Est. 2009

Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize

Finalists and Winners of the 2023 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize

We are pleased to announce the final results of the 2023 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize!

Adult Category

In the adult category, the winning title is Istanbul Crossing by Timothy Jay Smith, a thrilling read in which a Syrian refugee in Istanbul, while juggling dangerous people smuggling operations for both the CIA and Islamic State, falls in love with, and must decide between, two men who offer him very different futures.

We are very much looking forward to working with Timothy and publishing Istanbul Crossing.

“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. A feeling of menace and urgency hangs over the story. From the beginning, I sensed how Ahdaf needed to look over his shoulder at all times—is he in danger from this person, or perhaps that one? This is a compelling story that will stick with me for quite a while!“

– Deborah Kalb, 2023 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize judge, speaking on Istanbul Crossing

The runner-up title is The Mexican Messiah: A Novella and Stories, by Jay Kauffmann.

The third finalist is At Times of Loss and Other Cuban Stories, by Jesus Sierra.

 

The honorable mentions for the adult category are the following:

Every Whistle Paints a Picture, by D. B. Gardner

But They Filmed the Movie Somewhere Else, by Kevin Allardice

Shaving in the Dark, by Doug Piotter

I Think I’ll Stay Here Forever, by George Choundas

Meanwhile, by Amalia Gladhart

Congratulations to the shortlist of the adult category of the Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize! We were impressed by the diverse list of submitted titles.

 

Young Adult/Middle Grade Category

For the YA/MG category, the winning title is The Aves by Ryane Nicole Granados, a novel about a young Black girl growing up in a fictionalized South Los Angeles neighborhood. The Aves is a coming-of-age experiences of 12-year-old Zora, who, through colorful vignettes of her neighborhood, proves that surviving childhood can be as intricate as the intertwined streets of an urban avenue.

We are really looking forward to working with Ryane and publishing The Aves.

“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.”

– Brenda Peterson, 2023 Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize judge and bestselling author, speaking on The Aves

The runner-up title is The Big Switch: Varney and Cedric, by Lynn Slaughter.

The third finalist is Little Acts of Useless Rebellion, by Amy Kelly.

 

The honourable mentions for the YA/MG category were the following:

Dawn of Thyme: The Camelot Encounter, by Atlas Ioane

The Lost Song of Valore, by Kendra Bell

The Legend of JarMar, by Anel Ryan

Yule Boys, by Jane Snyder

Congratulations to the shortlist of the YA/MG category of the Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize! We were inspired by the number of strong, diverse titles this year.

Leapfrog Global Fiction Prize 2024

Next year’s prize will open with an early submission period in December, 2023. Keep an eye on our website and social media for the announcement of the next prize.