New York, March 11, 2019 – The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the names of 17 writers who will receive its 2019 awards in literature. The awards will be presented in New York at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial in May. The literature prizes, totaling $220,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. The Academy’s 250 members propose candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners. This year’s award committee members were Henri Cole, John Guare, Amy Hempel, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Joy Williams.
$25,000 to an outstanding person representing the Short Story.
Eight Arts and Letters Awards in Literature of $10,000 each honor exceptional accomplishment in any genre.
$20,000 to a young playwright.
$20,000 to a young writer from the United Kingdom or Ireland for a stay in the United States. Award jury: Paul Muldoon, Colm Tóibín.
$5000 for a work of first fiction (novel or short stories) published in 2018.
for The Balcony
$10,000 to a young writer of great promise.
$10,000 to a young writer of considerable literary talent for a work published in 2018.
for There There
$20,000 to a writer whose work has demonstrated consistent excellence.
$20,000 to a writer whose work merits recognition for the quality of its prose style.
Award jury: Judy Blume, Alison Lurie
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Early members include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, Henry James, Edward MacDowell, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. The Academy’s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues.
In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.