Whiting Awards 2013 highlight six to follow in fiction

Last Updated: Oct 28, 2013, 09:56 AM IST

Ten writers chosen to receive the US-based Whiting Writers` Awards were announced this week, including Amanda Coplin, C.E. Morgan and Stephanie Powell Watts.

The award`s relevance was emphasized earlier this year after Anthony Marra`s `A Constellation of Vital Phenomena` burst onto bookshelves to rave reviews this year, following his 2012 Whiting win.

Of this year`s recepients, Amanda Coplin based parts of `The Orchardist` on her own upbringing but did so in such a skillful way that she received plaudits from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Publisher`s Weekly, and the National Book Foundation.

Like Coplin, C.E. Morgan is another of the NBF`s `5 Under 35` annual honorees, with `All the Living` another Barnes & Noble selection and a PEN/Hemingway Award finalist.

And Stephanie Powell Watts has already received the Pushcart Prize for `Unassigned Territory,` found within her short story collection `We Are Only taking What We Need.`

Jennifer duBois, the third NBF `5 Under 35` author at this year`s Whitings, drew on the case of American exchange student Amanda Knox in ` Cartwheel,` while her debut, `A Partial History of Lost Causes,` was also a PEN/Hemingway finalist.

Multi-disciplinarian Clifford Thompson saw debut novel `Signifying Nothing` gain recognition in 2009, but it was his collection `Love for Sale and Other Essays` that won Autumn House Press`s nonfiction prize category in 2012; Hannah Dela Cruz Abrams has been teaching at the University of North Carolina Wilmington while working on `The Following Sea,` while `The Man Who Danced With Dolls` was published in 2011.

Playwright Virginia Grise, poets Ishion Hutchinson and Rowan Ricardo Phillips, and essayist Morgan Meis were also honored by the 2013 Whiting Writers` Award Selection Committee.