The Arts Club of Washington has announced the winners of the third annual National Award for Arts Writing. The $15,000 Award, although relatively new, has one of the largest purses of any annual book award in the U.S., and is the only award for non-fiction books on the arts for a general audience. For the first time in the Award’s history, there are two winners, who will split the prize: Michael Sragow, for Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master (Pantheon Books) and Brenda Wineapple, for White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson (Alfred A. Knopf)
This year’s judges for the Award were noted book and film critic David Kipen; Linda Pastan, former Poet Laureate of Maryland; and Reynolds Price, National Book Critics Circle Award-winner and author of twenty-two novels. Winners of the National Award for Arts Writing must be living American authors, and books must be published in the U.S. in the previous year. The award honors and encourages excellence in writing (“prose that is lucid, luminous, clear and inspiring”) and can be about any artistic discipline. The award goes to books that help readers build a strong connection with arts and artists.
For more information on the award, and how to submit books for the 2009 competition, see the Arts Club of Washington web site: http://www.artsclubofwashington.org/award.html.
P.S. Kim Roberts also edits the Beltway and the Beltway Poetry News, a veritable cornucopia. More anon.