Submissions Now Closed

Institute for Immigration Research
New American Voices Award

Founded in 2018, Fall for the Book and the Institute for Immigration Research created an award to recognize recently published works that illuminate the complexity of the human experience as told by immigrants, whose work is historically underrepresented in writing and publishing.

Three jurors will judge all entries for the 2024 New American Voices Award and choose three finalists and then award the prize to one. Finalists will be announced in summer 2024 and all three finalists and the judges will appear at the Fall for the Book festival in October 2024 for the seventh annual presentation and read from and discuss their work. The winning writer will receive $5,000 and the two finalists each will receive $1,000. 

If America is a country of immigrants as it is often described, then the quintessential American literature would be the literature of immigration... Hopefully these new voices will make us step back and look at ourselves with new eyes, and new hope and new meaning.
Helon Habila
2018 Judge

Award News

Rachel Heng Wins 6th Annual New American Voices Award

Rachel Heng won the 6th Annual New American Voices Award on October 12 in the Center for the Arts at George Mason University.

Submission Guidelines

Submit to the Award

  • Starting December 4, 2023, publishers can enter immigrant writers* who have published no more than three books.
  • Entries must be prose: literary fiction or creative nonfiction. Please no journalism, plays, anthologies, or poetry.
  • Eligible books must have been (or will be) published between October 1, 2023 and September 30, 2024.
  • Four bound copies of the book (galleys/ARCs are acceptable) must be postmarked April 5 2024 (deadline extended from March 29) and sent to Kara Oakleaf at 4400 University Drive, MS 3E4, Fairfax, VA 22030, along with a $20 entry fee. Checks can be made out to Fall for the Book, Inc.; entry fee may also be paid online here.
  • For accessibility reasons, please also submit your book digitally. Please email them to kara [at] fallforthebookorg. If no bound copies will be available by the deadline, you may submit digitally only. 

*Writers should be immigrants to the U.S., living in the States. They can be first generation by either definition of the term (born elsewhere and immigrated to the U.S., or born in the states to parents who immigrated to the U.S.) Questions? Contact Kara Oakleaf – kara[@]

Meet the Judges


Myriam J. A. Chancy is the author of the novel Village Weavers, a Time best book of April. Her previous novel, What Storm, What Thunder, was named a best book of the year by NPR, KirkusLibrary Journal, the Boston Globe, and The Globe and Mail. Her past novels include The Loneliness of Angels, winner of the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Award in Fiction and Spirit of Haiti.  She is also the author of several nonfiction works, including most recently, Harvesting Haiti: Reflections on Unnatural Disasters.  She is a Guggenheim Fellow and HBA Chair in the Humanities at Scripps College in California.



V. V. Ganeshananthan (she/her) is the author of the novels Brotherless Night, longlisted for the Women’s Prize and the Asian Prize, shortlisted for the Carol Shields Prize, and a finalist for a Minnesota Book Award, and Love Marriage, longlisted for the Women’s Prize and named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post. She has been visiting faculty at the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan and at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and now teaches in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota.


Karin Tanabe is the author of seven novels, including her most recent, The Sunset Crowd. A former Politico reporter, her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. She is a frequent book reviewer for The Washington Post and has appeared as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and the CBS Early Show. Karin is a graduate of Vassar College and lives in Washington DC.

2023 New American Voices Award Winner and Finalists

2023 Winner


2023 Finalists


Previous Winners

2022 Winner

Seeking Fortune Elsewhere_9781646220878 (2)

2022 Finalists

The Return of Faraz Ali (1)

2021 Winner

Infinite Country - Patricia Engel

2021 Finalists

The Kissing Bug - Daisy Hernandez
Afterparties - Anthony Veasna So

2020 Winner

The Son of Good Fortune - Lysley Tenorio -

2020 Finalists

Deceit and Other Possibilities - Vanessa Hua
Little Family - Ishmael Beah

2019 Winner

The Affairs of the Flacons - Melissa Rivero

2019 Finalists

The Kinship of Secrets - Eugenia Kim
Miracle Creek - Angie Kim

2018 Winner

In the Distance - Hernan Diaz

2018 Finalists

The Hour of Daydreams - Renee Macalino Rutledge
The Immigrant's Refrigerator -Elena Georgiou
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