Poets & Writers Selects Maryland for 2012 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

New York City — August 15, 2011 — Poets & Writers, the nation's largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers, invites Maryland writers to apply for the 2012 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. Each year, Poets & Writers invites fiction writers and poets from a selected state to apply for this award. This year, writers who are residents of Maryland and have never published a book, or have published only one full-length book of fiction or poetry, are eligible. This year's judges are Marie Howe for poetry and Elizabeth Nunez for fiction.

The winning poet and winning fiction writer will each receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet with top literary professionals, including editors, agents, publishers, and prominent writers. While in New York, winners will also give a public reading, hosted by Poets & Writers. In addition, winners are invited to spend a month at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming.

To date, 82 writers from 33 states have received the Writers Exchange Award. As a direct result, many past winners—notably Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees—have had their books published, received awards and fellowships, secured teaching positions, and laid the groundwork for their professional lives as writers.

Guidelines and application forms are available on the Poets & Writers website at www.pw.org/wexaward. Applications must be postmarked by December 1, 2011.

About the Writers Exchange Award
Established in 1984, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award provides promising writers significant opportunities for professional advancement. Each year, writers from a new state are invited to submit their work according to announced contest guidelines. Outside judges select one poet and one fiction writer for this prize. The Writers Exchange Award is supported by Hachette Book Group, in honor of Maureen Egen, for whom the award is named.

Past winners have included Sandra Beasley (Don't Kill the Birthday Girl), Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), David Mura (Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei), Fae Myenne Ng (Bone), and Mona Simpson (My Hollywood).

About Poets & Writers
Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers is the nation's largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers. Its 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.

Poets & Writers accomplishes this by publishing Poets & Writers Magazine, an award-winning bi-monthly journal; producing pw.org, a dynamic website that provides trustworthy advice, information, and a lively online community for writers; running the Readings/Workshops Program, which pays writers fees for giving readings and leading workshops throughout New York State and California, as well as in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.; and sponsoring awards for writers including the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, and the Amy Award. In addition to its national office in New York City, P&W maintains a branch office in Los Angeles. Learn more.