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Tope Folarin and Nnamdi Ehirim are both on the longlist of the 2020 VCU Cabell First Novel Award.

The annual book prize is presented on behalf of Virginia Commonwealth University MFA in Creative Writing Program and sponsored by James Branch Cabell Library AssociatesVCU Libraries, the VCU Department of EnglishBarnes & Noble @ VCU, and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

The prize honors an “outstanding debut novel published in the preceding calendar year”.

Folarin is nominated for his book A Particular Kind of Black Man, published by Simon and Schuster which focuses on the life of an immigrant Nigerian family in the United States and addresses larger questions about the complexities of identity. The book was longlisted for the 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.

Ehirim appears on the longlist with his well-received Prince of Monkeys, published by Counterpoint in April, 2019.

Both books appear on Brittle Paper’s Top 15 Debut Books of 2019 

The award ceremony is annually held at James Branch Cabell Library, in which the winning author and two others involved in the writing and publishing worlds, typically the author’s agent and editor, appear at a public reading and Q&A session, followed by a book signing and reception, that focus on the creation, publication, and promotion of a first novel.

Travel expenses to and lodging in Richmond for the author and the additional speakers are provided, and the author receives a $5,000 cash prize.

For the full longlist, go here.

Best wishes to Tope Folarin and Nnamdi Ehirim!

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Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a Staff Writer at Brittle Paper. An alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop, his work has been published in McSweeneys, Clarion Review, Charles River Journal and elsewhere. He was longlisted for the Awele Creative Trust Award in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award. In 2019, he was named by Electric Literature as 'One of the Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction' in a feature introduced by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He is a regular contributor with the New England Review of Books and lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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