The recipients of the inaugural Windham Campbell Prizes in fiction, nonfiction, and drama were announced this morning at Yale University. Each of the nine winners of the new prize will receive $150,000 to support their writing.
The winners in fiction are Tom McCarthy, James Salter, and Zoë Wicomb; the winners in nonfiction are Adina Hoffman, Jonny Steinberg, and Jeremy Scahill; the winners in drama are Naomi Wallace, Steven Adly Guirgis, and Tarell Alvin McCraney.
Sponsored by Yale and established with a gift from the estate of the late writer Donald Windham, the Windham Campbell Literature Prizes recognize English-language writers at all stages of their careers. The prizes are named in honor of Windham and his longtime partner, the journalist and publisher Sandy M. Campbell. The prizes are administered by the Beinecke Rare Book Room and Manuscript Library, which also houses Windham’s papers. The awards join a list of esteemed literary prizes already sponsored by Yale, including the Bollingen Prize for Poetry and the Yale Series of Younger Poets.
“Yale is a place that hopes to inspire and recognize greatness in every field,” said Peter Salovey, president-elect of Yale University, in a press release. “The Windham Campbell Prizes allow us to fulfill that ambition in the field of world literature in ways we are only beginning to understand.”
There is no application process for the Windham Campbell Prizes. Established professionals in each category are asked to nominate names for consideration, and a selection committee meets at Yale to name up to nine writers to receive prizes.
The winners of the inaugural prizes will receive their awards at a ceremony at Yale during the Windham Campbell Literary Festival from September 10 to September 13 in New Haven.
“I look forward to the dialogue the winners will inspire on the Yale campus and around the world,” Salovey said. “We will learn much from our prize-winners, particularly in these first years of awarding the prize.”
In the video below, Salovey announces the prize and the first annual winners.