Professor Jess Row of Montclair State University's College of Humanities and Social Sciences' English Department has been named one of ten recipients of the 2003 Whiting Writers' Awards. The awards, which are $35,000 each, have been given annually since 1985 to emerging writers of exceptional talent and promise. Row's first collection of stories, "The Train to Lo Wu," will be published next year by Dial Press.
Now in its nineteenth year, the Whiting program has awarded more than $5 million to 190 poets, fiction and nonfiction writers, and playwrights. Among the past recipients who have later achieved prominence in their field are Andre Aciman, Michael Cunningham, Deborah Eisenberg, Jonathan Franzen, Jorie Graham, Cristina Garcia, Tony Kushner, Allegra Goodman, Li-Young Lee, Alice McDermott, Suzan-Lori Parks, Katha Pollit, and Colson Whitehead. Whiting Writers' Awards candidates are proposed by nominators from across the country whose experience and vocations bring them in contact with individuals of extraordinary talent. Winners are chosen by a selection committee consisting of a small anonymous group of recognized writers, literary scholars, and editors, appointed annually by the Foundation.
The 2003 recipients were announced at a ceremony at the New York Public Library October 30.
The keynote speaker of the evening was playwright John Guare.