Accepting applications for 2021 Emerging Writer Awards

2018 Emerging Writer Award Winners: Sara Allen (short story), Dantiel Moniz (novel) and Michael Lee (poetry)

Greetings to all,

Each year, we present three awards to unpublished writers with exceptional talent who demonstrate the potential for lasting literary careers.

This year will be no different–at least in this respect. Even as many of our other programs are suspended due to the pandemic, we’re pleased to once again have the opportunity to support new voices in American literature through the 2021 Emerging Writer Awards.

Applications are open now and the deadline has been extended to September 15, 2020. Winners will be announced in early 2021.

Each award is tailored to a particular literary form. The Scotti Merrill Award recognizes a poet, while fiction writers may apply for either the Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award (for a short story) or the Marianne Russo Award (for a novel-in-progress).

Winners will receive a prize package including full tuition support for our January 2022 Seminar and Writers’ Workshop Program (January 6–14, 2022); round-trip airfare and lodging in Key West; and a $500 honorarium. Each winner will also have the opportunity to read their work on stage during the 2022 Seminar, and will be invited to private events with presenters and faculty throughout their time in Key West.

Please help us spread the word about this unique opportunity by sharing this news with talented writers in your circle.

Looking forward to seeing you in Key West!

Arlo Haskell | Executive Director
Katrin Schumann | Program Coordinator

Testimonials from past award winners:

Dantiel W. Moniz, 2018 Cecelia Joyce Johnson Award
“Winning was a life changing experience for me as it was my first literary award. It was amazing to be able to read my material in front of writers I admire.  Moments that were not scheduled were also important—like riding around Key West on bikes, learning about its literary history, becoming friends with other winners… It was a completely immersive experience.”

Theodore Wheeler, 2014 Marianne Russo Award
“The mentorship aspect of this award is key because you have access to the ‘authors in the room.’ The sense of belonging is special and you really feel celebrated.”

Diana Khoi Nguyen, 2012 Scotti Merrill Award
“The highlight of the experience was being able to go on stage to read my work, then sitting next to George Saunders, who said, “Good job!” when I was finished. It was nerve-wracking and so affirming.”


2 thoughts on “Accepting applications for 2021 Emerging Writer Awards

  1. Melanie Johnston says:

    Hi there,
    Is the award still available this year or are you postponing until 2021?
    Melanie Johnston

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