Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Steve Cannon, Richard Russo, and Rebecca Saletan to be Honored by Poets & Writers

New York, NY -- November 20, 2017 -- Poets & Writers today announced that the 2018 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards will be given to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Steve Cannon, and Richard Russo. The 2018 Editor’s Award will be presented to Rebecca Saletan of Riverhead Books.

Author Susan Isaacs, chairman of Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors, also chairs the committee charged with selecting the honorees. “We receive nominations from writers, publishing professionals, and others in the literary community,” she said. “From the information about the nominees and their accomplishments, we select three writers and an editor who exemplify Poets & Writers’ core values: service, integrity, inclusivity, and excellence. This year’s honorees are models of those qualities. The Board is delighted to be able to honor them. Their work makes me proud to be part of this community.”

The honorees: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Steve Cannon, Richard Russo, Rebecca Saletan. Photo Credits: Wani Olatunde (Adichie); Eugene Hyon (Cannon); Elena Seibert (Russo); Louie Saletan (Saletan).

The Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award

The Writers for Writers Award was established by Poets & Writers in 1996 to recognize authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. It is named for Barnes & Noble in appreciation of the company’s long-standing sponsorship of Poets & Writers. The three writers we honor this year have not only expanded our horizons through their own writing, they are dedicated to supporting other writers and to bringing diverse voices into the literary conversation.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of several acclaimed novels including Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah, as well as the critical essays We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. She supports and encourages younger writers through her work with the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop in Nigeria, regarded by many as the premier writing program in Africa.

Steve Cannon, or Professor Steve, as he is known, is the impresario responsible for A Gathering of the Tribes, the unclassifiable, cross-disciplinary, multi-cultural East Village institution. Comprising variously an informal salon, a gallery, a reading series, a writing workshop, a journal, and small press, Tribes has nurtured a generation of young writers—fueled by Cannon’s passion, and often funded out of his pension.

Richard Russo is the author of numerous novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Empire Falls. He is also a screenwriter, memoirist, and essayist. He is vice president of the Authors Guild, and renowned as an advocate for other writers. While many well-known authors will blurb an emerging writer’s book, Russo goes much farther, often planning joint appearances and hosting high-profile events to help bring attention to books and authors he believes in.

The honorees’ biographies can be found here.

The Editor’s Award

The Editor’s Award recognizes a book editor who has made an outstanding contribution to the publication of poetry or literary prose over a sustained period of time. This year’s recipient is Rebecca Saletan, vice president and editorial director of Riverhead Books, a Penguin Random House imprint. 

Over her thirty-five-year career in publishing, Saletan has worked with a wide range of authors including internationally best-selling novelist and essayist Mohsin Hamid; National Book Award-winning journalist and social critic Masha Gessen; and National Book Award-winning writer and environmentalist Peter Matthiessen. In nominating Saletan, colleagues noted her long-standing commitment to championing diverse voices and lowering barriers to publishing, as well as her exceptional ability to spot talent and to inspire her colleagues.

Ms. Saletan’s biography can be found here.

In Celebration of Writers

The awards will be presented at Poets & Writers’ annual dinner, In Celebration of Writers, on Wednesday evening, March 28, 2018, at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. The chair of this year’s event is Richard Robinson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Scholastic Inc. Susan Isaacs will present the awards on behalf of the Board of Directors.

Tickets to the dinner begin at $500 per person. The evening is expected to generate over $500,000, with proceeds to support Poets & Writers’ programs for creative writers.

Information about tickets for the event can be found here.

About Poets & Writers

Poets & Writers believes in contemporary literature’s indispensable value to our national culture. We focus on literature’s source: creative writers.

Our 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.

Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers pursues this mission by publishing Poets & Writers Magazine, an award-winning bi-monthly journal; producing a website,, that provides trustworthy advice, information, and a lively online community for writers; administering the Readings & Workshops Program, which pays writers fees for giving readings and leading workshops throughout New York and California, as well as in eight cities outside these states; staging Poets & Writers Live, a series of events bringing writers and publishing professionals together; and presenting awards for writers including the $60,000 Jackson Poetry Prize, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, and the Amy Award. 

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