Barnes & Noble 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 is presented each year at Poets & Writers’ annual gala. It is named for Barnes & Noble in appreciation of the company’s long-standing support of Poets & Writers. 

Recipients of the 2023 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award will be Colin Channer, Reyna Grande, and Celeste Ng.

Colin Channer is a prominent writer, poet, and monologist from Jamaica. His ten books include the poetry collection Console (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2023) and the novella The Girl with the Golden Shoes (Akashic, 2007). His first novel, Waiting in Vain, was a national best-seller and Critic’s Choice selection of the Washington Post’s Book World, which described it as a “clear definition of the Caribbean novel.” His honors include a Cullman Fellowship from the New York Public Library, an Amy Clampitt Residency, fellowships in both fiction and poetry from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and a Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship from Brown University, where he teaches in the Department of Literary Arts. He is a co-founder of the Calabash International Literary Festival and served as artistic director and board chairman of the Calabash International Literary Festival Trust from 2001-2012, guiding the organization from its inception to its maturity as a leading presenter of writing workshops, literary performances for thousands, publishing seminars, and film screenings—all at no cost to the participants or the public. Through this work, Channer has made an indelible mark on world literature—supporting and encouraging writers from the African Black diaspora, the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and helping readers in the Caribbean and worldwide discover this work. (Photo credit: MFC).

Mexican-born Reyna Grande is the author of the best-selling memoir, The Distance Between Us, which chronicles her separation from her parents, her border crossing, and her coming-of-age as an undocumented immigrant in California. It was a Book Critics Circle Award finalist; the young reader’s edition received an International Literacy Association Children’s Book Award. Her other books include Across a Hundred Mountains, Dancing with Butterflies, A Dream Called Home, and A Ballad of Love and Glory. She is also co-editor of Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings, an anthology by and about undocumented Americans. She is the recipient of an American Book Award, a Luis Leal Award, and a Latino Spirit Award. A passionate advocate for Latinx and immigrant voices, Grande has facilitated discussions around migrant experiences, organized writing workshops for immigrant communities, served as a judge for several notable book awards, and mentored aspiring authors in writing programs such as Macondo, VONA, Bread Loaf, PEN America’s Emerging Voices, Under the Volcano, and others. Through these multi-faceted efforts, she has nurtured scores of writers and helped ensure that Latinx stories are told. (Photo credit: Ara Arbabzadeh).

Celeste Ng is the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author of the novels Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere, and Our Missing Hearts. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, and her work has been published in over thirty languages. A proponent for BIPOC representation within the publishing industry, Ng has sponsored internships for young BIPOC publishing professionals through We Need Diverse Books, among her many other advocacy efforts. In doing so, she has helped shine a light on the urgent need for change in an industry that has remained overwhelmingly white. (Photo credit: Kieran Kesner).

The Editor’s Award

The Editor’s Award recognizes a book editor who has made an outstanding contribution to the publication of poetry or literary prose over a sustained period of time. The 2023 recipient will be Jennifer Hershey, senior vice president, publisher, and editor in chief for Ballantine Books, as well as editor at large for Random House. 

In addition to overseeing the editorial department for the Ballantine, Bantam, and Dell lists, Hershey edits her own list of fiction and nonfiction. Her authors include Isabel Allende (A Long Petal of the Sea), Taylor Jenkins Reid (Carrie Soto is Back), Colum McCann (Apeirogon), Jodi Picoult (Wish You Were Here), Jennifer Finney Boylan and Jodi Picoult (Mad Honey), Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken), Curtis Sittenfeld (Romantic Comedy), Diana Gabaldon (Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone), Carol Dweck, Emily Giffin (Meant to Be), Frances Cha (If I Had Your Face), Katherine Arden (The Bear and the Nightingale), Justin Cronin (The Ferryman), William Landay (All That Is Mine I Carry With Me), Stephen Hawking (My Brief History), and Arthur Phillips (The King at the End of the World). In the past, she has also worked with authors such as Neal Stephenson, George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, and Arthur C. Clarke. Prior to Ballantine, Hershey was the editorial director for Random House, editorial director for Putnam’s, and editor in chief for Morrow Avon.

These awards will be presented on March 27, 2023, at the Poets & Writers Gala, In Celebration of Writers. Learn more here

Previous Award Winners

Viet Thanh Nguyen
James Patterson
Sonia Sanchez
Sally Kim (Editor’s Award)

Michael Chabon
Amanda Gorman
Oprah Winfrey (Leadership Award)

Reginald Dwayne Betts
Neil Gaiman
Roxana Robinson
Dawn Davis (Editor’s Award)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Steve Cannon
Richard Russo
Rebecca Saletan (Editor’s Award)

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