The program – the only national literary awards program of its kind devoted exclusively to women – was created by celebrated novelist Rona Jaffe to identify and support women writers of unusual talent and promise in the early stages of their writing careers. Other recipients this year are Olivia Clare, Karen Hays, Danielle Jones-Pruett, T. L. Khleif, and Solmaz Sharif.
The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards are given to writers of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Since the program began in 1995, the Foundation has awarded nearly $2 million to emergent women writers. Past recipients of the Writers’ Awards, such as Rachel Aviv, Elif Batuman, Eula Biss, Sarah Braunstein, Lan Samantha Chang, Rivka Galchen, Aryn Kyle, Rebecca Lee, Dana Levin, ZZ Packer, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Tracy K. Smith, Mary Syzbist, and Tiphanie Yanique have since received wider critical recognition, including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, and the Whiting Writer’s Award.
On Friday, September 19 at 7 p.m. the winners will read in New York University’s Creative Writing Program Reading Series at the Vernon Writers House (58 West 10th Street).