Winners of the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Awards

By Jason Boog Comment


Ten writers have been chosen to receive the $50,000 for the 2013 Whiting Writers’ Awards. Since 1985, the Mrs. Giles Whiting Writing  Foundation has given over $6 million to 290 writers who have shown “exceptional talent and promise in early career.”

We’ve included all the 2013 winners below. Here’s more from the release:

The 2013 winners consist of one playwright, two poets, one non-fiction writer, four fiction writers, and two writers of both fiction and non-fiction … The evening’s keynote address was given by Tony Kushner, one of the most accomplished playwrights of our time. He received a Whiting Award in 1990 and came to national prominence soon thereafter with his play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, which won a Pulitzer Prize.

2013 Whiting Writers’ Awards Winners

Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams, fiction/non-fiction. Her novella, The Man Who Danced with Dolls, was published in 2012 by Madras Press.  Born on Guam, she is at work on her memoir about growing up aboard a cutter in the South Pacific.  She lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Amanda Coplin, fiction.  Her first novel, The Orchardist, was published by HarperCollins in 2012, and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Award winner. Recognized this year by the National Book Foundation as a “5 Under 35,” she lives in Portland, Oregon.

Jennifer duBois, fiction.  Her debut novel, A Partial History of Lost Causes, was published by Dial in 2012, and her new novel, Cartwheel, was published in September by Random House. She teaches in the MFA program at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Virginia Grise, plays.  She is the author of several plays, including blu, Making Myth, rasgos asiaticos, and a farm for meme.  A recipient of the Yale Drama Series Award, she is currently a Time Warner Fellow at the Women’s Project Lab.  She lives in Brooklyn.

Ishion Hutchinson, poetry. His first collection, Far District:  Poems, was published by Peepal Tree Press Limited in 2010.   Born in Jamaica, and a recipient of the 2011 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, he is an assistant professor of English at Cornell and lives in Ithaca, New York.

Morgan Meis, non-fiction.  Ruins, his collection of essays on art, literature, and contemporary life, was published by Fallen Bros. Press in 2012. He is the critic-at-large for The Smart Set, an arts magazine at Drexel University.


C.E. Morgan, fiction.  Her first novel, All the Living, was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2009.  She has been honored by the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” and The New Yorker’s “20 under 40.”  She lives in Berea, Kentucky.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, poetry. His first collection, The Ground, was published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in 2012.  He is an Associate Professor of English at Stony Brook, Director of the Poetry Center as well as a contributing writer for Artforum. He lives in New York City and Barcelona.

Clifford Thompson, fiction/non-fiction.  Many of his essays on books, film, jazz, and American identity were collected in Love for Sale, which was published this year by Autumn House Press. He is also the author of a novel, Signifying Nothing, published through iUniverse, and has an arts blog, He lives in Brooklyn.

Stephanie Powell Watts, fiction.  She was awarded the 2012 Earnest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence for her debut story collection, We Are Taking Only What We Need (BKMk Press). Currently at work on a novel, she lives in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where she is an associate professor at Lehigh University.

Photo via Ann Billingsley