Last night, the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation awarded 10 Whiting Awards. Since 1985, these honors have gone annually to emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and plays. The award comes with $50,000 and is "based on accomplishment and promise."

Though you may have never heard of some of the recipients, these people are writers to watch. For proof, just look at the list of past winners: Jonathan Franzen (1988), Justin Cronin (2002), Kim Edwards (2002), Daniel Alarcon (2004), Yiyun Li (2006), Allegra Goodman (1991), Michael Cunningham (1995) and many other best-selling authors and iterary superstars.

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Fiction winners:
Michael Dahlie, A Gentleman’s Guide to Graceful Living
Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Sightseeing
Lydia Peelle, Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing (and a Nashville resident!)

Nonfiction winners:
Elif Batuman, The Possessed
Amy Leach, writing a book of essays about animals, plants and stars
Said Sayrafiezadeh, When Skateboards Will Be Free

Poets:
Matt Donovan, Vellum
Jane Springer, Dear Blackbird
L. B. Thompson, Tendered Notes (a chapbook)

Playwright:
David Adjmi, Stunning

What other writers are on your "to-watch" list?

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