Twenty-eight-year old novelist Benjamin Hale adds the Bard Fiction Prize  to his list of honors. Author of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, the story of a self-aware and morally-engaged chimpanzee published last January by Twelve , Hale will receive thirty thousand dollars and a semester-long appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Hale was awarded a provost's fellowship from the University of Iowa to complete his first novel. The manuscript was awarded a Michener-Copernicus Award, and, after publication, was selected for a number of "best of" lists including Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers roundup.
Among the past winners of the Bard Fiction Prize, given annually to a fiction writer under forty, are Samantha Hunt, Fiona Maazel, Salvador Plascencia, and Peter Orner. Last year's recipient was thirty-year-old Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! (Knopf, 2011) and St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (Knopf, 2006).
Applications for the 2013 award will be accepted until July 15, 2012. Visit the Bard website  for more details.
In the video below, Hale discusses his ideal writing spaces, his unintentional pet word, and the importance of confidence for a (capital w) writer.