Ladette Randolph is editor-in-chief of Ploughshares literary journal. The author of four books: a short story collection This is Not the Tropics, two novels: A Sandhills Ballad (a New York Times Editor’s Choice book) and Haven’s Wake (winner of the Nebraska Book Award), and a memoir Leaving the Pink House (showcased by Oprah Magazine online), she is also the recipient of numerous awards. In addition to her Rona Jaffe Award, she has won a Pushcart Prize, a Virginia Faulkner Award, the Nebraska Book Award, and her work has been reprinted in Best New American Voices (selected by Tobias Wolff). Her third novel, Private Way, was published by University of Nebraska Press Flyover Fiction Series in 2022.
The Value of Support
"The year I won one of the six grants from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, Rona was still alive, and it was a thrill to meet her at the awards ceremony in the Rainbow Room. I was already then an older writer, the mother of three teenagers, and working full-time as an acquiring editor at University of Nebraska Press. In my day job I was (and still am at Ploughshares) committed to recognizing and supporting the work of other writers. The idea that a committee of established women writers had found something of promise in my writing gave me the courage I needed to keep going, and the generous honorarium attached to the award impressed even the most dubious of my family members. Since then, I've gone on to publish four books and win other awards. I recently completed another novel that took me six years to write, and undoubtedly the Jaffe Award continues to play a role in sustaining such belief in my own work. More than that, though, Rona's vision of supporting the work of other women writers has created a remarkable sisterhood, and I'm enormously proud of be a part of it."