Rhode Island Selected for 2021 Writers Exchange Award (December 2020)

New York, NY—December 21, 2020—Poets & Writers, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization serving creative writers, invites writers from the state of Rhode Island to apply for the 2021 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

Each year, Poets & Writers invites poets and fiction writers from a selected state to apply for the award. This year, that state is Rhode Island.

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 WingsThe Secret Life of Bees), Lidia Yuknavitch (The Book of Joan, The Chronology of Water), Bryn Chancellor (Sycamore: A Novel), David Mura (Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei) and others. Since Poets & Writers launched the Writers Exchange in 1984, one-hundred-and-six writers from forty-one states and the District of Columbia have participated.

One winner in each category will 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 reading hosted by Poets & Writers. In addition, each winner is invited to spend a month at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming. To be eligible, writers must be residents of Rhode Island (currently and for at least the past two years), and must have published no more than one full-length book in the genre in which they are applying.

Download the guidelines and application form here. Entries must be postmarked by March 1, 2021.

About the Judges

Madeleine Thien is the author of four books, most recently the novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing. She has received Canada’s two highest literary honours, the Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction. Her books have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Folio Prize, long-listed for a Carnegie Medal, and translated into more than 25 languages. Her essays have appeared in the New York Review of Books, Brickfrieze, Granta, the New York Times, the Guardian, and elsewhere. She lives in Montreal and is a Professor of English at Brooklyn College. (Photo credit: Rawi Hage.)



Prageeta Sharma is the author of the poetry collections Grief Sequence (Wave Books, 2019), Undergloom (Fence Books, 2013), Infamous Landscapes (Fence Books, 2007), The Opening Question (Fence Books, 2004), which won the 2004 Fence Modern Poets Prize, and Bliss to Fill (Subpress, 2000). She is the founder of the conference Thinking Its Presence: Race, Creative Writing, Literary Studies and Art. A recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Award and a finalist for the 2020 Four Quartets Prize, Sharma has taught at the University of Montana and now teaches at Pomona College.​ (Photo credit: Mike Stussy.)


About Poets & Writers

Founded in 1970, Poets & Writers’ work is rooted in the belief that literature is vital to sustaining a vibrant culture. We focus on nurturing 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. Learn more at pw.org.