Young Lions Fiction Award

“We started this prize because we wanted to be sure that there was a net for young writers,
a little net where you could get caught, where you’d know people cared.”

—Ethan Hawke, Co-Founder of the Young Lions Fiction Award

Cover of Brother Alive and color headshot of author Zain Khalid.

This Year's Winner | This Year's Finalists | Past Winners & Finalists | About the Award | Submission Guidelines



This Year's Winner

The New York Public Library is proud to announce that Zain Khalid has won the twenty-third annual Young Lions Fiction Award for his book Brother Alive.



This Year's Finalists

The finalists for the Twenty-Third Young Lions Fiction Award were:

Readers Committee: Meakin Armstrong, Caroline Bleeke, Georgia Bodnar, Carla Bruce-Eddings, Alex Gilvarry, Miriam Gordis, Evan Hansen-Bundy, Maris Kreizman, Alicia Kroell, R.O. Kwon, Cressida Leyshon (Chair), Megan Lynch, Emma Raddatz, Katie Raissian, Whitney Terrell

Judges: Jessamine Chan, Claire Luchette, Kalani Pickhart



Past Winners

The winner of the 2022 Young Lions Fiction Award was Kalani Pickhart. View previous winners and finalists.  



About the Award

Established in 2001, The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award is a $10,000 prize awarded each spring to a writer age 35 or younger for a novel or a collection of short stories. Each year, five young fiction writers are selected as finalists by a reading committee of Young Lions members, writers, editors, and librarians. A panel of judges selects the winner.

Founded by Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, Rick Moody, and Hannah McFarlandand made possible by an endowment created with generous gifts from Russell Abrams, Nina Collins, Hannah and Gavin McFarland, Ethan Hawke, Stephan Loewentheil, Rick Moody, Andrea Olshan and Jennifer Rudolph Walshthis annual award recognizes the work of young authors and celebrates their accomplishments publicly, making a difference in their lives as they continue to build their careers. ​

This prize is part of the Library's Young Lions program, a membership group for people in their 20s and 30s who are committed to supporting the organization and to celebrating young writers and artists who are making an impact on this city's cultural life.

The Young Lions Fiction Award is given each spring during a special ceremony at The New York Public Library.  



Submission Guidelines

Submissions for the Twenty-Fourth Young Lions Fiction Award are open through Friday, September 8 at 5 PM EDT. For questions about submitting work for the Young Lions Fiction Award, please contact the Young Lions office at 212.930.0519 or

Crowd dances in Astor Hall.

Photos by BFA/Yvonne Tnt.