New class of Whiting Award winners announced


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Ten writers are each $50,000 richer thanks to the Whiting Foundation, which announced the winners of its 2011 awards Tuesday. This year, four poets, four fiction writers, one nonfiction writer and one playwright received the awards.

While many literary awards are for a single work or a body of completed work, the Whiting Awards are made to authors early in their careers who have demonstrated exceptional promise. Past recipients include Elif Batuman, Michael Cunningham, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jonathan Franzen, Terrance Hayes, Yiyun Li, Tony Kushner and Los Angeles poet Douglas Kearney -- an impressive list.


The 2011 Whiting Foundation award winners are:

Scott Blackwood, fiction. His novel ‘We Agreed to Meet Just Here’ (New Issues Press) was published in 2009.Ryan Call, fiction. His short story collection ‘The Weather Stations’ (Caketrain) was published this year. Don Mee Choi, poetry. Her first collection, ‘The Morning News is Exciting’ (Action Books) was published in 2010. She holds a bachelor of fine arts and a master of fine arts from the California Institute for the Arts.Paul Clemens, nonfiction. He is the author of ‘Made In Detroit’ (Doubleday, 2005) and ‘Punching Out: One Year in a Closing Auto Plant’ (Doubleday, 2011). Eduardo C. Corral, poetry. His book ‘Slow Lightning’ will be published by Yale University Press in 2012. Amy Herzog, plays. Her productions include ‘After the Revolution’ and ‘4,000 Miles.’ Her new play, ‘Belleville,’ opens this month at the Yale Repertory Theater. Daniel Orozco, fiction. A collection of short stories, ‘Orientation’ (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), was published this year.Shane McCrae, poetry. His debut collection of poetry, ‘Mule’ (Cleveland State University Press), was published this year by.Teddy Wayne, fiction. His first novel, ‘Kapitoil’ (Harper Perennial), was published in 2010.Kerri Webster, poetry. Her first book, ‘We Do Not Eat Our Hearts Alone’ (University of Georgia Press), was published in 2005.

The Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation was established in 1963 by Flora E. Whiting. The Whiting writers awards were established in 1985, and the foundation has now given more than $6 million to support creative writing.


Whiting Award winners announced (2010)

Substantial Whiting Awards given to 10 up-and-coming writers

Douglas Kearney says winning a Whiting Writers’ Award is a fresh start

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photos, top row from left: Paul Clemens, Don Mee Choi, Daniel Orozco. Lower row, from left: Shane McCrae, Kerri Webster, Teddy Wayne. Credit: Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation