Every Year, the Writers for Writers Award celebrate authors that have contributed to other the development of other writers and the broader literary community. The awards are presented at the Poets & Writers’ annual dinner and are named the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards in acknowledgement of the booksellers’ long-standing support.
This year’s winners have been announced by Poets & Writers, and the well-deserving recipients of the 2019 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award are:
Reginald Dwayne Betts – “for mentoring individuals involved in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and for his efforts to reform these systems.”
Reginald Dwayne Betts writes memoirs and poetry. His most recent collection of poetry, Bastards of the Reagan Era, won the 2016 PEN New England Award in Poetry. While his memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival and Coming of Age in Prison, is just the beginning of his campaigning to reform the criminal justice system in the UK. He has also made numerous visits to prisons and juvenile detention centres, where he shares his poetry and talks about the power of reading, literacy and mentoring those in incarceration.
Neil Gaiman – “for advocating for freedom of expression worldwide and inspiring countless writers.”
Neil Gaiman writes books and graphic novels for all age groups, from children to adults, in both the fiction and non-fiction genre. His re-writing of the Norse myths, Norse Mythology, has recently been adapted as a radio drama, while his collaboration with the late-great Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, is being adapted for TV, the production for which Gaiman has been very involved with. As well as writing, Neil Gaiman is a strong advocate for libraries and literacy and has collaborated with Chris Riddell to create a book about the importance of art and creativity in Art Matters.
Roxana Robinson – “for her long-standing, fierce, and outspoken advocacy on behalf of authors.”
Roxana Robinson is an American writer who is best known for her 2008 novel, Cost, which was named by The Washington Post as one of the top five Best Novels of the Year. Her latest book, Sparta, was named one of the BBC’s Ten Best Books of the Year, Won the Maine Fiction Award, and was shortlisted for the Dublin Impac Award. For nearly 20 years, the author has been part of Word of Mouth, a network which supports and connect female fiction writers.
Last but not least, The Editor’s Award for 2019 has gone to Dawn Davis, the vice president of 37 Ink, an imprint of the Atria Publishing Group – a division of Simon & Schuster. Through her work, Davis has fought to diversify publishing and ensure more marginalised voices are heard through books.