In recognition of the special contributions women writers make to our culture and society, The Rona Jaffe Foundation is giving its twenty-fourth annual Writers’ Awards under a program that identifies and supports women writers of exceptional talent. The emphasis is on those in the early stages of their writing careers. This unique program offers grants to writers of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry to make writing time available and provide assistance for such specific purposes as child care, research and related travel costs.

Six emerging women writers have been singled out for excellence by the Foundation and will receive awards of $30,000 each. The 2018 winners are Chelsea Bieker, Lisa Chen, Lydia Conklin, Gabriela Garcia, Karen Outen, and Alison C. Rollins.

Rona Jaffe (1931-2005) established The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards program in 1995. It is the only national literary awards program of its kind dedicated to supporting women writers exclusively. Since the program began, the Foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million to emergent women writers.

Ms. Jaffe was the author of 16 books, including Class Reunion, Family Secrets, The Road Taken, and The Room-Mating Season (2003). Her 1958 best-selling first novel, The Best of Everything, was reissued by Penguin in 2005.

Note: The Foundation does
not accept unsolicited
applications or nominations.






















2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards Winners

(clockwise from top left): Chelsea Bieker, Karen Outen, Gabriela Garcia, Lydia Conklin, Alison C. Rollins, Lisa Chen


2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards Winners

September 13th Awards Celebration, New York City

(front, l-r): Lisa Chen and Alison C. Rollins

(back, l-r): Lydia Conklin, Karen Outen, Tayari Jones (guest speaker), Gabriela Garcia, and Chelsea Bieker

Photo by Star Black




2018 Guest Speaker - Tayari Jones

Photo by Star Black





Download 2018 Press Release



Listen to the 2018 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards Reading

A reading by Chelsea Bieker, Lisa Chen, Lydia Conklin, Gabriela Garcia, Karen Outen, and Alison C. Rollins

Friday, September 14, 2018

New York University's Vernon Creative Writers House



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Celebrating Women Writers with The Rona Jaffe Foundation
A Reading with past RJF Writers’ Awards winners Ama Codjoe, Meehan Crist, Kristin Dombek, and Apricot Irving
Poet and Cave Canem and MacDowell fellow Ama Codjoe; Essayist, science writer, and host of Convergence, a show about the future, Meehan Crist; Kristin Dombek (The Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism, FSG, 2016); and Apricot Irving (The Gospel of Trees, Simon & Schuster, 2018, a memoir of a missionary’s daughter in Haiti) will read from their work.
Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 7 p.m.
KGB Bar Red Room
85 East 4th Street, NYC
Admission Free