As 2012 starts drawing to a close, the Whiting Foundation has chosen twelve writers -- two poets, three fiction authors, four playwrights and one non-fiction author -- as recipients of an annual $50,000 award.
One of this year's winners, Danai Gurira, already has a high public profile, having starred in the AMC television adaptation of The Walking Dead.
The annual selection has demonstrated a knack for picking out stars of the future. Among previous recipients, Jeffrey Eugenides followed up his 1993 win (and The Virgin Suicides) with Middlesex and The Marriage Plot; Jonathan Franzen's win in 1988 was the first of many major awards, and thirteen years prior to The Corrections; poet Tracy K. Smith, named among 2005's decalogue, was awarded a Pulitzer for her work in 2012.
Whiting Awards 2012
Ciaran Berry, Poetry (The Sphere of Birds)
Danai Gurira, Plays (Eclipsed, The Convert)
Alan Heathcock, Fiction (Volt)
Samuel D Hunter, Plays (A Bright New Boise, The Whale, The Few)
Mona Mansour, Plays (The Hour of Feeling, The Urge for Going)
Anthony Marra, Fiction (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, 2013)
Meg Miroshnik, Plays (The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The Droll, The Tall Girls)
Hanna Pylväinen, Fiction (We Sinners)
Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, Non-Fiction (Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America)
Atsuro Riley, Poetry (Romey's Order, Hutch)