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16 titles are in the running for the $35,000 award recognizing fiction that addresses 
vital contemporary issues
Aspen, CO, November 19, 2018 –– Aspen Words, a program of the Aspen Institute, today announced the longlist for the Aspen Words Literary Prize (AWLP), a $35,000 annual award for a work of fiction that addresses a vital contemporary issue. The 16 longlisted titles include 11 novels and five short story collections, and a majority of the selections are by debut authors. The five finalists and winner will be selected by a five-member jury that includes acclaimed feminist writerDorothy Allison and 2018 AWLP finalist Samrat Upadhyay. Aspen Words announced the longlist in collaboration with NPR Books, the official media partner for the award. 
"Friday Black" by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Mariner Books)
"The Boat People" by Sharon Bala (Doubleday)
"A Lucky Man" by Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf Press)
"America is Not the Heart" by Elaine Castillo (Viking) 
"Brother" by David Chariandy (Bloomsbury Publishig)
"Gun Love" by Jennifer Clement (Hogarth)
"Freshwater" by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove Press)
"Small Country" by Gaël Faye (Hogarth)
"Where the Dead Sit Talking" by Brandon Hobson (Soho Press)
"An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones (Algonquin Books)
"The Incendiaries" by R.O. Kwon (Riverhead Books) 
"Severance" by Ling Ma (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
"Bring Out the Dog" by Will Mackin (Random House)
"There There" by Tommy Orange (Knopf)
"If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi" by Neel Patel (Flatiron Books)
"Heads of the Colored People" by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (Atria/37 INK)

More info: http://www.aspenwords.org/programs/literary-prize/longlist/

“It’s astonishing to see the number of debut authors on this list; new voices can often help us see the world more clearly, with a different perspective,” said Adrienne Brodeur, Executive Director of Aspen Words. “Many of the topics covered in these books are in the news cycle – gun violence, immigration, police brutality, Native American culture –but fiction allows us to examine these issues with more compassion. I hope that this list will help get these books in more readers’ hands, while also sparking meaningful dialogue around some of our greatest challenges today.”

About the Aspen Words Literary Prize
The $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize is awarded annually to an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture. Open to authors of any nationality, the award is one of the largest literary prizes in the United States, and one of the few focused exclusively on fiction with a social impact. The inaugural award was presented to Mohsin Hamid in April 2018 for "Exit West," his novel about migration and refugees. Eligible works include novels or short story collections that address questions of violence, inequality, gender, the environment, immigration, religion, race or other social issues.

The finalists will be named on February 20, 2019 and the winner will be revealed at an Awards Ceremony at the Morgan Library in New York City on April 11, 2019.

The jury for the prize—Dorothy Allison, Suzanne Bober, Elliot Gerson, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Samrat Upadhyay—will read all longlisted books to determine the finalists and winner.

Download book jackets and author headshots | Download prize logo

Facebook.com/aspenwords | Twitter.com/aspenwords | Instagram.com/aspenwords

Aspen Words was founded in 1976 as a literary center based in Aspen, CO. A program of the Aspen Institute, its mission is to encourage writers, inspire readers, and connect people through the power of stories. For more information, visit www.aspenwords.org/.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, CO; and on the Wye River on Maryland's Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org

NPR Books helps a busy audience find great reads. The site combines the best of NPR's on-air interviews and news with original reviews, recommendations and lists. It includes comprehensive non-fiction books coverage which complements NPR’s public service mission to cover big ideas in the news; and the end of the year “Books Concierge” which adds to the expanding library of outstanding books coverage at NPR Books. NPR Books is also a leader in genre coverage making sure to give science fiction and fantasy, Young Adult, and graphic novels the smart analysis they deserve. Read on at npr.org/books.


4th of July Parade Waiver


PARADE STARTING/STAGING: The parade will begin at 11:00am. Parade positioning is “first come, first serve” and line up begins no earlier than 10:00am. There is no entry fee and the parade is open to the public. All 5 lanes of Main Street, from Aspen Street to 2nd Street, will be closed to all traffic & designated for parade staging only. Power is not provided in staging area and remember generators do need gas.

PARADE ROUTE: The parade will start East on Main Street. It will turn South onto Hunter Street, then West onto Cooper Avenue. The parade will continue West on Cooper Avenue to Galena Street. At Galena it heads North for 2 blocks before turning West onto Hopkins Avenue. The parade will continue South on Mill then West on Hyman Avenue. Parade participants will be directed to disperse at Hyman and Monarch Street.  PARADE JUDGING: Parade judging will take place in front of the Hotel Jerome. Participants will be limited to 1 minute or less for any performances in front of the judges. Security will be onsite monitoring all entries to help prevent gaps in the parade route. Recognition will be awarded to the best entries in the following categories: 

Most Patriotic | Most Humorous | Best Animal | Best Music | Most Outrageous | Best Children’s  


  • Consumption of alcohol is prohibited during the parade.
  • Candy, favors, etc. should not be thrown from your float/vehicle during the parade. This is for the safety of the spectators and to prevent children from running out into the street. 
  • Water balloons will not be permitted. According to city ordinances, those caught throwing balloons will be removed from the parade and could face citations and/or arrests. 
  • All parade entries must be in “good taste” and will be allowed in the parade per the director’s discretion. 
  • Maximum height restriction for any float entry is 13’5”.


The undersigned organization has elected to participate in the Fourth of July parade sponsored by the City of Aspen and Aspen Chamber Resort Association (“ACRA”). In consideration for City of Aspen and ACRA allowing the undersigned to participate in the festivities, the undersigned has read, understood, and willingly agreed to the terms of this INSURANCE LIABILITY AGREEMENT and WAIVER AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT (collectively referred to herein as “RELEASE”).


                                    Participants are required to carry insurance adequate to cover any liability for damage, injury, economic loss, or other liability that may be incurred by individuals and/or organizations during the Fourth of July parade. All participants agree to carry such insurance, and also agree not to submit any claim against the insurance of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, or anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade.


                                         The undersigned understands the potential dangers that could be encountered in participating in the Fourth of July parade. The dangers include, among other things, dangers relating to vehicular and pedestrian traffic; crowds of persons in close proximity to such traffic; animals that may react unpredictably in a parade environment; celebration and recreational activities; loud and unexpected noise; items that may be thrown to and from the crowd in connection with the parade; and other dangers traditionally associated with parades.  Understanding those risks, the undersigned for itself and for all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade with the undersigned, does hereby agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and release City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade from any and all liability, claims, demands, actions, or rights of action (including attorneys’ fees and costs) that are related to or are in any way connected with the undersigned’s participation in the parade. By signing this RELEASE, the undersigned intends to extinguish any and all liability and to indemnify against any loss on the part of City of Aspen, ACRA and/or any other sponsors of the parade, their officers, directors, agents, shareholders, employees, and anyone else directly or indirectly connected with production of the parade for any injury or damage of any nature (without regard to negligence or fault) to the undersigned and to all persons who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.

                                      The undersigned warrants and represents that it will not invite or allow any person to participate in the parade unless such person is bound to the terms of this RELEASE. To that end, the undersigned agrees that it shall take any steps necessary to secure agreement of such persons to the terms of this RELEASE, and that it shall be deemed a responsible person within the meaning of C.R.S. § 13-22-107 and § 19-1103(94) for all children who the undersigned invites or allows to participate in the parade.


   I am the official representative of the undersigned organization. On behalf of the organization, I acknowledge our responsibilities as set forth above. I also accept on behalf of the organization all of the terms and conditions of this



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