In recognition of the special contributions women writers make to our culture and society, The Rona Jaffe Foundation is giving its twenty-third 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 2017 winners are Aamina Ahmad, Ama Codjoe, Ebony Flowers, Tiana Nobile, Dominica Phetteplace, and Shawna Kay Rodenberg.

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 over $2 million to emergent women writers.

Ms. Jaffe was the author of sixteen 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.




But I do honestly think the world for women writers is much better than in the past. And I like to think that with the help of the Rona Jaffe fellowships more women might get to their first book via ever so slightly more direct paths, and that their books can be discovered more directly as well.

Rivka Galchen

(Full remarks here)


















2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards Winners

(clockwise from top left): Ama Codjoe, Dominica Phetteplace, Ebony Flowers, Shawna Kay Rodenberg, Aamina Ahmad, Tiana Nobile




2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards Winners

September 14th Awards Celebration, New York City

(front, l-r): Shawna Kay Rodenberg, Tiana Nobile, Aamina Ahmad

(back, l-r): Dominica Phetteplace, Ebony Flowers, Ama Codjoe

Photo by Star Black






2017 Guest Speaker - Rivka Galchen

Photo by Star Black







>Download 2017 Press Release



> Listen to 2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Awards Reading - New York University, September 15, 2017 (Find Ebony Flowers's comics presentation here.)



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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
Free Admission