THIS YEAR’S WINNER
2018 – Stephen O’Connor
In addition to Thomas Jefferson Dreams of Sally Hemings, Stephen O’Connor is the author of two collections of short fiction, Here Comes Another Lesson and Rescue, and two works of nonfiction, Will My Name Be Shouted Out? and Orphan Trains: The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the Children He Saved and Failed. His work has appeared in a long list of literary journals in addition to numerous magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker and the New York Times. His story, “Next to Nothing,” was selected by Jennifer Egan for Best American Short Stories 2014. Currently teaching in the Sarah Lawrence MFA writing program, O’Connor has been the recipient of a number of prestigious fellowships. Judge: Elizabeth Cox
2014 – Wiley Cash
Wiley Cash won the inaugural award in 2014, for his debut novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, which was a New York Times Bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book, going on to win a long list of awards, including the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Book Prize. His second novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, was also a national bestseller and received numerous awards. In addition, Wiley Cash was a 2015-16 recipient of a $10,000 N.C. Arts Council fellowship. His new novel, The Last Ballad, will be out in October 2017. Judge: Jill McCorkle.
2015 – Kim Church
Kim Church won the second Crook’s Corner Book Prize in 2015, for her novel, Byrd, which garnered a basketful of other awards, including the Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Medal for Literary Fiction. Like Wiley Cash, the first CCBP winner, Kim Church was a 2015-16 recipient of a $10,000 N.C. Arts Council fellowship. While working part-time as an attorney, she is currently immersed in her second novel, which is about the 1929 Gastonia, NC textile strike. Judge: Randall Kenan.
2016 – Tom Cooper
Tom Cooper was the 2016 winner for Marauders, which was recognized as a SIBA Book Award Nominee 2016, a Strand Magazine Critics Award Nominee 2015, and a VCU Cabell First Novelist Prize Nominee 2016. Tom Cooper’s short stories have appeared in Oxford American, Mid-American Review, and Gulf Coast, among many other places. His stories have been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize. He is at work on several new projects, including television scripts and novels. Judge: Lee Smith.
2017 – Matthew Griffin
Matthew Griffin won the prize in 2017 for Hide, published by Bloomsbury. In addition to the Crook’s Corner Book Prize, his novel was a Stonewall Honor Book, and was longlisted for the PEN/Bingham Prize for debut fiction. He has taught writing at the University of Iowa and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His work has appeared in The Guardian, Granta, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. He was born and raised in North Carolina and now lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he teaches at Tulane University. Judge: Tom Franklin.