2021 Fiction

Children/Teens | Fiction | Nonfiction | Poetry | Moderators |

Listed in alphabetical order

Mateo Askaripour

Mateo Askaripour

Mateo Askaripour was a 2018 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer-in-residence, and his writing has appeared in Entrepreneur, Lit Hub, Catapult, The Rumpus, Medium, and elsewhere. He lives in Brooklyn, and his favorite pas-times include bingeing music videos and movie trailers, drinking yerba mate, and dancing in his apartment. Black Buck is his debut novel. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @AskMateo.

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Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter

Charles Baxter is the author of There’s Something I Want You to Do, published in paperback by Vintage in 2016; the book was a finalist for the Story Prize in 2016. His new novel, The Sun Collective, was published in late 2020 by Pantheon. He is also the author of Gryphon: New and Selected Stories, published in 2011, The Soul Thief, published in 2008, by Pantheon, and of Saul and Patsy, published in 2003 by Pantheon. His third novel, The Feast of Love (Pantheon/Vintage), was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000 and has been made into a film starring Morgan Freeman. He now lives in Minneapolis and was the Edelstein-Keller Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s, among other journals and magazines. His fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories seven times, eleven times in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, and translated into many languages.

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Julie Carrick Dalton

Julie Carrick Dalton

Julie Carrick Dalton’s debut novel WAITING FOR THE NIGHT SONG has been named to Most Anticipated 2021 book lists by numerous platforms including CNN, Newsweek, USA Today, Parade, and Buzzfeed, and was an Amazon Editor’s Pick for Best Books of the Month in January. As a journalist, Julie has published more than a thousand articles in publications including The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, The Hollywood Reporter, and The Chicago Review of Books. A Tin House alum, 2021 Bread Loaf Environmental Writers Conference fellow, and graduate of Grub-Street’s Novel Incubator, Julie holds a master’s in literature and creative writing from Harvard Extension School. She is the winner of the William Faulkner Literary Competition and a finalist for the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature and the Caledonia Novel Award. Julie is a member of the Climate Fiction Writers League and is a frequent speaker and workshop leader on the topic of Fiction in the Age of Climate Crisis. Mom to four kids and two dogs, Julie also owns a small farm in rural New Hampshire. You can connect with Julie on Twitter @juliecardalt, on Instagram @juliecdalton, or at juliecarrickdalton.com. Photo credit: Sharona Jacobs.

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Richard Cass

Richard Cass

Richard Cass graduated from Colby College in Maine and earned an MA in Writing from the University of New Hampshire. His short fiction was won prizes from Redbook, Writers’ Digest, and Playboy. He’s published five novels and a book of short stories called Gleam of Bone. The second entry in the Elder Darrow jazz mystery series, So-lo Act, was a finalist for the 2017 Maine Literary Awards in Crime Fiction. Its prequel, In Solo Time, won the 2018 Maine Literary Award in Crime Fiction. The third book, Burton’s Solo, was published in 2018, and the fourth, Last Call at the Esposito, last September. The fifth book, Sweetie Bogan’s Sorrow, was published on October 2, 2020.
At the University of New Hampshire, he studied with Thomas Williams, Jr. and Joseph Monninger. He has also studied with Ernest Hebert, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Molly Gloss. He has been an Individual Artist’s Fellow for the state of New Hampshire and a Fellow at the Fishtrap Writers’ Conference in Oregon. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Playboy, Gray’s Sporting Journal, ZZYZVA, and Best Short Stories of the American West. Cass serves on the board of Mystery Writers of America’s New England Chapter and the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. He lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Visit: rjcassbooks.com.

