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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Announcing the Winner of the Inaugural Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction

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Announcing the Winner of the Inaugural Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction

Guy Intoci

Dzanc Books is pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction: This Book Is Not For You by Daniel A. Hoyt. It was selected from a pool of hundreds of manuscripts and eventually judged by three former Dzanc Books debut novelists: Carmiel Banasky (The Suicide of Claire Bishop), Kim Church (Byrd), and Andrew F. Sullivan (Waste).

Utilizing an innovative mash-up of genres, including pulp fiction, dark comedy, and metafiction, Hoyt’s novel charts the actions of a 19-year-old punk, who is set to help blow up a building but at the last minute, steals the dynamite instead. Though averting destruction, he inherits an entirely different brand of trouble, one that forces him to examine his own dark past: his history of violence, his abandonment as a baby, and his struggles with alcoholism.

Church described Hoyt’s narrator, Neptune, as “part Holden Caulfield, part Huck Finn, part someone I’ve never met anywhere. Sharp-edged, defiant, profane, and brutally funny, he got to me in spite of himself.” Banasky said, “The energy carried me through many pages until I finally realized I was reading at a pace I never do, and panting at that,” while Sullivan advised, “Every chapter is chapter one, but Hoyt knows just how to pull the strings and keep you waiting for a revelation that may never arrive at all.”

Hoyt, an associate professor at Kansas State University who is represented by Christopher Rhodes of The Stuart Agency, said of winning the prize: “This book is also a ghostly ode to the town of Lawrence and to the entire state of Kansas, which was founded in the name of freedom and then bled for it," Hoyt said. ‘I'm thrilled that it will be published by Dzanc Books, which I've long admired for both its books and its mission.’”

The Dzanc Books Prize for Fiction was created to recognize daring, original, and innovative writing. Dzanc Books is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization not only committed to producing quality literary works but providing creative writing instruction in public schools through the Dzanc Writers-in-Residence program, and offering low-cost workshops for aspiring authors. For more information, please visit www.dzancbooks.org