The 5 Under 35 program, now in its tenth year, honors five young fiction writers selected by past National Book Award Winners and Finalists, or previous 5 Under 35 Honorees.
In 2006, the National Book Foundation established the 5 Under 35 prize to recognize young, debut fiction writers whose work promised to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape. 5 Under 35 has identified some of the most celebrated young writers working today. Previous honorees include Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Brit Bennett, Akwaeke Emezi, Angela Flournoy, Phil Klay, Valeria Luiselli, C.E. Morgan, Téa Obreht, ZZ Packer, Karen Russell, Justin Torres, Bryan Washington, Claire Vaye Watkins, Tiphanie Yanique, and Charles Yu.
5 Under 35 Honorees are writers from around the world, under the age of 35, who have published their first and only book of fiction—either a short story collection or a novel—within the last five years. The honorees are recognized at a ceremony and presented with a $1,000 prize. Championing young authors at the beginning of their careers is part of the Foundation’s efforts to celebrate books, promote inclusivity, and engage more readers.
5 Under 35 Honorees are selected by authors previously recognized by the National Book Foundation—either by National Book Awards or 5 Under 35 itself. Selectors maintain confidentiality until the Honorees are announced in mid-September. As Honorees are selected at the discretion of the selectors, publishers cannot nominate an honoree or submit a book for consideration.