Bellwether Prize Information
The Bellwether Prize for Fiction,
awarded in even-numbered years, consists of a $25,000
cash payment to the author of the winning
manuscript, and guaranteed publication by
a major publisher. The author will collect
royalties in accordance with a publisher’s
The Bellwether Prize is unique; no other
major North American endowment or prize
for the arts specifically seeks to support
a literature of social responsibility.
Its intent is to advocate serious literary
fiction that addresses issues of social
justice and the impact of culture and politics
on human relationships. The prize is awarded
to a previously unpublished novel representing
excellence in this genre.
Previous prizes have been awarded to:
Donna Gershten, 2000, Kissing The Virgin's Mouth (HarperCollins, 2001)
Gayle Brandeis, 2002, The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins, 2003)
Marjorie Kowalski Cole (1953-2009), 2004, Correcting the Landscape (HarperCollins, 2005)
- Hillary Jordan, 2006, Mudbound (Algonquin, 2008)
- Heidi Durrow , 2008, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (Algonquin, February 2010)
- Naomi Benaron, Running the Rift (Algonquin, TBA)
The Bellwether Prize was founded
and is fully funded by Barbara Kingsolver.
Judges for previous prizes include Russell Banks, Martín Espada, Terry Karten, Maxine Hong Kingston,
Ursula K. LeGuin, Barry Lopez, Toni Morrison, Ruth Ozeki, Grace Paley and
Anna Quindlen. The board
of directors for the Bellwether Prize are Barbara Kingsolver, Frances
Goldin and Arthur Blaustein.