The Kurt Brown Prizes

Submissions for the 2023 Kurt Brown Prizes will open in December 2022.

AWP will offer three scholarships of $500 each to be awarded to three first-place winners in the genres of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. These scholarships must be used to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency at one of the AWP member programs in the Directory of Conferences & Centers. All winners and six finalists will also receive a one-year individual membership.

In 1990, Kurt Brown founded WC&C, a coalition of writers’ conferences and festivals, to help these groups support one another and thrive. Kurt was a friend and mentor to many writers, as well as a poet, editor, memoirist, essayist, teacher, and administrator. Today, the group he founded is an important part of AWP; we hope you will take the time to visit our directory and explore them all. There is an excellent chance you will find one that meets in your local area that can help you connect with a community of writers and friends.

Congratulations to our 2022 Kurt Brown Prize Winners

Amy Goldmacher

Creative Nonfiction: Amy Goldmacher, “The Anthropologist's Fate”

Amy Goldmacher is an anthropologist, a writer, and a book coach, which means her career has centered around transforming information for good. She is the co-author of Designing An Anthropology Career: Professional Development Exercises from Rowman & Littlefield and is editor of the anthology Passed On: Daughters Write About Father Loss Lack, and Legacy, forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press in 2023. She recently finished writing a memoir in the form of a glossary and is currently writing surreal short fiction. Her website is www.amygoldmacher.com and she can be found on social media @solidgoldmacher.

Finalists in Creative Nonfiction:
Ana Caballero, “A Petit Mal”
Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo, “Contra”

2022 Creative Nonfiction Judge: Reyna Grande

Tochukwu Okafor

Fiction Winner: Tochukwu Okafo, “Our Lady Queen of Africa”

Tochukwu Okafor is an MFA Fiction candidate at Emerson College and holds a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. He is a 2021 – 2023 Book Project Fellow at Lighthouse Writers’ Workshop, a 2022 Ucross Foundation Fellow, a 2021 Gish Jen Fiction Fellow, an alumnus of the 2021 Tin House Workshop, a 2018 Rhodes Scholar finalist, and a 2018 Kathy Fish Fellow. His work has appeared in the 2019 Best Small Fictions, the 2018 Best of the Net, and he reads for Ploughshares. He has received scholarships, fellowships, grants, and residencies from the John Anson Kittredge Fund, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Aspen Words, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts (MASS MoCA), Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, PEN America, Kenyon Review Writers’ Workshop, GrubStreet, Short Story Day Africa, and elsewhere. He is at work on a novel and a story collection.

Finalists in Fiction:
Brynne Jones, “Plain of Honey”
Angela Boyd, “El Dorado”

2022 Fiction Judge: Soniah Kamal

Photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

huiying b. chan

Poetry Winner: huiying b. chan, “Take Me to That Place of Ancestral Memory”

huiying b. chan is a visionary poet, healing practitioner, and educator born and raised on Lenape Land (Brooklyn, NY). His work lives at the intersections of personal and societal transformation and is rooted in deep love for community and ancestors. huiying has received fellowships from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Kundiman, VONA/Voices, and DreamYard. His work is published in Best New Poets 2021, The Offing, The Margins, and elsewhere. As a Chancellor's Graduate Fellow at Rutgers University-Newark, huiying is working on a poetry manuscript that explores matriarchal legacies, self-remembrance, and queer and trans lineages. “Take Me To That Place of Ancestral Memory” is the title poem and he is honored to win the AWP Kurt Brown Prize for it. For more, visit huiyingbchan.com and dandelionspeaks.com.

Finalists in Poetry:
Elline Lipkin, “Greteling”
Arhm Wild, “Split to Shape”

2022 Poetry Judge: Marlena Chertock

Photo credit: Cindy Trinh

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