On Wednesday night, 10 new authors joined the star-studded pack of Whiting Award winners — an elite group of novelists, poets, playwrights, and researchers, each of whom was an emergent talent at the time of their nomination.
Since 1985, the Whiting Award has been one of the literary world's most coveted prizes. Each winner receives $50,000 to support their burgeoning career as a writer. Previous winners include Tracy K. Smith, ZZ Packer, Elif Batuman, and Yiyun Li. You can read all about last year's recipients, which include Patty Yumi Cottrell and Esmé Weijun Wang at Bustle.
The Whiting Award winners are nominated by an anonymous group of 100 "writers, professors, editors, agents, critics, booksellers, artistic directors of theaters, dramaturgs, and directors of literary festivals," according to a Wednesday press release. The nominators and judges change every year, but each one is specifically selected and invited by the Whiting Foundation.
The Whiting Award winners for 2019 were announced Wednesday evening during a ceremony at the New-York Historical Society. On Thursday evening, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel author and Whiting Award winner Alexander Chee will host a free reading with the winners at the Strand Bookstore of Manhattan. The event begins at 7 p.m., and is open to the public.