Sophie Rosenblum of Tallahassee, Fla., Finalist In 2011 James Jones First Novel Fellowship

WILKES-BARRE, PA (10/05/2011)(readMedia)-- Sophie Rosenblum of Tallahassee, Fla., was named a finalist in the 20th Annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship for her manuscript City, Beach, Farm, Forest. The competition is co-sponsored by the Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program and the James Jones Literary Society.

The James Jones First Novel Fellowship was established in 1992 to "honor the spirit of unblinking honesty, determination, and insight into modern culture as exemplified by (the writings of) James Jones." It is awarded to an American author of a first novel-in-progress. This year's competition drew 667 submissions.

In City, Beach, Farm, Forest, most things in day-to-day life make Dana nervous: electricity, loose threads, public transportation. As she begins the first year of marriage with her husband, Milo, Dana starts to look at ways to conquer some of these fears. When Milo suggests three trips – beach, farm, and forest – he and Dana begin a journey that helps to unravel some of Dana's past, including her childhood love of TV travel hero, Tynus Howard; her tumultuous relationship with her parents; and her struggles accepting the heartbreak of her sister's teenage pregnancy and subsequent disappearance.

The Fellowship awarded first place and $10,000 to Robert Shuster of Bedford, N.Y., for his novel To Zenzi.

Runners-up in the competition were Lyn Fairchild Hawks of Chapel Hill, N.C., for her manuscript St. Michael, Pray For Us; and Carol Piasente of Berkeley, Calif., for her manuscript Known Unto God. They were each awarded $750.

Alexandra Salerno of Columbus, Ohio, was also a finalist for her manuscript The Butcher's Daughter.

Requests for guidelines for entering the annual competition should be sent, along with a stamped, self-address envelope, to James Jones First Novel Fellowship, c/o The Graduate Creative Writing Department, Wilkes University, 84 West South Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766, or via e-mail to

The submission deadline for entries is March 1 of each year.