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Celebrating the Winners of the 31st Annual Larry Neal Writers' Competition

Thursday, May 15, 2014
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities recognizes the artistic excellence of emerging and established DC writers

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) announced the winners of the 31st Annual Larry Neal Writers’ Competition on Friday, May 9, 2014, at the Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage. The competition, which was held in partnership with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation, commemorates the artistic legacy and vision of cultural understanding of Larry Neal, a renowned author, academic and former Executive Director of the DCCAH.

The Awards Ceremony was marked with exciting performances, including Dolores Kendrick, the Poet Laureate of the District of Columbia as well as stage readings of selected winners’ work. 

In March 2014, the DCCAH received over 130 submissions from emerging and established writers residing in the District of Columbia, a true testament to the vitality of the literary arts here in the nation’s capital.  Award categories include poetry, fiction, essays and dramatic writing.  Thirty finalists were announced earlier in May.

“It’s no secret that Washington, DC has a vibrant and thriving arts scene, and the literary arts are an exciting part of that community,” said Judith Terra, Chair of DCCAH. “The Larry Neal Writers’ Awards highlight the outstanding work these authors create. We are proud to showcase the District as a world-class cultural capital on the international stage."

“We are continually impressed with the literary excellence in the District of Columbia, from all levels of writing experience, that contributes to making our city a wonderful place to live, work and play," said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.



Adult Poetry

Gregory Luce

for Dream of Hands, Near Thanksgiving and Fire Song


Adult Fiction

Fataima Warner

for Eggs


Adult Dramatic Writing

Michael Moss

for Day of Atonement


Teen Poetry

Daniela Shia-Sevilla

for Ocean and Orchids


Teen Fiction

Kay Dosunmu

for Pushed


Youth Poetry

Sophia Diggs-Galligan

for Autos and Neo-Applicant


Youth Poetry

Raya Kenney

for Missing Smile


Youth Fiction

Ellida Parker

for The Wanderers


Youth and Teen Essay

Zahir Muhammad

for Give a Man a Fish and He’ll Eat for a Day


About the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities provides grants, professional opportunities, education enrichment, and other programs and services to individuals and nonprofit organizations in all communities within the District of Columbia. The Arts Commission is supported primarily by District government funds and in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.