Christopher Chen and Sonya Kelly Among 8 Winners of 2024 Windham-Campbell Prizes | Playbill

Awards Christopher Chen and Sonya Kelly Among 8 Winners of 2024 Windham-Campbell Prizes

Recipients of the international literary prize each receive $175,000.

Christopher Chen and Sonya Kelly

The 2024 recipients of the international Windham-Campbell Prizes, recognizing eight writers each year for literary achievement across four categories (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama), have been announced. 

This year's writers, who will each receive $175,000 to support their work, include Christopher Chen (United States) and Sonya Kelly (Ireland) for drama as well as Deirdre Madden (Ireland) and Kathryn Scanlan (United States) for fiction; Christina Sharpe (Canada-United States) and Hanif Abdurraqib (United States) for nonfiction; and m. nourbeSe philip (Canada-Trinidad and Tobago) and Jen Hadfield (United Kingdom-Canada) for poetry.

Chen is being honored for his portfolio of politically provocative plays, including the Obie-winning Caught, while Kelly is celebrated for her skill and elegance as a storyteller, crafting universal, dramatic experiences in Once Upon a Bridge and The Last Return.

Michael Kelleher, director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes, said in a statement, “Each year, I feel incredibly honored to call the eight recipients: to be the messenger delivering the entirely unexpected and life-changing news that they have been awarded $175,000. It is clear—now, more than ever—how challenging working in the creative industries, around the world, can be. A Windham Campbell Prize is intended to offer financial security, and through this freedom, the time and space to write, to think, to create —all without pressure or expectation.”

Previous U.S. writers that have been awarded a Windham-Campbell Prize include Percival Everett (Fiction, 2023), Ling Ma (Fiction, 2023), Dominique Morisseau (Drama, 2023), Margo Jefferson (Nonfiction, 2022), Vivian Gornick (Nonfiction, 2021), Michael R. Jackson (Drama, 2021) Anne Boyer (Nonfiction, 2020), Cathy Park Hong (Poetry, 2018), C. E. Morgan (Fiction, 2016), Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Drama, 2016), and Jeremy Scahill (Nonfiction, 2013). Additional international recipients include Tsitsi Dangarembga (Fiction, Zimbabwe, 2022), Bhanu Kapil (Poetry, United Kingdom, 2020), Lorna Goodison (Poetry, Jamaica/Canada, 2018), Marina Carr (Drama, Ireland, 2017), Helen Garner (Nonfiction, Australia, 2016), Edmund de Waal (Nonfiction, United Kingdom, 2015), Helon Habila (Fiction, Nigeria, 2015), and Pankaj Mishra (Fiction, India, 2014).

The brainchild of lifelong partners Donald Windham and the late Sandy M. Campbell, the prizes, first announced in 2013, are administered by Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Nominees for the prizes are considered by judges who remain anonymous; recipients write in the English language and may live in any part of the world.

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