Est. 2009

Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize

2023 Winners

The 2023 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize adult category was judged by Deborah Kalb, and the winning adult fiction title was Istanbul Crossing by Timothy Jay Smith. Deborah said of the winning title, “What happens to someone who loses everything and has to make their way in a world that’s completely new? Istanbul Crossing draws you in with its protagonist, Syrian refugee Ahdaf, and a plot that never lets up. This is a compelling story that will stick with me for quite a while!”

  • Istanbul Crossing by Timothy Jay Smith (Adult)

The 2023 winner in the YA/MG category was Ryane Nicole Granados for her novel The Aves. The YA/MG contest was judged by Brenda Peterson, who had this to say of the winning title: “The Aves is really extraordinary and well worth the prize. The author has that ineffable thing so hard to teach but wonderful to read—an original voice. Some really wonderful passages, characters, humor, and cultural insights. I really enjoyed reading it.”

  • The Aves by Ryane Nicole Granados




Adult Category Judge

Deborah Kalb is an avid writer, editor, podcaster, and book blogger. She spent about two decades working as a journalist in Washington, D.C., for news organizations including Gannett News Service, Congressional Quarterly, U.S. News & World Report, and The Hill, mostly covering Congress and politics. She has recently authored her first adult fiction novel, Off to Join the Circus, and has authored a series of children’s novels featuring historical figures. Leapfrog Press was delighted to have Deborah’s insight as a judge for the Global Fiction Prize.

Young Adult | Middle Grade Category Judge

Brenda Peterson is the critically acclaimed author of over 23 books, including a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres. Her novel, Duck and Cover (Harper Collins), was a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year” and hailed as a “wicked, black comedy.” Peterson’s award-winning children’s books include The Junior Library Guild Gold Standard, Wild Orca, LOBOS, Catastrophe by the Sea, and Crane Maiden. Her commentaries have often appeared on NPR and in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Tikkun, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, and Oprah magazine. Her seventh novel, Stiletto, a mystery, is out now. Peterson’s new non-fiction book, Wild Chorus: Finding Harmony with Whales, Wolves and Other Animals, is forthcoming spring, 2024. Peterson is at work on Code Name: Sparks, her second Young Adult novel after The Drowning World and Tattoo Master, her Aquantis underwater series due out in audiobook in fall, 2023.