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Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of historical novels set in iconic New York City buildings, including The Lions of Fifth Avenue, which was a Good Morning America book club pick. She began her career in New York City as an actress, working on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down to write fiction. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and she’s based in New York City. Photo Credit: Deborah Feingold

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Peter Ho Davies

Peter Ho Davies

Peter Ho Davies’ most recent novel is A Lie Someone Told You About Yourself. Other books include The Fortunes, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; The Welsh Girl, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and a London Times bestseller; as well as two collections of short stories. His work has appeared in Harpers, The Atlantic, The Paris Review and Granta and been anthologized in Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, he now teaches in the MFA program at the University of Michigan.

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Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III’s seven books include the New York Times’ bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent novel, Gone So Long, has received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal and has been named on many “Best Books” lists, including selection for The Boston Globe’s “Twenty Best Books of 2018” and “The Best Books of 2018”, “Top 100”, Amazon. Mr. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children. Photo credit: John Hauschildt.

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Gerald Elias

Gerald Elias

A former violinist with the Boston Symphony and associate concertmaster of the Utah Symphony, Gerald Elias has appeared as a soloist, conductor, composer, and educator on five continents. His award-winning publications and audio books include the Daniel Jacobus mystery series that takes place in the dark corners of the music world, short fiction, western stories, children’s literature, essays, and his memoir, Symphonies & Scorpions. His newest novel, The Beethoven Sequence, is his first political thriller, and was released in September 2020 by Level Best Books.

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Alex George

Alex George

A native of England, Alex George read law at Oxford University and worked as a corporate attorney in London and Paris for eight years. He now lives in Columbia, Missouri. He is the founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival and the owner of Skylark Bookshop in downtown Columbia. He has published seven novels which have been translated into ten languages. His sixth, Setting Free the Kites, won the Missouri Award for Fiction in 2018. His most recent, The Paris Hours, was released in May 2020. It was a Book of the Month Club pick and a national bestseller. In addition to his novels, Alex’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Literary Hub, and numerous other publications. He still practices law in his spare time.

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Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths

Elly Griffiths wrote four novels under her own name (Domenica de Rosa) before turning to crime with The Crossing Places, the first novel featuring forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway. The Crossing Places won the Mary Higgins Clark award and three novels in the series have been shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year. The Lantern Men (Ruth #12, published in February 2020) was number two in the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestsellers list. Elly also writes the Brighton Mysteries, set in the theatrical world of the 1950s. In 2016 Elly was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library for her body of work. Her first standalone mystery, The Stranger Diaries, won the 2020 Edgar award for Best Crime Novel. Her second standalone, The Postscript Murders, will be published in the US in March 2021.

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Connie Johnson Hambley

Connie Johnson Hambley

A former lawyer, Connie Johnson Hambley has been a featured columnist for Bloomberg Business Week and an invited contributor to Nature, Mass High Tech and other journals, but her passion is writing great suspense. Two of Connie’s novels in The Jessica Trilogy won the Best English Fiction literary award at the EQUUS International Film Festival in New York City. Her short stories appear in New England’s Best Crime Stories: Windward and Snow-bound, and Mystery Weekly magazine. Her short story published in Running Wild Anthology was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Connie is past president and a featured speaker of Sisters in Crime New England, co-chair of New England Crime Bake, and a member of Mystery Writers of America.

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Erik Hoel

Erik Hoel

Erik Hoel grew up in Newburyport and worked in his mother’s bookshop, The Jabberwocky. Later he received his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a research assistant professor at Tufts University and was previously a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University in the NeuroTechnology Center and a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Hoel is a 2018 Forbes “30 Under 30” for his neuroscientific research on consciousness and a Center for Fiction NYC Emerging Writer Fellow. The Revelations is his debut novel. He lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.

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Kiku Hughes

Kiku Hughes

Kiku Hughes is a cartoonist and illustrator based in the Seattle area. Her work has been featured in Beyond Anthology volumes 1 and 2, Short Box and Team Avatar Tales. Her first graphic novel, “Displacement,” was published by First Second in 2020.

