Each year we honor three new writers.
The Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award, Scotti Merrill Award, and Marianne Russo Award recognize and support writers who possess exceptional talent and demonstrate potential for lasting literary careers.
Each award is tailored to a particular literary form. The Merrill Award recognizes a poet, while fiction writers may apply for either the Johnson Award (for a short story) or the Russo Award (for a novel-in-progress).
Winners of the 2021 and 2022 Emerging Writer Awards will receive full tuition support for our January 2022 Seminar and Writers’ Workshop Program, round-trip airfare, lodging, a $500 honorarium, and the opportunity to appear on stage during the Seminar.
Please review the criteria, complete the application form, and upload the required documents via Submittable. Due to an increased volume of applications and our thorough review process, we have implemented a $12 application fee to cover review costs.
Last year’s winners were Nishanth Injam for a short story, Aimee LaBrie for a novel-in-progress, and Lisa Beech Hartz for poetry. Learn more about their achievements.
Applications open March 1st, 2021.
Writers of any age who live in the United States and have not yet published a book with a major publisher are eligible to apply. If you are the author of a book that is self-published, published with an independent press, or had a print run of 500 or fewer copies, you may or may not be eligible. If you think your eligibility could be called into question, please provide relevant details about prior publications as part of your cover letter. We reserve the right to make all final decisions regarding eligibility.
Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award
Scotti Merrill Award
Christine Shan Shan Hou
Diana Khoi Nguyen
Jacqueline Jones LaMon
Marianne Russo Award
Brooks Whitney Phillips