The New American Voices Award


In October 2018, the first annual Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award was presented to Hernán Díaz, author of In the Distance, at the annual Fall for the Book festival. Fall for the Book, Northern Virginia’s oldest literary festival, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018.

NAV award winner

The New American Voices Award recognizes a recently published book that illuminates the complexity of human experience as told by immigrants. Eligible books must be published between January 2017 and September 2018. Twenty-four books were submitted as entries from a range of publishers, including large publishers, including Penguin, Random House, and HarperCollins, as well as university presses and small presses, including Graywolf and Sarabande.

Click here for more information. 

Announcing the 2018 Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award Finalists

NAV Finalists 

Renee Macalino Rutledge was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area from the age of four. A long-time local journalist, her articles and essays have appeared in ColorLines, Filipinas Magazine, Oakland and Alameda Magazine, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Literary Hub, Mutha Magazine, Ford City Anthology, and others. The Hour of Daydreams, finalist for the Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award and winner of the Foreword INDIES gold award in the multicultural category, is her debut novel. She lives in Alameda, California, with her husband and two daughters.

Elena Georgiou is the author of the short-story collection The Immigrant’s Refrigerator(GenPop Books), and the poetry collections Rhapsody of the Naked Immigrants (Harbor Mountain Press) and mercy mercy me (University of Wisconsin), which won a Lambda Literary Award and was a finalist for the Publishing Triangle Award. She is also co-editor (with Michael Lassell) of the poetry anthology, The World In Us (St. Martin’s Press). Georgiou has won an Astraea Emerging Writers Award, a New York Foundation of the Arts Fellowship, and was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work appears in journals such as BOMB, Cream City Review, Gargoyle, Spoon River Review, and Denver Quarterly. She is an editor at Tarpaulin Sky Press and the Director of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard College. Georgiou is an English-Cypriot originally from London, where she spent the first twenty-seven years of her life.  Since then, she has lived in the US — first in New York, now in Vermont. Website:

Hernán Díaz is the author of Borges, Between History and Eternity (Bloomsbury 2012), managing editor of RHM, and associate director of the Hispanic Institute at Columbia University. He lives in New York.

2018 Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award Judges

Helon Habila

Helon Habila

Nigerian novelist and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Mason

Madeleine Thien

Madeleine Thien

Canadian writer

Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste

Ethiopian-American writer and Lecturer in Creative Writing at Princeton University