Criticism & Features


NBCC John Leonard Prize Winner Kirstin Valdez Quade in Conversation with MFA Student Brady Huggett


Thanks to the cooperation of the NBCC and Creative Writing at The New School, as well as the tireless efforts of our students and faculty, we are able to provide interviews with each of the NBCC Awards Finalists for the publishing year 2015.

MFA student Brady Hugget, on behalf of the Creative Writing at The New School and the NBCC, interviewed Kirstin Valdez Quade, author of Night at the Fiestas (W.W. Norton & Co.), the winner of the 2015 John Leonard Prize which honors an author's first book in any genre.

Kirstin Valdez Quade has received a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation as well as the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award and the 2013 Narrative Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Narrative,The Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Prize Stories, and elsewhere. She was a Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University and is currently the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan.


Brady Huggett is a second year fiction student in the MFA program at The New School. He’s a reader for Bodega Magazine and is host of Nature Biotechnology’s First Rounders podcast. His work has appeared in The King’s English, Verbsap, Liar’s League, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @addisonbench.