First Novelist Reading Loop
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David Gordon is the 2011 winner of the Cabell First Novelist Award for The Serialist.
The award is presented annually and is designed to recognize a rising new talent in the literary world who has successfully published a first novel. This year, the Cabell First Novelist Award marked its tenth anniversary with a two-day celebration.
The Blackbird First Novelist Reading Loop includes an excerpt from The Serialist (Fiction), an additional short story by Gordon titled “Vampires of Queens” (Fiction), and a lecture (Features), given during the anniversary festival, by NPR book critic and author Alan Cheuse.
The First Novelist Festival highlights the journey a new writer undertakes from idea to publication, with a focus on those elements that make the experience unique. During the festival, the newly published author, the author’s agent, and the book’s editor participate in a series of events concerning the process of the creation, publication, and promotion of a first novel.
The Virginia Commonwealth University Cabell First Novelist Award was created by Laura Browder and Tom De Haven to celebrate the university’s year-long novel workshop, the first of its kind in the nation. The award is presented on behalf of the university’s MFA in Creative Writing Program. Sponsors include the Department of English, James Branch Cabell Library Associates, the Friends of the Library, the VCU Libraries, the Honors College, Barnes Noble Bookstore, and the College of Humanities and Sciences. Initial funding for the Award came from alumnus and novelist David Baldacci. The award is named in honor of Richmond novelist James Branch Cabell, whose papers are in the collection of the VCU library that bears his name.