The Kurt Brown Prizes

2022 Kurt Brown Prize info coming soon!

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, 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.

Our 2021 Kurt Brown Judges

Joshunda Sanders

Joshunda Sanders, Creative Nonfiction

Joshunda Sanders is the award-winning author of five books, including her first children's book in a series, I Can Write the World, published in 2019 by Six Foot Press. In 2019, she was selected as a Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Fellow, Fiction Fellow at the Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing and a finalist for a fellowship from the Jerome Foundation. In 2018, she received a Bronx Council on the Arts Award for Artistic Excellence. Her byline and stories have appeared in TIME, the Nation, the New York Times, and many others. She’s at work on her sixth book and lives in her hometown, the Bronx. You can learn more about her at

Erika T. Wurth

Erika T. Wurth, Fiction

Erika T. Wurth’s publications include two novels, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend and You Who Enter Here, two collections of poetry, and a collection of short stories, Buckskin Cocaine. A writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and has been a guest writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including Buzzfeed, Boulevard, Lithub, The Writer’s Chronicle, Bitch, Waxwing, and the Kenyon Review. She will be faculty at Bread Loaf in 2021, is a Kenyon Review Writers Workshop Scholar, attended the Tin House Summer Workshop, and has been chosen as a narrative artist for the Meow Wolf Denver installation. She is Apache/Chickasaw/Cherokee and was raised outside of Denver, where she lives with her partner, her two stepchildren, and her extremely fluffy dogs. Learn more about Erika at

Richard Terrill

Richard Terrill, Poetry

Richard Terrill’s new collection of poems is What Falls Away Is Always, from Holy Cow! Press ( Among his previous books are Coming Late to Rachmaninoff, winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry, and two memoirs, Fakebook: Improvisations on a Journey Back to Jazz and Saturday Night in Baoding: A China Memoir, winner of the AWP Award for Creative Nonfiction. Recent work appears in Georgia Review, New Letters, and Hanging Loose. He is professor emeritus at Minnesota State, Mankato, where he was a Distinguished Faculty Scholar, and he currently works as a jazz saxophone player. He lives in Minneapolis, and you can learn more about him at

Previous Award Recipients

Tribute to Kurt Brown
List of Winners

Check out previous winners