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-eight 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. 

Nebraska Selected for Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

Writers from the state of Nebraska are invited to apply for the 2022 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. One fiction writer and one poet will be selected. Winners receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet with top literary professionals, including editors, agents, publishers, and prominent writers. This year’s judges are Ru Freeman for fiction and Sandra Lim for poetry. Entries must be postmarked by March 1, 2022.

Download the guidelines and application form

Courtney Denelle and Jodie Noel Vinson of Rhode Island Win 2021 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

The winners of the 2021 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award are Courtney Denelle for fiction and Jodie Noel Vinson for poetry. The judges were Madeleine Thien for fiction and Prageeta Sharma for poetry. In November, the two winners will meet with agents, editors, authors, and others. In addition, the winners will each receive a $500 honorarium, present a reading for the public, hosted by Poets & Writers, and be invited to participate in a one-month residency at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming.

Read the Press Release.

Read an excerpt from Courtney Denelle’s manuscript, 2021 winner in fiction. (PDF)

Read an excerpt from Jodie Noel Vinson’s manuscript, 2021 winner in poetry. (PDF)

Courtney Denelle and Jodie Noel Vinson are the winners of the 2021 Writers Exchange Award.
(Credits: Keith Barraclough, Matt Ferrara.)


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
  • Courtney Denelle, Rhode Island
  • 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
  • Simon Han, Oklahoma
  • 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
  • Lisa Lewis, Texas
  • 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
  • Brent Newsom, Oklahoma
  • 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
  • Jodie Noel Vinson, Rhode Island
  • 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.