James Salter, Tom McCarthy and Adina Hoffman are among a group of writers who are now $150,000 richer thanks to the Donald Windham-Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes, announced today at Yale University.
The award doesn't exactly trip off the tongue, but the prizes are among the highest paid in American Literature. The press release describes them as
unprecedented in magnitude and scope, reaching across the globe to support writers in the practice of their art and to celebrate their literary accomplishments. The prizes recognize English-language writers at all stages of their careers for outstanding achievement in the fields of fiction, non-fiction and drama...
Winners must receive their awards in person at a ceremony at Yale in September and take part in a three-day literary festival celebrating their work. The Windham Campbell literary festival will take place September 10–13 in New Haven, CT.
Writers do not apply for the prize, according to the website. Literary experts were asked to submit names, and the entire process took about nine months. Writers at all stages are eligible for what is now an annual prize, as long as they have one published book or play to their name. There were 29 nominators, all of whom worked anonymously.
The Nobel Prize for Literature remains the richest award for writers, giving approximately $1.1 million to each winner. The Dorothy and Lilllian Gish Award for the arts is worth $300,000, but is open to all disciplines, not merely writing, and only announces one winner each year. With nine prizes each worth $150,000, this ranks as one of the top-valued American literary prizes, courtesy of a sizable endowment.
The full list of winners are:
James Salter, American author whose new book All That Is comes out in April
Tom McCarthy, British novelist, author of the highly acclaimed C.
Zoe Wicomb, South African-born novelist based in Scotland.
Adina Hoffman, American essayist who often writes about the Middle East
Jonny Steinberg, a South African writer who has written several books about social issues in the country
Jeremy Scahill, National Security Correspondent for The Nation and author of a book about the defense contractor Blackwater
Naomi Wallace, American playwright from Kentucky, also author of the movie "Lawn Dogs"
Stephen Adly Guirgis, American playwright, co-artistic director of LAByrinth Theater Company in New York
Tarell Alvin McCraney, 32-year-old American playwright and actor, a member of Steppenwolf Theater Company