Nevada poets and fiction writers have a unique new opportunity to express themselves and compete for an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet with top literary professionals, including editors, agents, publishers, and prominent writers. Poets & Writers, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers, has selected Nevada as the only state to participate in its annual Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award program.
Each year, Poets & Writers invites poets and fiction authors from a selected state to apply for the award. Nevada residents are eligible, provided that they have published no more than one full-length book in the genre in which they are applying.
One winner in each category will be selected for the trip and experience. While in New York, winners will also give a reading hosted by Poets & Writers. Each winner is invited to spend a month at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyo.
The award provides promising writers a network for professional advancement. It has helped launch the careers of Sue Monk Kidd (“The Secret Life of Bees”); Elaine Beale (“Another Life Altogether”); Sandra Beasley (“Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl”); David Mura (“Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei”); Fae Myenne Ng (“Bone”); and Mona Simpson (“Casebook”). Since Poets & Writers began the Writers Exchange in 1984, 87 writers from 34 states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate. The award is generously supported by Maureen Egen, a member of the Poets & Writers board of directors and retired deputy chairman and publisher of Hachette Book Group USA.
“We are honored and thrilled that Poets & Writers has selected Nevada for its prestigious 2015 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Contest,” said Susan Boskoff, executive director of the Nevada Arts Council. “The literary arts have always been a figure in the western landscape. I suspect that many, many of our writers will participate in such a remarkable competition.”
The Nevada Arts Council, a division of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, is the agency charged with ensuring that state and national funds support cultural activity and encourage participation in the arts throughout Nevada. In addition to providing hundreds of grants to arts and community-based organizations, schools, artists and local municipalities throughout the state, the Arts Council coordinates a variety of statewide programs and activities such as the annual Poetry Out Loud recitation competition for high-school aged students, traveling exhibits, artist residencies, workshops and cultural assessments. For more information, please visit the department’s website at nac.nevadaculture.org/.