The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation has given $50,000 to ten promising writers for the 2012 Whiting Writers’ Awards. In a new record for the awards, four playwrights received awards.
We’ve included the complete list of recipients below, along with the foundation’s short biography for each winner and links to free samples of some writers. In addition, three fiction writers, two poets, and a nonfiction writer also won. Follow this link to read the keynote address by Jeffrey Eugenides. Here’s an excerpt:
In his 1988 book of essays, “Prepared for the Worst,” Christopher Hitchens recalled a bit of advice given him by the South African Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. “A serious person should try to write posthumously,” Hitchens said, going on to explain: “By that I took her to mean that one should compose as if the usual constraints––of fashion, commerce, self-censorship, public and perhaps especially intellectual opinion––did not operate.” Hitchens’s untimely death last year, at the age of 62, has thrown this remark into relief, pressing upon those of us who persist in writing the uncomfortable truth that anything we’re working on has the potential to be published posthumously; that death might not be far off, and that, given this disturbing reality, we might pay attention to it.