Contact: Ashley Fedor

academy@artsandletters.org

(212) 368-5900

2021 Literature Award Winners

New York, March 29, 2021 – The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the names of 18 writers who will receive its 2021 awards in literature. The awards will be presented virtually at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial at 7 p.m. on May 19 here. The literature prizes, totaling $600,000, honor both established and emerging writers of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry. The Academy’s 300 members propose candidates, and a rotating committee of writers selects winners. This year’s award committee members were Amy Hempel (chair), Edwidge Danticat, Louise Glück, John Guare, Edward Hirsch, and Joy Williams.

Mildred & Harold Strauss Livings
$200,000 each given as income over two years in recognition of literary excellence and to provide freedom to devote time exclusively to writing.
SALVATORE SCIBONA
LAURA VAN DEN BERG
Award of Merit for the Novel
$25,000 to an outstanding writer representing excellence in the craft of the novel.
CHANG-RAE LEE
Arts and Letters Awards in Literature
Eight awards of $10,000 each honoring exceptional accomplishment in any genre.
KATORI HALL
SASKIA HAMILTON
YIYUN LI
LAYLI LONG SOLDIER
JANA PRIKRYL
ADAM RAPP
KATHRYN SCANLAN
BENJAMIN TAYLOR
Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction
$5,000 for a work of first fiction (novel or short stories) published in 2020.
DOUGLAS STUART
for Shuggie Bain
Addison M. Metcalf Award
$10,000 to a writer of great promise.
KALI FAJARDO-ANSTINE
Rosenthal Family Foundation Award
$10,000 to a young writer of considerable literary talent for a work published in 2020.
C PAM ZHANG
for How Much of These Hills is Gold
John Updike Award
$20,000 each to writers whose work has demonstrated consistent excellence.
STEPHEN GUIRGIS
DIANE SEUSS
Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award
$20,000 to a writer whose work merits recognition for the quality of its prose style.
GARTH GREENWELL
E. B. White Award
$10,000 to a writer for achievement in children’s literature. Award jury: Michael Chabon, Louise Erdrich, Ann Patchett.
KATE DICAMILLO