2017 Maurice Prize in Fiction

The English Department at the University of California, Davis, and New York Times best-selling novelist John Lescroart are pleased to announce the 13th annual Maurice Prize in Fiction.


The winner of this year’s Maurice Prize for Fiction is Ben Hinshaw for his novel manuscript Exactly What You Mean, A Novel in Stories, and he will receive a prize of $5,000.

Judge Samantha Dunn writes,“The thrill of a story like this is in putting together the pieces, jigsaw-like: What begins with a boy on the isle of Guernsey in the English Channel befriending an odd classmate becomes a tale of the ways hidden heartaches, secret yearnings and betrayals ricochet off each other. The irony of the title dawns slowly. The catastrophe of each character’s personality makes the expression of what they mean elusive—if even they could understand what it is they mean in the first place. The calm, clear and intelligent prose belies the tortured emotional currents just below the surface. Finally it is the—to use that old Henry James line—“stout stake of emotion” that makes the reader care about the connections linking the characters. This sophisticated and ambitious work portends well for the writer’s future efforts.” 


Dunn also chose a runner-up: Ishelle Payer’s Between the Flash and the Sound. She writes,“This quiet, interior work explores loss and longing. Images from the story and beautiful turns of phrase lingered long after I finished it.”


For more information about the Maurice Prize please visit this page:


Congratulations to Ben and all the writers who submitted their work and thanks, as always to John Lescroart for making the prize possible.  

Previous Winners