Simpson Literary Project



2019 Simpson Longlist Released

Longlist Finalists to Contend for Annual $50,000 Fiction Prize Recognizing Mid-Career Authors

LAFAYETTE, CA, February 12, 2019—The Longlist Finalists for the 3rd Annual 2019 Simpson Family Literary Prize recognizing mid-career authors in fiction were officially announced today at a private ceremony. The $50,000 Prize is 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. The Longlist Finalists were selected from official submissions by publishers, agents, authors, and author representatives.

“Our distinguished Simpson Prize Finalists embody the inspiring richness and vitality of storytelling in our country. The Simpson Literary Project, with our investment in writing across a great social and generational spectrum, speaks to the highest ideals of both the Lafayette Library and Learning Center and the UC Berkeley English Department. Where we celebrate stories and their makers, we affirm the best of our diverse culture and underscore our shared humanity.” —Joseph Di Prisco, Chair, Simpson Family Literary Project

“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.” —Beth Needel, Executive Director of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation, and member of the Simpson Family Literary Project Committee

The Shortlist Finalists are expected to be named in early March 2019 and will receive $2,000 for participating in the Literary Project, followed by a Winner in early April 2019. Recipients will give readings in the Bay Area in October 2019, and participate in a two-week residence in Lafayette and Berkeley, California, during the Spring Semester 2020.

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 and the Contra Costa Library. 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.

The eminent and celebrated Joyce Carol Oates will continue as an official Simpson Family Literary Project Writer-in-Residence. In addition, 2017 Simpson Family Literary Prize Winner, T. Geronimo Johnson, author of Welcome to Braggsville (HarperCollins), and 2018 Simpson Family Literary Prize Winner Anthony Marra, author of The Tsar of Love and Techno (Hogarth), will continue their efforts and engagements with the Simpson Family Literary Project.

For more information, please contact Beth Needel at 925.283.6513 ext 104 or email at

Simpson Literary Project