St. Francis College Literary Prize Gets Record Amount Of Entries

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In a borough touted to have more writers per zip code than anywhere else in the world, St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights stands out as the literary lion of the borough’s many institutions of high learning.

Besides hosting the Walt Whitman Writing Series and the Volpe Lecture Series, which has brought authors including Stephen King,  Frank Bruni, Pete Hamill, E.L. Doctorow and Salman Rushdie to speak, the school today announced it has received a record 187 entries for the 2017 St. Francis College $50,000 Literary Prize.

The St. Francis College Literary Prize aims to bring attention to mid-career writers, at a time when many authors must decide to keep writing or leave the field. Writers who have published their third to fifth work of fiction within the designated time frame are eligible for the competition.

“Writers tend to get more attention for their first works or after a full career of publishing, but writers at mid-career are often overlooked,” said Ian Maloney, Director of the Literary Prize and an English Professor at St. Francis College. “This $50,000 prize, which is one of the richest prizes anywhere, says that we value authors at this crucial stage in their careers and want to give them more opportunities to focus on their craft.”

The Jury Prize members include authors Ellen Litman (The Last Chicken in America), Jeffery Renard Allen (Song of the Shank), and René Steinke (Friendswood). They are currently reading the submissions and will pick the best of the bunch.

Steinke was on the Short List for the 2015 Literary Prize, along with winner Maud Casey (The Man Who Walked Away), as well as Marlon James (A Brief History of Seven Killings), and Paul Beatty (The Sellout) who are the winners of the last two Man Booker Prizes.

The Jury will release the Short List August 15. The winner will be announced as part of the Brooklyn Book Festival, held September 17.

 The $50,000 Literary Prize compliments the programming at St. Francis College which brings a number of high-profile and rising star authors to campus every year.

Continuing the momentum is the new Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing which begins July 5 with mentors, Marlon James, Annie Finch (Spells: New and Selected Poems), and Tony Tulathimutte (Private Citizens).  More Information is available at

The Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn founded St. Francis College in 1859. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.