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Virginia Humes

Virginia Humes

Virginia Humes’s debut novel, Haven Point (St. Martin’s Press) will be released on June 8, 2021. She graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. Virginia spent the first few years of her career in marketing before she was bitten by the political bug, after which she spent a couple of decades in politics and public affairs communications. They say truth is stranger than fiction. At some point, Virginia decided politics had gotten a little too strange, and she turned to fiction. Virginia lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland with her husband, Drew Onufer, our two daughters, and an undergroomed Bichon, Chester. She is currently hard at work on her second novel.

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Joshilyn Jackson

Joshilyn Jackson

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of nine books, including Gods in Alabama, The Almost Sisters, and Never Have I Ever. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and Jackson is also an award-winning audiobook narrator. She writes page-turners that revolve around women’s issues and faith and justice issues. Jackson lives in Decatur, Georgia with her family. To learn more, visit joshilynjackson.com. Photo Credit: Wes Browning

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Kim Johnson

Kim Johnson

Kim Johnson has held leadership positions in social justice organizations as a teen. She’s now a college administrator who maintains civic engagement throughout the community while also mentoring Black student activists and leaders. This Is My America is her debut novel. It explores racial injustice against innocent Black men who are criminally sentenced, and the families left behind to pick up the pieces. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and the University of Maryland, College Park. Kim lives in Oregon with her husband and two kids. Find her at kcjohnsonwrites.com and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @kcjohnsonwrites.

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Nancy Johnson

Nancy Johnson

A native of Chicago’s South Side, Nancy Johnson worked for more than a decade as an Emmy-nominated, award-winning television journalist. Her debut novel, The Kindest Lie, published in February by William Mor-row/HarperCollins has been recognized by ELLE Magazine, The New York Post, Marie Claire, Good Housekeeping, Refinery29, Parade, the Chicago Tribune and more. Nancy and her novel have been featured in Entertainment Weekly and she’s written personal essays for Real Simple and O, The Oprah Magazine. A graduate of Northwestern University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she lives in downtown Chicago.
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Lily King

Lily King

Lily King is the award-winning author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, Father of the Rain, and Euphoria, one of the New York Times Book Review’s “10 Best Books of 2014,” finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She lives in Maine.

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Aimee Liu

Aimee Liu

Aimee Liu is the bestselling author of the novel Glorious Boy, as well as Flash House; Cloud Mountain; and Face. Her nonfiction includes Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders and Solitaire. Aimee’s books include a Literary Guild Super Release and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. Her short fiction has received special mention from the Pushcart Prize. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, Poets & Writers, and many other periodicals and anthologies. She teaches in Goddard Col-lege’s MFA in Creative Writing Program at Port Townsend, WA.

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Crystal Maldonado

Crystal Maldonado

Crystal Maldonado is a writer by night and a marketer and social media manager by day. She has been published in Latina magazine, The Hartford Courant, and Dogster, and is the co-founder of the online magazine Positively Smitten. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega is her debut novel, and was bought in a competitive pre-empt as part of a two-book deal. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband, her dog, and her super-duper adorable baby daughter.

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Lorraine Sharma Nelson

Lorraine Sharma Nelson

Lorraine grew up globally but has called the United States home for a good many years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature, and a Master’s in Mass Communications. In addition to being a writer, Lorraine is also a wife, a mother, and an avid sci-fi geek. She loves travel, reading, classic movies, and coconut cupcakes. Lorraine currently has fourteen short stories published in horror, fantasy, crime, and sci-fi anthologies, and has won two sci-fi awards. She is the current Vice President of Sisters in Crime New England, and a New England Regional Board member for UNICEF USA.She can be found at her website: www.lorrainesharmanelson.com, and on Twitter at: twitter.com/loneriter.

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Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett is the author of eight novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, Commonwealth, and The Dutch House. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, What now?, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. She has won numerous prizes, including the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, and her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. Patchett is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl VanDevender, and their dog, Sparky.

