Writers for Writers Award, Editor’s Award

Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award

The Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award celebrates authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. The award, which is presented each year at Poets & Writers’ annual dinner, is named for Barnes & Noble in appreciation of its long-standing support.

Recipients of the 2018 Barnes & Nobel Writers for Writers Award are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (for her work with the Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop in Nigeria); Steve Cannon (for nurturing countless writers through A Gathering of the Tribes, the unclassifiable arts organization he founded); and Richard Russo (for championing other writers and his exemplary service to the community of writers through his work with the Authors Guild).

Read the press release here.

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the leading African writer of her generation. Ms. Adichie’s work has been translated into over thirty languages. Her first novel Purple Hibiscus (2003) won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), won the Orange Prize (now the Bailey’s Women’s Prize). Her 2013 novel Americanah received the US National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of the New York Times Top Ten Best Books of the Year. Ms. Adichie has been invited to speak around the world. Most notably her 2009 TED Talk, The Danger of A Single Story, is now one of the top ten most-viewed TED Talks of all time, with over five million views. Her 2012 TED talk, We Should All Be Feminists, has a started a worldwide conversation about feminism, and was published as a book in 2014. Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017.

Professor Steve Cannon is a poet, playwright, novelist, publisher, arts organization leader, and humanities professor emeritus at City University of New York’s Medgar Evers College. He is best known for authoring the underground classic Groove, Bang and Jive Around and for founding and leading A Gathering of the Tribes, a multi-tiered arts organization based on New York’s Lower East Side. Cannon co-founded the Stoop Poetry Workshop with Bob Holman. In 1991, after losing his eyesight to glaucoma, Cannon created an informal artists’ salon in his home dedicated to fostering political and social discussion from a variety of different perspectives. This collective, named A Gathering of the Tribes, was eventually incorporated as a nonprofit organization. In 1993, Steve and Peruvian photographer Dora Espinoza collaborated to create Tribes Gallery, which functioned as a performance space, art gallery, and community where artists could meet and exchange ideas regardless of their medium or level of career success. Cannon oversaw every aspect of Tribes from its inception to today. Cannon and Tribes received numerous awards and commendations. The hundreds of performers and artists shown at Tribes include Sun Ra Arkestra, Chavisa Woods, John Farris, Bob Holman, Ishmael Reed, Billy Bang, Max Blagg, and David Hammons, among many others. Today, Tribes continues as a small press publisher, focused mainly on poetry, and an online literary magazine featuring new poetry and prose, as well as essays and reviews on art, books, music, and movies.

Novelist and screenwriter Richard Russo is the author of eight novels, two short story collections, and the memoir ElsewhereEmpire Falls won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2002 and was made into an Emmy nominated HBO miniseries starring Ed Harris and Helen Hunt. His most recent novel Everybody’s Fool is a sequel to the earlier Nobody’s Fool, which was made into an award-winning movie starring Paul Newman. Russo is currently vice president of the Authors Guild. He lives with his wife Barbara in Portland, Maine, where his daughter Emily recently opened a bookstore called Print. He’s collaborated with his other daughter—artist Kate Russo—on the book Interventions and more recently on screenplays. His most recent book of stories, Trajectory, was published in May 2017 by Knopf, and a collection of essays, The Destiny Thief, comes out in May of 2018. He’s currently at work on a new novel.

The Editor’s Award

The Editor’s Award was established in 2009 to recognize a book editor who has made an outstanding contribution to the publication of poetry or literary prose over a sustained period of time. The award is presented each year at Poets & Writers’ annual dinner. The 2018 Editor’s Award will be presented to Rebecca Saletan, vice president and editorial director of Riverhead Books, a Penguin Random House imprint.

Rebecca Saletan started in publishing at Yale University Press in 1982, then came to New York City in 1984 as assistant to editorial director Jason Epstein at Random House, where she eventually became an editor. She worked at Simon & Schuster, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, and Harcourt, where she became publisher in 2006 and continued in that role at the newly merged Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. She joined Riverhead Books as editorial director in 2009, where she has edited a wide range of literary fiction and nonfiction, with emphasis on unheard and global voices and perspectives. The writers with whom she has worked include Lesley Nneka Arimah, Francisco Cantú, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Junot Díaz, Ivan Doig, Masha Gessen, Elizabeth Gilbert, Mohsin Hamid, Gilbert King, Peter Matthiessen, Diane McWhorter, Philippe Petit, Hanna Rosin, Danzy Senna, Kamila Shamsie, and Claire Vaye Watkins.

Photo Credits: Wani Olatunde (Adichie); Eugene Hyon (Cannon); Elena Seibert (Russo); Louie Saletan (Saletan).

Previous Award Winners

Francisco Goldman
Ann Patchett
Richard Shelton
Fiona McCrae (Editor’s Award)
Jeff Shotts (Editor’s Award)

Elizabeth George
Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Christopher Soto, and Javier Zamora
Erin Belieu, Cate Marvin, and Ann Townsend
Paul Slovack (Editor’s Award)

Margaret Atwood
Cheryl Boyce-Taylor
Christopher Castellani
Barbara Epler (Editor’s Award)

Ian Frazier
Haki R. Madhubuti
Joyce Carol Oates
Kate Medina (Editor’s Award)

Steve Berry
Rigoberto Gonzalez
Judith Kelman
Chuck Adams (Editor’s Award)
Leonard Riggo (Leadership Award)

David Baldacci
Kwame Dawes
Carol Muske-Dukes
Kathryn Court (Editor’s Award)

Maria Mazziotti Gillan
John Grisham
Elizabeth Nunez
Jonathan Galassi (Editor’s Award)

Junot Díaz
Maxine Hong Kingston
M. L. Liebler
Pat Strachan (Editor’s Award)

Russell Banks
Robert Caro
Sarah Gambito
Daniel Halpern (Editor’s Award)

Toi Derricotte
A.M. Homes
Peter Straub

E. Ethelbert Miller
Francine Prose
Susan Richards Shreve

Regie Cabico
Bill Henderson
Anna Quindlen

Barbara Kingsolver
Sidney Offit
Quincy Troupe

Judy Blume
Oakley Hall
Sharon Olds

Bob Holman
Ishmael Reed
Amy Tan

E. Lynn Harris
June Jordan
Wally Lamb

Cornelius Eady
Marita Golden
Scott Turow

Stanley Kunitz
Barbara Goldsmith
Terry McMillan

Edward Albee
E. L. Doctorow
Susan Sontag

Rita Dove
Stephen King
Hilma Wolitzer

Mary Higgins Clark
James A. Michener
Arthur Miller
Walter Mosley
William Styron