Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award

The 2020 contest is now open for entries. 

Fall for the Book and the Institute for Immigration Research have 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.

The Contest

The prize will be juried by writers Porochista Khakpour, Susan Muaddi Darraj, and Chika Unigwe, who will choose three finalists and then award the prize to one. Finalists will be announced in summer 2020 and all three finalists and the judges will appear at the 2020 Fall for the Book festival, October 7-10 for the third annual presentation and to read from and discuss their work. The winning writer will receive $5,000 and the two finalists each will receive $1,000. 


  • Starting December 1, 2019, 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, 2019 and September 30, 2020.
  • Four bound copies of the book (galleys/ARCs are acceptable) must be postmarked March 31, 2020 and sent to Fall for the Book, George Mason University, 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. To pay online, click the “Contest Entry” button below.

*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 – 703.993.4039 or kara[@]

Past Winners

2018 – Hernán Díaz

2019 – Melissa Rivero

Meet the Judges

Coming Soon