I had the privilege of serving as one of the judges this year for the PEN Phyllis Naylor Fellowship (along with Sid Fleischman and Christopher Paul Curtis), and our decision was announced this week:
This year the fellowship goes to Theresa Nelson, author of the forthcoming novel Julia Delaney: The American Version, to be published by Atheneum Books.
From the judges' citation: “It’s 1910 when her grandmother dies, and Irish-American orphan Julia Delaney and her sister are carted off to a Catholic institution, sustained only by her beloved older brother’s promise to reunite them. This historical novel is told with engaging humor, rich language, and details that are superbly consistent with the setting. From the outset, Julia leaps out of the past, off the page, and straight into your heart.”