Whiting Awards

Since 1985, the Foundation has supported creative writing through the Whiting Awards, which are given annually to ten emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama.

News & Reviews

The Iowa Review interviews Tracy K. Smith

Smith discusses her relationship to faith and using poetry to engage with questions of America. 

The New Inquiry interviews Leopoldine Core

In The New Inquiry, Core explains how her dyslexia has impacted her reading for the better, and reveals her favorite George Harrison song. 

“The Next World and the Next” by Alice Sola Kim

For Lena Dunham's newsletter Lenny, Alice Sola Kim imagines a beautiful and dark future world, one in which “everyone is dreaming very busily.”

“Melancholia” by Dana Levin

In Willow Springs, Levin asks, “What is a father? What is a star?” in her ode to fathers, daughters, and family.

“The New Critics and the Barbarians” by Morgan Meis

In Image Journal, Meis delves into the "withdrawal of the thinker-of-faith from the public realm." 

Vulture interviews Stephen Adly Guirgis

Guirgis discusses his new Netflix show, The Get Down, creating coming-of-age stories for television, and memorizing the lyrics to "Rapper's Delight” as a teen. 

“The Poet’s Gaze” by Roger Reeves

In NewCity Lit, Reeves discusses activism as a form of world-building much like writing, and why he believes protest is the “text of the future.”

Broadway premiere of Marvin’s Room by Scott McPherson

The story of two estranged sisters who reunited after 18 years after one is diagnosed with leukemia, award-winning Marvin’s Room will premier at Roundabout Theatre Company in June 2017.

“The Last Time I Saw Basquiat” by Luc Sante

In The New York Review of Books, Luc Sante remembers the canned food Jean-Michel Basquiat devoured and pieces by the artist Sante was glad he couldn't sell. 

“Body Amor: An Exhibit at FIT Considers the Durable Influence of Uniforms” by Alice Sola Kim

In the Village Voice, Alice Sola Kim reviews the Fashion Institute of Technology's "Body Armor" exhibit, an "anti-celebration of the goopy, leaky, tender fragility of bodies."

Scroll reviews What is Remembered by Suketu Mehta

Scroll calls Mehta’s novel about the immigrant experience “delicious” and declares that, “expectations are high, and, let it be said, the breathless prose, so American in its energy, doesn’t let you down.”

VICE interviews Colson Whitehead

Whitehead discusses why he couldn’t have written The Underground Railroad in his 20s, and his theory that, in regards to writing fiction, “you’re always putting the good and bad parts of yourself in the characters to make them real.”

WSHU Public Radio reviews Guy Novel by Michael Ryan

WSHU calls Guy Novel “a sensual love story and a nutty adventure tale” and praises Ryan’s use of humor.

3AM Magazine reviews Counternarratives by John Keene

The magazine notes the inventive structure of Keene’s nonfiction, writing that Counternarratives “achieves a lasting power.”

“To a Straight Man” by Eduardo C. Corral

“I even photo-/graphed my lust,” begins Corral’s ode to the often brutal ways of love.

“Ed Ruscha and the Art of Being in Los Angeles” by D. J. Waldie

For Zocalo magazine, Waldie paints a portrait of the Los Angeles-based artist Ed Ruscha who “captures the deeply two-dimensional city like no one else.”

“W. G. Sebald and the Emigrants” by André Aciman

In The New Yorker, Aciman on German writer W. G. Sebald and the friendship with two elderly Jewish refugees that inspired and influenced him.

The Believer interviews Leopoldine Core

Core talks to The Believer about how her East Village neighborhood has changed over time and why writing is a part of the impulse “to make sense.”

“France Has a Strange Concept of Feminism – and Secularism” by Katha Pollitt 

On The Nation, Pollitt argues against France’s “burkini” ban, stating that bans on the swimwear “aren’t only wrong – they’re counterproductive.”

“No Fuller on Earth” by Matt Donovan

In The Believer, Donovan dissects the work of artist Kate Carr, whose sculptures he describes as “things blazing with the way things are.”

The Culture Trip reviews Counternarratives by John Keene

The Culture Trip declares Keene’s latest has “polyphonic depth” and writes “to try to summarize the work in even a couple archetypes seems an injustice.”

Tracy K. Smith on “A Phone Call from Paul”

Smith talks to Paul Holdengräber about "overdrive parenting" and what changed the way she was praying.

“Black Lives and the Police” by Darryl Pinckney

In the New York Review of Books, Pinckney unpacks the history of race and policing in the United States. 

“Making the Water” by Chris Offutt

For Oxford American, Offutt reflects on using water to make sea monkeys, feed a family, or “succumb to the need for social approval.”

Publications & Productions

Loner by Teddy Wayne

Loner is the story of David Federman, a withdrawn Harvard freshman who meets a beautiful, sophisticated Manhattanite named Veronica. David quickly becomes infatuated, to devastating circumstances. Kirkus Reviews calls Loner "stunning" and "as absorbing as it is devastating."

What is Remembered by Suketu Mehta

Mahesh's life in America is so perfect that memories of his past in India seem to have disappeared completely, but a visit to Jackson Heights reminds him of what he thought he had forgotten. Livemint calls Mehta's latest "surreal, moving and terribly funny."

A Cloud of Unusual Size and Shape by Matt Donovan

Poet Tom Sleigh calls Donovan's collection of essays about ruin and redemption "unparalleled for their speculative reach and grasp of physical detail."

Cannibal by Safiya Sinclair

Poet Ada Limón declares that Cannibal is "a new muscular music that is as brutal as it is beautiful," calling Sinclair "a poet who is dangerously talented and desperately needed."

When Watched by Leopoldine Core

The Los Angeles Review of Books declares that, when reading Core's collection of stories based in New York City, "one gets an otherworldly sensation."

Dead People by Morgan Meis and Stefany Anne Goldberg

The Rumpus calls Meis's latest, a collection of unorthodox obituaries for figures such as Osama bin Laden and David Foster Wallace, "an impassioning read."  

Guy Novel by Michael Ryan

Publishers Weekly dubs Ryan's first novel, a detective story set in California's entertainment industry, "a really fun thrill ride."

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Whitehead's novel explores the journey of one young slave as she travels on a harrowing, state-by-state flight out of a cotton plantation in Georgia in the Antebellum South. The Boston Globe deems The Underground Railroad "a fully realized masterpiece."


She She She by Virginia Grise

In Grise's latest work, two struggling strangers from different eras serendipitously meet to give each other the strength to survive. She She She uses poetry and visual art to amplify the voices of queer women across time and place. 

Notes on Glaze by Wayne Koestenbaum

In the spring of 2010, Cabinet magazine invited Koestenbaum to begin writing a column in which he would write one or more extended captions for a single photograph with which the editors of the magazine had provided him. Notes on Glaze collects all the “Legend” columns, as well as their accompanying photographs.

American Rhapsody by Claudia Roth Pierpont 

The Christian Science Monitor praises Pierpont's "dazzling prose" in this collection of portraits of American artists and innovators, and The Washington Post dubs her blend of biography and criticism "ingenious."


Hogs Wild by Ian Frazier

From feral hogs in the South to homelessness in New York City, the decade of Frazier's reporting chronicled in this collection proves that he is, as The Believer deemed him, "a master of both distilled insight and utter nonsense."