New York University’s Creative Writing Program’s Fall Reading Series will host the recipients of the 2007 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards at a special event on Friday, September 28, at 7 p.m., at NYU’s Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House, located at 58 W. 10th Street. The winners, six emerging women writers, will read from their works. The reading is free and open to the public; for further information, call Danielle Veith at 212.998.8850; email; or visit

The women writers featured in the event are:

  • Elif Batuman (nonfiction/fiction) of San Francisco has published nonfiction work in The New Yorker, n+1, and The Nation, and her subjects are as various as Isaac Babel, Russian ice palaces, and Thai boxing. She has a B.A. from Harvard and has just completed her Ph.D. in comparative literature at Stanford. She is currently working on her first novel entitled My Apprenticeship, her own version of the Bildungsroman with a twist.
  • Sarah Braunstein (fiction) of Portland, Maine, is working on a first novel, Split, that follows several interconnected characters in the process of fleeing their small-town lives. She has an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa and recently completed her M.S.W. from Smith College and has been working part-time as a social worker.
  • Robin Ekiss (poetry) of San Francisco is finishing her first collection of poems, The Mansion of Happiness, which takes its title from the first board game published in America. Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Ploughshares, Triquarterly, and VQR. A graduate of Wesleyan University and UC Davis, she was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford, where she teaches Continuing Studies courses.
  • Alma García (fiction) of Seattle is working on her first novel, Shallow Waters, which follows the lives of the DuPre and Gonzalez families of El Paso, Texas, during the harrowing year after Rose DuPre, wife and mother, disappears. She received her M.F.A. from the University of Arizona, and her stories have appeared in Narrative and Passages North, among other publications.
  • Jennifer Grotz (poetry) of Greensboro, North Carolina, is an assistant professor of creative writing at UNC, Greensboro, and assistant director of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her first collection of poems, Cusp, won the Bakeless Prize for Poetry and was published by Houghton Mifflin in 2003. A graduate of Indiana University and the University of Houston, she is working on a second poetry collection.
  • Holly Goddard Jones (fiction) of Kentucky has just completed her first story collection, Girl Trouble. Her work has appeared in The Gettysburg Review, The Kenyon Review, EPOCH, and The Southern Review; and her story “Life Expectancy” was selected by Edward P. Jones to be included in New Stories from The South: The Year’s Best, 2007. She received her M.F.A. from Ohio State and currently teaches at Murray State University. She is working on a novel, Magnetic North.

The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards program identifies emergent women writers of exceptional promise. The Foundation recognizes that women writers make special contributions to our culture and, through the Writers’ Awards program, tries to address the difficulties that some of the most talented among them have in finding time to write and in gaining recognition. Women who write fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry may qualify for the program’s grants of $25,000. Awards are given to those in the early stages of their writing careers whose published or unpublished work reveals accomplishment and demonstrates a commitment to writing. Nominations of candidates are solicited from writers, editors, critics, and other literary professionals who are likely to encounter women writers of unusual talent. (Direct applications and unsolicited nominations are not accepted by the Foundation.) A selection committee is appointed each year to recommend awards from among the nominees. For further information, visit

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