Ten writers chosen to receive the US-based Whiting Writers' Awards were announced this week, including Amanda Coplin, C.E. Morgan and Stephanie Powell Watts.
The award's relevance was emphasized earlier this year after Anthony Marra's "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" burst onto bookshelves to rave reviews this year, following his 2012 Whiting win.
Of this year's recepients, Amanda Coplin based parts of "The Orchardist" on her own upbringing but did so in such a skillful way that she received plaudits from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Publisher's Weekly, and the National Book Foundation.
Like Coplin, C.E. Morgan is another of the NBF's "5 Under 35" annual honorees, with "All the Living" another Barnes & Noble selection and a PEN/Hemingway Award finalist.
And Stephanie Powell Watts has already received the Pushcart Prize for "Unassigned Territory," found within her short story collection "We Are Only taking What We Need."
Jennifer duBois, the third NBF "5 Under 35" author at this year's Whitings, drew on the case of American exchange student Amanda Knox in "Cartwheel," while her debut, "A Partial History of Lost Causes," was also a PEN/Hemingway finalist.
Multi-disciplinarian Clifford Thompson saw debut novel "Signifying Nothing" gain recognition in 2009, but it was his collection "Love for Sale and Other Essays" that won Autumn House Press's nonfiction prize category in 2012; Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams has been teaching at the University of North Carolina Wilmington while working on "The Following Sea," while "The Man Who Danced With Dolls" was published in 2011.
Playwright Virginia Grise, poets Ishion Hutchinson and Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and essayist Morgan Meis were also honored by the 2013 Whiting Writers' Award Selection Committee.