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New York City – April 18, 2012 – Poets & Writers announced today that poet Mollye Miller and fiction writer Adam Schwartz are the winners of the 2012 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. The prestigious award, which aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement, has helped to launch the careers of Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), Elaine Beale (Another Life Altogether), Sandra Beasley (Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl), David Mura (Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei), Fae Myenne Ng (Bone), Mona Simpson (My Hollywood), and others.
Each year, Poets & Writers selects one state and invites writers from that jurisdiction to apply for the Writers Exchange Award (WEX). For 2012, the state of Maryland was chosen. Poets & Writers received more than 200 manuscripts, about evenly divided between poetry and fiction. Winners were selected by judges Marie Howe (for poetry) and Elizabeth Nunez (for fiction).
The Writers Exchange Award offers winners an unusual opportunity. Poets & Writers will ask Ms. Miller and Mr. Schwartz to identify publishers, agents, editors, and writers they would like to meet. Then, over the next several months, staff will work to arrange appointments with as many of these individuals as possible. In October, the two winners will travel to New York City, all expenses paid, and representatives of Poets & Writers will accompany them on a round of visits where the winners will gain insight and advice and establish professional contacts. As a direct result of these meetings, past WEX winners have had their books published, received fellowships, secured teaching positions, and laid the groundwork for their professional lives as writers. To date, more than 80 writers from 32 states have participated.
Mollye Miller grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland. She received a B.A. in Literature from The American University in Washington, D.C., and an M.F.A. from The New School, where she won the 2010 Chapbook Award in poetry for her thesis manuscript, Shade Particles, selected by Matthew Rohrer. Miller's poems have appeared in two UK literary journals—The Wolf and Stop Sharpening Your Knives (S/S/Y/K)—and she was named a semifinalist for the 2011 Indiana Review 1/2 K Prize. She lives in Baltimore.
Adam Schwartz received an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis in 1995. His stories have appeared in Arkansas Review/Kansas Quarterly, and in 1999 he won first place in the Baltimore City Paper's short story contest. In 2011, "The Rest of the World" received an Honorable Mention in New Letters’ Alexander Cappon story contest. For the last fourteen years, Adam has taught high school English in Baltimore City. The experiences he has with young people in the classroom sometimes find their way into his work.
The judges also cited first runners-up Yvette Neisser Moreno of Silver Springs (in poetry) and Christine Stewart of Baltimore (in fiction), and second runners-up Rebekah Remington of Catonsville (poetry) and Susan Muaddi Darraj of Phoenix, MD (fiction).
As part of Mollye Miller and Adam Schwartz's visit to New York, Poets & Writers will sponsor a reading and reception for them. In addition, they are offered a one-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Wyoming. Excerpts of the winning manuscripts, as well as a complete list of past winners, can be found at at.pw.org/wex. The Writers Exchange Award is supported by a generous contribution from Hachette Book Group, in honor of Maureen Egen.
About Poets & Writers
Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers is the nation's largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers. Its mission is to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.
Poets & Writers accomplishes this by publishing Poets & Writers Magazine, an award-winning bi-monthly journal; producing pw.org, a dynamic website that provides trustworthy advice, information, and a lively online community for writers; running the Readings/Workshops Program, which pays writers fees for giving readings and leading workshops throughout New York State and California, as well as in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.; and sponsoring awards for writers including the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, and the Amy Award. In addition to its national office in New York City, P&W maintains a branch office in Los Angeles. Learn more.
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