The Rona Jaffe Foundation announced on Wednesday the recipients of their fourteenth annual Writers' Awards, given to recognize emerging women writers "who demonstrate excellence and promise." The winners, nominated by literary professionals and selected by an anonymous panel of established writers, will each receive $25,000 at the awards ceremony, held on September 18 in New York City.
The 2008 award recipients are poet Joanne Dominique Dwyer, fiction writers Jolie Lewis, Hasanthika Sirisena, and Therese Stanton, and creative nonfiction writers Jennifer Culkin and Amy Leach. Each writer is at work on a specific project, and several plan to use their awards to facilitate the completion of first books, funding needs such as childcare and the cost of research and travel.
"We hope our awards provide an essential boost," said program director Beth McCabe in a press release. "For most, this is the first opportunity in their careers that they can focus on their writing for an extended period."
Since novelist Rona Jaffe established the awards in 1995, the foundation has given $850,000 to ninety-two women in the early stages of their careers. Past recipients, nominated by established writers and other literary professionals, include celebrated authors Lan Samantha Chang, ZZ Packer, and Tracy K. Smith.