MANCHESTER, NH--(Marketwired - March 09, 2017) - Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest retail bookseller, announced that Abby Geni's The Lightkeepers (Counterpoint Press), a sublime debut novel about a young woman who finds herself at the center of a murder mystery on a remote island, is the winner of the 2016 Discover Award for fiction. The writer was awarded a cash prize of $30,000 and a full year of marketing and merchandising support from the bookseller.
The Discover Great New Writers Awards are presented annually in recognition of literary excellence. The six finalists for the Discover Great New Writers Awards were chosen by two panels of noted authors from the 42 titles handpicked by our booksellers for the Discover Great New Writers program in 2016.
Serving as this year's fiction judges are Benjamin Percy, Emma Straub, and MFA faculty member Wiley Cash, The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed A Land More Kind Than Home (a Discover Great New Writers selection) and This Dark Road to Mercy. His third novel is forthcoming in 2017.
Wiley holds a B.A. in Literature from the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an M.A. in English from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. He has received grants and fellowships from the Asheville Area Arts Council, the Thomas Wolfe Society, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. His stories have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Roanoke Review and The Carolina Quarterly, and his essays on Southern literature have appeared in American Literary Realism, The South Carolina Review, and other publications.
Wiley is writer-in-residence at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and teaches in the Low-Residency MFA Program in Fiction and Nonfiction Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. A native of North Carolina, he lives in Wilmington, NC with his wife and their two young daughters.