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Writer Amelia Gray Wins 2016 Young Lions Fiction Award for Gutshot


Los Angeles-based writer awarded top prize for writers under 35 at June 9th ceremony

New York, NY--Writer Amelia Gray received the New York Public Library’s 2016 Young Lions Fiction Award at a ceremony at the Library’s landmark building on June 9, 2016. 

Gray, of Los Angeles, won the prestigious award for Gutshot, published by FSG Originals. A searing new collection of short stories from the inimitable young author, the book is a foray into the macabre, where isolation and coupling are pushed to their dark and outrageous edges. Released in April 2015, Gutshot has garnered accolades from the New York Times Book Review, NPR and Publishers Weekly.

The Young Lions Fiction Award is given annually to a writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or collection of short stories.  A panel of award judges, including writer Molly Antopol; poet, novelist and current New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow Alejandro Zambra; and acclaimed writer and former Cullman Fellow Joseph O'Neill selected the winner of this year’s $10,000 prize. Antopol was last year’s winner for her short story collection, The UnAmericans.

Along with Gray, this year’s finalists included the following brilliant writers: 

Angela Flournoy, The Turner House

Alexandra Kleeman, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine

Helen Phillips, The Beautiful Bureaucrat

Kirstin Valdez Quade, Night at the Fiestas 

Actors Cobie Smulders and Nikki M. James performed readings of the finalists’ books along with Boardwalk Empire actor Vincent Piazza, who served as host for the evening event.

Winners from previous years include: Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans, Paul Yoon, Snow Hunters, Karen Russell, Swamplandia!; Wells Tower, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned; Salvatore Scibona, The End; Ron Currie, Jr., God is Dead; Olga Grushin, The Dream Life of Sukhanov; Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation; Monique Truong, Book of Salt; Anthony Doerr, The Shell Collector; Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated; Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days; and Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves.


Media Contact: Adenike Olanrewaju: 212-592-7008 |




About the Young Lions
The Young Lions is a membership group for New Yorkers in their 20s and 30s who are committed to supporting the work of the Library. Each season, members enjoy exclusive events that feature young writers and leaders in the arts, politics, business, law, and the media.  Through presenting dynamic events and contributing to the General Book Fund, the Young Lions are integral to the life of the Library and its future. Information about the Young Lions group, including events and forums, is available online at or phone 212-930-0885.


About The New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award
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. Established in 2001, this 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. The Young Lions Fiction Award was founded by Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Rudolph Walsh, Rick Moody, and Hannah McFarland. The Award is 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 Walsh.