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The 2020 Writers’ Awards Winners Celebrated Their Work at NYU Virtual Event on September 17

The 2020 RJF Writers' Awards Winners shown with the Foundation's Executive Director, Beth McCabe, prior to the event.

In a virtual event with nearly 200 audience members attending online from across the country and the globe, the winners of the 2020 RJF Writers’ Awards gave a joyous and powerful reading from their work. The reading was sponsored by NYU's Graduate Creative Writing Program Reading Series.

Find the podcast and video here:

The 2020 winners are Hannah Bae (nonfiction), Mari Christmas (fiction), Yalitza Ferreras (fiction), Temim Fruchter (fiction), Elisa Gonzalez (poetry), and Charleen McClure (poetry). They each received $30,000. View their full bios here.

The program was established in 1995 by celebrated novelist Rona Jaffe (1931-2005) to identify and support women writers of unusual talent and promise in the early stages of their writing careers. The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards are given to writers of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Since the program began in 1995, the Foundation has supported 164 outstanding women writers for a total of more than $3 million.

Past recipients of the Writers’ Awards such as Rachel Aviv, Elif Batuman, Chelsea Bieker, Eula Biss, Lan Samantha Chang, Ebony Flowers, Vievee Francis, Rivka Galchen, Alex 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.

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