The Crook’s Corner Book Prize is awarded for the best debut novel set in the American South. The Prize is intended to encourage emerging writers, whether published by established publishing houses, by small independent publishers, or self-published.
Crook’s Corner is an iconic restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, long a keystone in the pantheon of contemporary Southern cuisine. The Book Prize was inspired not only by the literary tradition of the American South but also by the famous literary cafés of Paris. The Deux Magots, the Flore, and Brasserie Lipp, for example, have for many years awarded prestigious writers’ prizes.
The connection between the literary life and café culture is a close one, as the French know well. “It seems a natural evolution for Crook’s, which is so interwoven with the arts and the literary community, to honor emerging writers,” says Crook’s chef Bill Smith emeritus, himself an author. The restaurant, whose walls are lined with the work of local artists, has long been a favorite dining spot for local and visiting writers, artists, and musicians.
The winner of the Crook’s Corner Book Prize receives $5,000 and a free glass of wine at Crook’s Corner every day for a year.