the author of Innocents and Others and Stone Arabia, among other novels.

Read full bios of each recipient

The Prize Recipient is expected to be named in early May 2017. The recipient will give readings in the Bay Area in October 2017, and be in two-week residence in Lafayette and Berkeley, California, during the Spring Semester 2018.

The Simpson Family Literary Project, established in 2016, is an innovative private/public partnership between the University of California and the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation. The Project fosters new literature, supports authors, and enhances the lives of readers, writers, educators, and students in diverse communities in California and the nation. The Project serves high-school age writers and supports a Writer in Residence program at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation; in spring 2018, the eminent and celebrated Joyce Carol Oates will be Writer in Residence.

Beth Needel, Executive Director of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation and a founding member of the Simpson Family Literary Project Committee, looks forward to celebrating the Prize Recipient and welcoming writers of all generations to the Library and to the University. She says, “We are honored to provide this opportunity for authors, student writers and the public in this celebration of literature and literacy through the Simpson Family Literary Project.”

Press Contact:
Kim Dower, Kim-from-L.A.