Book Award News: It's Great Year for Women First-Time Fiction Authors

The National Book Critics Circle has announced the long list for its John Leonard Award for first-time authors, and all eight finalists are women.  This is the first time that's happened -- though to be fair, there have not been many chances, since the NBCC only established the award in 2013.

There's another group that's swept the category -- fiction writers.  Though the John Leonard Award was established for first time writers in any genre, including non-fiction, this year's list contains only novels and short story collections.

Men shouldn't feel too bad.  Male authors won the first two awards -- Anthony Marra in 2013 and Phil Klay in 2014.

Non-fiction writers may have more reason to feel spurned.  Marra won for a novel, and Klay for a collection of short stories.  This year looks like it will be three years in a row (out of three) for the fiction writers.

Here is the full long list:

Alvar, Mia. In the Country. Knopf.

Fluornoy, Angela. The Turner House. HMH.

Iromuanya, Julie. Mr. and Ms. Doctor. Coffee House.

Jackson, Naomi. The Star Side of Bird Hill. Penguin Press.

Kleeman, Alexandra. You Too Can Have a Body like Mine. Harper.

McManus, Sophie. The Unfortunates. FSG.

Quade, Kirstin Valdez. Night at the Fiestas. Norton.

Williams, Naomi. Landfalls. FSG.