National Literary Awards

The Department of English co-sponsors three national literary prizes: the Cabell First Novelist Award, the Levis Reading Prize, and the Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize.

Cabell First Novelist Award

To recognize a rising new talent in the literary world who has successfully published a first novel, nominations are solicited nationwide from publishers, editors, agents, and writers. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize, annual festivities, and a public reading celebrating the award-winning book and writer.

Cabell First Novelist Award - Virginia Commonwealth University

Levis Reading Prize

This annual prize is awarded to the best first or second book of poetry published in the previous calendar year. Winners receive an honorarium of $5,000 and are brought to Richmond all expenses paid for a reception and public reading.

A sketch of Larry Levis holding a cigarette

Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize

The $2,000 awarded periodically is to the best work of short fiction published by Blackbird, with a particular emphasis on work by an emerging or underappreciated writer. No application form or fee is required; all short fiction submitted to the journal is eligible.

Blackbird journal logo: a stylized blackbird perched on the K of the word Blackbird overlaying the image of a photorealistic moon with a dark blue sky behind. The bird has a red berry in its beak the dot from the letter I in Blackbird.