The Writer’s Center is pleased to announce that it will award $500
annually to the author of the best first novel published during a given
calendar year. Conceived and funded by board member Neal P. Gillen, the
McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns Prize honors three dedicated writers and
members of The Writer’s Center faculty—Ann McLaughlin, Barbara Esstman,
and Lynn Stearns—each of whom unselfishly nourish and inspire students
and fellow writers.
Eligibility and Requirements:
All first novels published in 2010 are eligible, including those
published by major, independent, and self-publishing presses. Only
American authors publishing in English are eligible.
All entries must be postmarked by July 15, 2011. Entries not postmarked
prior to or on this date will be ineligible, and they will not be
returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
Authors must submit three copies of their published novel along with a
contact cover sheet indicating name, address, phone number, and e-mail
address (no cover letter required). No galley proofs will be accepted.
Following the judging process, books will not be returned unless
accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope with sufficient
postage. The Writer’s Center is not responsible for lost or damaged
Writer’s Center staff, board, and workshop leaders may not enter.
Send submissions via regular mail only (postmarked no later than July
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815
If you have questions about the prize itself, please contact
Publications & Communications Manager Kyle Semmel at
The Writer’s Center will solicit a group of no more than 15 volunteer
judges to serve as first-round judges. These volunteers will evaluate
books to determine if they meet eligibility requirements, and they will
read and evaluate the submissions. Submissions advancing to the second
round of judging will be evaluated by a team of three final judges.
Final judges will be selected from our membership and workshop leader
pool. These judges will determine at their sole discretion the Award
The Winner will be announced in October. He or she will receive a
feature in the Winter/Spring edition of The Workshop & Event Guide, at
Writer.org, and our blog, First Person Plural. In addition, if
feasible, he or she will be invited to read at The Writer’s Center
during a reception to honor his or her work.
Learn more about The Writer's Center by visit www.writer.org