The $10,000 Answer

Posted: October 11, 2013

GRANVILLE, Ohio— Margot Singer, associate professor of English at Denison University, has been awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship, which carries a prize of $10,000, for her novel in progress, “The Art of Fugue.” The competition is co-sponsored by the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program and the James Jones Literary Society. The James Jones First Novel Fellowship was established in 1992 to “honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture as exemplified by (the writings of) James Jones.” It is awarded to an American author of a first novel-in-progress. This year’s competition drew 666 submissions.

I am very grateful for the vote of confidence,” says Singer. “This is a contest judged on the basis of the first 100 pages of a work in progress, and I still have a lot of work to do. Writing a novel is a long journey, and it’s wonderful to know that I seem to be on the right track.”

Singer already has been recognized for the excellence of her work. She is the author of a book of linked stories, “The Pale of Settlement,” which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Other honors include the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, the Reform Judaism Prize for Jewish Fiction, the Thomas H. Carter Award for the Essay, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in prose.

We are thrilled for Margot and congratulate her on this fellowship,” says Denison Provost Kim Coplin. “Margot’s track record of excellence is to be commended, and I know that the Denison community eagerly anticipates celebrating the finished work with her.”

Singer is the co-editor of “Bending Genre: Essays on Creative Nonfiction,” a compilation of critical essays. Her stories and essays have appeared in a range of literary magazines, including: “The Kenyon Review,” “Conjunctions,” “The Gettysburg Review,” “Shenandoah,” “The Normal School,” “The Sun” and many others.