Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Established in 1984, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award introduces emerging writers to the New York City literary community. 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 Invention of Wings, The Secret Life of Bees), Lidia Yuknavitch (The Book of Joan), Bryn Chancellor (Sycamore: A Novel), David Mura (Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei), and others. Since Poets & Writers began the Writers Exchange in 1984, one-hundred-and-six writers from forty-two states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate. The award is generously supported by Maureen Mahon Egen, a member of the Poets & Writers Board of Directors.

2020 Winners: Simon Han and Brent Newsom of Oklahoma

Simon Han (left) and Brent Newsom (right) are the winners of the 2020 Writers Exchange Award.
(Credits: Chanhee Heo, M. Trey Reynolds.)
 

The winners of the 2020 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award are Simon Han for fiction and Brent Newsom for poetry. The judges were DéLana R.A. Dameron for poetry and Eugene Lim for fiction. Typically, the winners spend a week in New York City meeting with over a dozen literary professionals selected from their personal wish lists. Because of the pandemic, the format of the introductions will be very different this year: Poets & Writers will be scheduling a series of video chats for Mr. Han and Mr. Newsom, rather than a week of meetings over breakfast, lunch, coffees, and drinks. Poets & Writers hopes the result will be much the same: the winners will gain insight and advice about writing, publishing, and marketing their work, and establish new professional contacts that will help them as they shape their careers in the years ahead. In addition, the winners will be offered a one-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming.

Read the Press Release.

Read an excerpt from Simon Han’s manuscript, 2020 winner in fiction. (PDF)

Read an excerpt from Brent Newsom's manuscript, 2020 winner in poetry. (PDF)


Past Winners 

  • Paige Ackerson-Kiely, Vermont
  • Constance Alexander, Kentucky
  • Nolde Alexius, Louisiana
  • Doug Anderson, Massachusetts
  • Kimo Armitage, Hawai‘i
  • Elaine Beale, California (*)
  • Sandra Beasley, Washington, D.C.
  • Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, California (*)
  • Sean Bernard, California (*)
  • Chana Bloch, California
  • Magda Bogin, New York
  • Jonathan Bolt, West Virginia
  • Anthony C. Brusate, Kentucky
  • B. J. Buckley, Montana
  • Claudia Burbank, New Jersey
  • John Caddy, Minnesota
  • John Campbell, Oregon
  • Karen Chamberlain, Utah
  • Bryn Chancellor, Alabama
  • Michael Chitwood, North Carolina
  • Sanda Moore Coleman, Kansas
  • Larry Colker, California (*)
  • Carolyn Coman, Massachusetts
  • Lydia A. Cyrus, West Virginia
  • Laura Joyce Davis, California (*)
  • Daniel Degnan, New Jersey
  • Joan Dempsey, Maine
  • Janet Desaulniers, Illinois
  • Denise Duhamel, Pennsylvania
  • Kim Edwards, Ohio
  • John Engman, Minnesota
  • Brian Evans-Jones, Maine
  • Blas Falconer, Tennessee
  • Roger Fanning, Washington
  • José Faus, Kansas
  • Sascha Feinstein, Indiana
  • Bryan Allen Fierro, Alaska
  • David Galef, Mississippi
  • Dorothy Gannon, Vermont
  • Elizabeth Graver, Massachusetts
  • Kate Green, Minnesota
  • Jean Hanson, Wyoming
  • Charlotte Holmes, Pennsylvania
  • Joshua Idaszak, Arkansas
  • Anushah Jiwani, Arkansas
  • Matthew Kailey, Colorado
  • Laura Kasischke, Michigan
  • Sue Monk Kidd, South Carolina
  • Miriam Kuznets, Texas
  • Mary La Chapelle, Minnesota
  • Robert Lacy, Minnesota
  • Dylan Landis, California (*)
  • Joseph Langdon, Nevada
  • Jeanne Leiby, Florida
  • Steven L'Italien, Arizona
  • Quitman Marshall, South Carolina
  • Deirdra McAfee, Virginia
  • Shena McAuliffe, Missouri
  • Jeanne McDonald, Tennessee
  • Mollye Miller, Maryland
  • Harry Moore, Alabama
  • Jim Moore, Minnesota
  • Lee Ann Mortenson, Utah
  • Delisa Mulkey, Georgia
  • David Mura, Minnesota
  • Patrick Murtagh, Montana
  • Rhonda Nelson, Florida
  • Fae Myenne Ng, California
  • Elizabeth Oness, Wisconsin
  • Jill Osier, Alaska
  • Craig Santos Perez, California (*)
  • David Peterman, Ohio
  • Paul Pfeiffer, Indiana
  • Rosemary Powers, Nevada
  • C. L. Rawlins, Wyoming
  • David Reynolds, Michigan
  • Brad Richard, Louisiana
  • Andrés Rodriguez, Missouri
  • Ruth Roston, Minnesota
  • Angela Rydell, Wisconsin
  • Diza Sauers, Arizona
  • Nancy Schoenberger, New York
  • Adam Schwartz, Maryland
  • Rebecca Seiferle, New Mexico
  • Barbara Selfridge, California
  • David Dean Shavit, Illinois
  • Pamela Shephard, New Mexico
  • Aleda Shirley, Mississippi
  • Mona Simpson, New York
  • Gregory Blake Smith, Minnesota
  • Matthew Stadler, Washington
  • Norman Stock, New York
  • Susan Straight, California
  • Craig Taylor, California
  • Willett Thomas, Washington, D.C.
  • Alicia Upano, Hawai‘i
  • Reetika Vaziriani, Virginia
  • Jane Wampler, Colorado
  • Lauren K. Watel, Georgia
  • David Weaver, North Carolina
  • Susan Welch, Minnesota
  • Allison Benis White, California (*)
  • Lidia Yuknavitch, Oregon

(*) Winners of the California Writers Exchange, which was offered periodically from 2004 to 2013, with support from the James Irvine Foundation.

Read more about past WEX Award Winners. (PDF) 

Read an essay by past winner Brian Evans-Jones.(PDF)

Watch a video of past winner Sandra Beasley speaking about the award.