The Kurt Brown Prizes

Formally 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 in AWP.

The 2020 Kurt Brown Prizes submission period has ended. Winners of this contest will be announced by June 1, 2020.

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

"Living a creative life means far more than making art—it also means doing whatever we can to make sure that it gets made—and encountered by others—in the first place." —David J. Rothman, on Kurt Brown

In 1990, Kurt Brown founded Writers’ Conferences & Centers (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.

2020 Judges

Suzanne Farrell Smith

Creative Nonfiction

Suzanne Farrell Smith’s debut memoir, The Memory Sessions, was published by Bucknell University Press in August 2019. Her education book on the teaching of writing, The Writing Shop: Putting “Shop” Back in Writing Workshop, was published by Brill | Sense in March 2019. Suzanne’s writing includes creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, writing on writing, and writing for education. She appears in journals such as Kenyon ReviewCreative NonfictionPost RoadRiver Teeth, and PANK, as well as several anthologies. Her essay “If You Find a Mouse on a Glue Trap,” published in Brevity, won a Pushcart. A Connecticut native, Suzanne graduated from Trinity College and moved to Manhattan, where she taught elementary school. With an MA from The New School and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, she now teaches at Westport Writers’ Workshop. Suzanne has served as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Program as well as a reader, peer reviewer, and editor for several publications, most recently Longridge Review. Suzanne moved back to Connecticut in 2015; she now lives in a creek-cut wooded valley with her husband and three sons. More can be found at

Angie Kim


Angie Kim is the debut author of the national bestseller Miracle Creek, named an IndieNext and LibraryReads pick and a Best Book of 2019 by Time, the Washington Post, Kirkus, Library Journal, and Amazon. Her writing has appeared in Vogue, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Glamour, Salon, and Slate. She moved from Seoul, Korea, to Baltimore as a preteen, and attended Stanford University and Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three sons.

Shikha Malaviya


Shikha Malaviya ( is a South Asian poet and writer. She is co-founder of the (Great) Indian Poetry Collective, a mentorship model press publishing powerful voices from India and the Indian diaspora. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and featured in PLUME, Prairie Schooner, and other fine journals. Shikha was a featured TEDx speaker in GolfLinks, Bangalore, in 2013, where she gave a talk on poetry. She is a four-time AWP Writer to Writer mentor. Shikha was selected as poet laureate of San Ramon, California, 2016. Her book of poems is Geography of Tongues. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Previous Award Recipients

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List of Winners

Check out previous winners