A new award exclusively for Rochester-area writers will celebrate distinguished work and draw attention to the value of communication through the written word. River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester and 1979 alumnus Andrew Eiseman will offer annual prizes to writers in five categories for the Andrew Eiseman Writers Award.
Entries for the first award must be submitted by Sept. 1, 2005, for full-length books in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young people's literature, and playwriting. All books and plays must be published during the 2004 calendar year; in the case of playwriting, the work must have been presented by a professional group during that same period, but may have been published earlier.
"Never has one skill served me better than the ability to communicate through written words," said Eiseman, of Boulder, Colo. "While I work in technology of numbers, bits and bytes, it is the art and result of communication that make a real difference in the world. I so admire those who can write well in any discipline." He is currently director of business and program management for software development at StorageTechnology Corporation.
To be eligible, authors must live within a 50-mile radius of Rochester. The books cannot be self-published or e-books. A $1,000 prize will be awarded in each category where the judges have selected a winner.
The judges are: Marge Betley, literary manager/resident dramaturg at Geva Theatre; Richard Ben Cramer, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of such books as Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life and What it Takes: The Way to the White House; Andrew Eiseman; Joanna Hodgman, executive committee member of the Friends of the University of Rochester Libraries and former English teacher; Grant Holcomb, director of the Memorial Art Gallery; Linda Sue Park, winner of the 2002 Newbery Medal for best children's book and author of A Single Shard, When My Name was Keoko, and other titles; Jerold Ramsey, professor emeritus of English at the University of Rochester; and Annette Weld, advisory council member for River Campus Libraries and University alumna.
Submissions can be sent to: Andrea Weinstein, Room 236, Rush Rhees Library, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14627. Queries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or (585) 273-1341. The awards will be announced Dec. 1 and presented at a ceremony.
A Denver, Colo., native, Eiseman graduated from University of Rochester in 1979 with a degree in Performing Arts Management. The multi-disciplinary bachelor's degree gave him the chance to intern at Geva Theatre, and study at the Eastman School of Music and the University's business school as an undergraduate. He worked at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in various capacities including associate producer.
After earning his MBA at the University of Denver, Eiseman jumped on the high-tech bandwagon as a program manager for telecom and cable TV companies in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has served on the boards of charities, including the 10th Mountain Trail Association in Aspen, and the Center for American Places of Santa Fe.