So you think you can write?
Every year, Poets & Writers — the national nonprofit group serving creative writing and publishers of Poets & Writers magazine — picks one state and invites authors living there to submit material for the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.
The award was first given in 1984. Since then writers from 33 states have had their shot. 2013 is Alaska’s turn.
The prize includes an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to meet with top literary professionals and give a public reading. There’s also a $500 honorarium and the opportunity to spend a month at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyoming, within view of the Big Horn mountains.
One poet and one fiction writer are selected in each round.
The criteria states that applicants must never have published a book — or only one book in the genre for which they are applying — and have resided in Alaska for at least two years.
The deadline for entries is Dec. 1, 2012. You can download guidelines and application form at at.pw.org/wexaward.
A press release announcing the prize notes that judges for 2013 are Ann Napolitano for fiction and Afaa Michael Weaver for poetry.
To give you an idea of what judges often look for, previous winners have included: Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees), Elaine Beale (“Another Life Altogether:”), Sandra Beasley (“Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl”), David Mura (“Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei”), Fae Myenne Ng (“Bone”) and Mona Simpson (“My Hollywood”).