Whiting Writer’s Awards

BY MEHDI OKASI, Editor-in-Chief

This year’s prestigious Whiting Writer’s Awards were announced on Wednesday October 29th in New York City.  Five fiction writers, three poets, one non fiction writer, and a playwright were honored in the ceremony where the keynote address was made by Barry Lopez.  The prize carries a $50,000 award.  Among the writers honored were Benjamin Percy (who published in Sycamore early in his career), Manuel Munoz (whom I had the pleasure of meeting at the Key West Literary Seminars), and a young Iranian writer who is currently the creative writing fellow at Emory, Laleh Khadivi.  Congratulations to all the winners.

Laleh Khadivi’s first novel, The Age of Orphans, will be published by Bloomsbury in spring of 2009.  Laleh is also a filmmaker and has gained repute for her documentary, 900 Women.  I am, of course, most excited to see Iranian American writers honored for their art.  I can’t wait to read the novel.