Lise Brody, of Athel, Mass., Wins 2012 James Jones First Novel Fellowship
WILKES-BARRE, PA. (Sept. 24, 2012) – The 21st Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship awarded first place and $10,000 to Lise Brody of Athel, Mass. for her manuscript titled For One Thing She Did. The competition is co-sponsored by the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program and the James Jones Literary Society.
The James Jones First Novel Fellowship was established in 1992 to “honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture as exemplified by (the writings of) James Jones.” It is awarded to an American author of a first novel-in-progress. This year’s competition drew 585 submissions.
For One Thing She Did recreates the story of Sycorax, witch and mother of Caliban from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Marooned on the play’s magical island, Sycorax recounts the events of her life, from her childhood in the Andalusian countryside to her young adulthood in Seville, her resettlement in Algiers, and the betrayal that led to her exile. Set during the height of the Spanish Inquisition, in a time of transition between the invention of the printing press and the discoveries of Galileo, the novel travels through the olive groves, sailing ships, cities, brothels and universities of a land caught between progress and backlash, still mourning its once famous culture of ethnic integration and religious tolerance.
Brody currently teachers high school English at the Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro, Mass. She has been on the faculty of the Interdisciplinary Arts program at Goddard College and the dance and theater programs at Rhode Island College. Brody also has been a guest artist at Emerson College, Providence College, and Salve Regina University.
Runners-up in the competition were Andrea Levin of New York, N.Y., for her manuscript Last Days of the Transitional Objects Institute; and Viet Nguyen of Los Angeles, Calif., for his manuscript The Sympathizer. They were each awarded $750.
Victoria Kelly, of Virginia Beach, Va., received honorable mention for her manuscript Where People Go When They Disappear.
Requests for guidelines for entering the annual competition should be sent, along with a stamped, self-address envelope, to James Jones First Novel Fellowship, c/o The Graduate Creative Writing Department, Wilkes University, 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The submission deadline for entries is March 1 of each year.