The Kurt Brown Prizes

Formerly known as the WC&C Scholarship Competition, the Kurt Brown Prizes award $500 each year to emerging writers in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction who wish to attend a writers’ conference, center, retreat, festival, or residency. The prizes are applied to fees for winners to attend one of the member programs in AWP’s Directory of Conferences & Centers. Winners and six finalists also receive a one-year individual membership to AWP.

This contest aims to spread the word about the incredible work being done at local writing centers, conferences, festivals, retreats, and residencies.

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, a poet, editor, memoirist, essayist, teacher, and administrator. Today, the group he founded is an important part of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, with more than 150 member programs. 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.

2019 Judges

Sandra Gail Lambert

Creative Nonfiction

Sandra Gail Lambert writes fiction and memoir that is often about the body and its relationship to the natural world. She is a 2018 NEA Creative Writing Fellow. Her books include A Certain Loneliness: A Memoir and a novel, The River's Memory. Her writing has been widely anthologized and published in journals such as the Paris Review, the Southern Review, LitHub, and Brevity. Lambert is a coeditor of the anthology Older Queer Voices: The Intimacy of Survival, and has mentored for AWP's Writer to Writer Mentorship Program. Read more about her work on her website.

Siamak Vossoughi


Siamak Vossoughi was born in Tehran, grew up in Seattle, and lives in San Francisco. He has had stories published in Glimmer Train, Missouri Review, Kenyon Review Online, Chattahoochee Review, and Chicago Quarterly Review. His collection, Better Than War, received a 2014 Flannery O'Connor Award, and he is a Bread Loaf Fellow.

Ananda Lima


Ananda Lima’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, Colorado Review, The Common, Rattle, Jubilat, Hobart, and elsewhere. She has taught at UCLA and Montclair State University, and currently teaches undergraduate creative writing at Rutgers University–Newark.

Previous Award Recipients

Tribute to Kurt Brown
List of Winners

Check out previous winners