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Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel WENCH. The book was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. In 2017, HarperCollins released Wench as one of eight “Olive Titles,” limited edition modern classics that included books by Edward P. Jones, Louise Erdrich, and Zora Neale Hurston. Dolen received a DC Commission on the Arts Grant for her second novel BALM which was published by HarperCollins in 2015. In 2013 , Dolen wrote the introduction to a special edition of Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave, published by Simon & Schuster, which became a New York Times best-seller. Dolen’s forthcoming novel IF THIS IS PEACE will be published by Berkley Books/PRH in 2022. Dolen is the current Chair of the Board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. On behalf of the foundation, she has visited nearly every public high school in the District of Columbia to talk about the importance of reading and writing. She is Associate Professor in the Literature Department at American University and lives in Washington, DC with her family.

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Alyson Richman

Alyson Richman

Alyson Richman is the #1 international bestselling author of seven novels including The Velvet Hours, The Garden of Letters, and The Lost Wife, which is currently in development for a major motion picture. The Secret of Clouds, out in February 2019, centers around the transformative bond between a mother and her son, and a teacher and her student. A story that will make readers examine what it means to actually live life with a full heart.

Alyson spent her childhood in both Long Island and Japan, and is the daughter of an abstract artist and an electri-cal engineer, and graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in art history and Japanese studies. She herself is an accomplished painter, and her novels combine her deep love of art, historical research, and travel.

Alyson’s novels have been published in thirty countries and twenty-five languages. Her books have received critical acclaim in both the United States and abroad, where they have been bestsellers in, not only the United States, but, also, several countries. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two children, where she is currently at work on her next novel, The Minutes Home.

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M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Rose is a New York Times, Wall St. Journal and USAToday bestseller as well as an international best seller. She has published more than nineteen novels and 3 books on marketing. She has been published in more than 30 countries and sold over 1.5 million books. The Fox TV show, Past Lives, was based on Rose’s novel, The Reincarnationist. Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

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Jennifer Steil

Jennifer Steil

Jennifer Steil is an award-winning author who lives in many countries (currently Uzbekistan). Her newest novel, Exile Music (Viking 2020), explores an overlooked slice of World War II history, following Jewish musicians who flee Vienna in 1939 to seek refuge in the Bolivian Andes. Exile Music won the Grand Prize in the international Eyelands 2020 Book Awards, and was chosen by Art in Fiction as one of the best novels about art in 2020, and by Book Authority as one of 16 Best New Music Books to Read in 2021. It received a starred Booklist review, and was chosen by Good Morning America as one of the 25 Novels You’ll Want to Read This Summer. A reviewer for the Jerusalem Post called it “one of the best novels I have read in a long time,” and the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle wrote, “In a sea of Holocaust literature, “Exile Music” stands out as wholly original and engaging.” Her previous novel, The Ambassador’s Wife, won the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Best Novel award and the Phillip McMath Post Publication book award. It was shortlisted for both the Bisexual Book Award and the Lascaux Novel Award. Jennifer’s first book, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky (Broadway Books, 2010), is a memoir about her time as editor of the Yemen Observer newspaper in Sana’a. She’s writing a novel about underground LGBTQ artists. Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan.

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Ray Stoeve

Ray Stoeve

Ray Stoeve is a writer. They received a 2016-2017 Made at Hugo House Fellowship for their young adult fiction and created the YA/MG Trans and Nonbinary Voices Masterlist, a database that tracks all books in those age categories written by trans authors about trans characters. They are a contributor to Take The Mic: Fictional Stories of Everyday Resistance. Between Perfect and Real is their debut novel. When they’re not writing, they can be found gardening, making art in other mediums, or hiking their beloved Pacific Northwest.

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Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language, and a press officer before settling down as a full-time writer. She now lives with her family in Sussex, on the south coast of England. She is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail (Toronto) bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs. Westaway, The Turn of the Key, and One by One. Visit her at RuthWare.com or follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter. Photo Credit Gemma Day Photography.

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