25 Years of Supporting Emergent Women Writers
The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards program was established by celebrated author Rona Jaffe in 1995.
The only national literary awards program of its kind devoted exclusively to women, it was created to identify and support emergent women writers of exceptional promise in recognition of the special contributions women artists make to our culture. The awards program acknowledges the difficulties some of the most talented among them have in finding time to write and gaining recognition. The Foundation’s giving has increased from $45,000 to $240,000 annually. Now in its twenty-fifth year, the Foundation has awarded grants to 158 outstanding emergent women writers for a total of $2.9 million. Individual awards are $40,000.
Past recipients of the Writers’ Awards such as Rachel Aviv, Elif Batuman, Eula Biss, Lan Samantha Chang, Vievee Francis, Rivka Galchen, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, ZZ Packer, Helen Phillips, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Namwali Serpell, Solmaz Sharif, Tracy K. Smith, Mary Syzbist, and Tiphanie Yanique have since received wider critical recognition, including Poet Laureate of the United States, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lambda Literary Award, the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, the Caine Prize for African Writing, the Rome Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, and the Whiting Writer’s Award.