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University of New Orleans Press Announces Winner of the 2016 Lab Prize

Publication to Follow in Spring 2017 


For Immediate Release (October 24, 2016)-- The University of New Orleans Press is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 UNO Publishing Lab Prize. Melanie McCabe's His Other Life: Searching for My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams is a smart, deeply felt exploration of family secrets.

Many years after her father's death, McCabe discovered that Tennessee Williams had written her father into one of his plays. This revelation launched an investigation that would reveal a startling secret: her father’s first wife, Hazel Kramer, was Tennessee Williams’ greatest and only female love. McCabe plunges into the fascinating life of her father’s first marriage and its role as a muse to one of America’s literary giants, Tennessee Williams.

McCabe uncovers never-before-seen photos and documents—clues to her father’s past, the complicated romantic relationships shared by these three people, and Hazel’s mysterious death. In a tale of romance, betrayal, and suicide, McCabe explores the secret lives of her subjects and herself. 

Melanie McCabe is a high school teacher in Arlington, Virginia. Her most recent book of poems, What The Neighbors Know, was published by FutureCycle Press in 2014, and was awarded honorable mention in the 2015 Library of Virginia Awards.  Her first book of poetry, History of the Body, was published by David Robert Books in 2012. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Daily, Best New Poets 2010, The Georgia Review, The Massachusetts Review, The Cincinnati Review, Bellingham Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and numerous other journals, as well as in two Bedford-St. Martin’s college textbooks.

For more information, please contact: G.K. Darby, gkdarby1@uno.edu 504-280-7457


The lab is currently not accepting manuscripts. Please check back in April 2017



We collect submissions from April 15 to August 15, deciding on 15-20 finalists. The finalists are read by students at our publishing institute in the fall of 2016, and one is chosen to become a book. The class will focus on making the book a critical and commercial success upon its release in the spring of 2017. 

Abram Shalom Himelstein is the editor-in-chief at UNO Press. 



The press will winnow the field in late August, and participants of the publishing institute will decide on the book at the end of September. 


The selected manuscript will be promoted by The Publishing Laboratory at the University of New Orleans, an institute that seeks to bring innovative publicity and broad distribution to first-time authors. Hopefully the book becomes a hit. Either way, the book will have had a real chance and push toward the crowded marketplace.

To view the 2015 winner, click here

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