2023 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award

author photo
Tess Gunty

Date: Monday, Nov 13, 2023

Start time: 7:00 PM

End time: 8:30 PM

Location: James Branch Cabell Library Lecture Hall (Room 303)

Audience: Open to the public

Tess Gunty has won the 2023 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, which honors an outstanding debut novel published during the preceding calendar year. Her winning book, The Rabbit Hutch, published by Knopf, winds through the walls and lives of those living in the dilapidated midwestern apartment complex known as the titular Rabbit Hutch.  The novel is set over the course of one formidably hot July week in Vacca Vale, Indiana and follows the story of the mysterious and beautiful Blandine, ultimately culminating in a shocking and strange act of violence that haunts the pages from the book’s very first line.

The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award celebrates the VCU MFA in Creative Writing program’s year long novel workshop, the first in the nation and one of the few still in existence. The winning author receives a $5,000 prize and participates in an event, traditionally in person, with two additional panelists, most often the agent and editor of the winning book. The event, open to all, focuses on the creation, publication and promotion of the author's first novel.

Gunty will receive the award during a public event at VCU on November 13, 2023. The event will involve a reading, a moderated discussion, and a Q&A. Details of the event and additional materials will be made available at www.firstnovelist.vcu.edu/event

Sponsor(s): The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award is presented on behalf of VCU’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing program. Sponsors include: the James Branch Cabell Library Associates, VCU Libraries, the Friends of VCU Libraries, the VCU Department of English, and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

Event contact: VCU Events Office, rbpander@vcu.edu