Miriam Chaikin Endowment Fund

The Miriam Chaikin Endowment Fund was established in 2016 in memory of Miriam Chaikin, a longtime Westbeth resident, former Westbeth Artists Residents Council Literary Arts Chair, and prolific writer.

For Miriam, the written word and the book were essential to her life and well-being. It is in her memory that we seek to honor a member of the writing community, especially those writers who live in Westbeth.

How to Apply

Every year in December there is a Call for Entries, which is published on the Westbeth website and E-Blasted to the general public.

Writers are invited to submit short stories, excerpts from longer works of fiction or creative nonfiction, plays, screenplays, or poetry. Works for review should not exceed 5,000 words. Authors will retain full copyrights to their works.

For poetry:
Limited to submission of 15 poems of your choosing (rather than whole book).

For prose:
5,000 words. If extracted from a longer work, we request a brief synopsis to frame the excerpt.

Submissions can be either published or unpublished manuscripts. Writers are encouraged to submit works that have not previously been submitted to this competition. All submissions will have the author’s name and any identifying information redacted, and the submissions will be read by a review panel composed of friends and family of Miriam’s as well as the Westbeth Artists Residents Council’s Literary Arts Chair.

Award
The winner of the award will receive $500 from the Miriam Chaikin Endowment Fund and a reading of their work. (Because of the pandemic, public readings of works have been cancelled.)

Past Winners
2017
Christina Maile, prose and Carol Hebald, prose
2018
Joan Hall, poetry, Kelly Nicole Long, poetry, and Joyce Yaeger, prose
2019
Jack Dowling, prose and Elizabeth Lash, poetry
2020
Suzanne Ruta, prose and Matthew Corey, poetry
2021
Christina Maile, prose and Fran Markover, poetry

About Miriam Chaikin
Born in Palestine, Miriam/Molly/Chickie, as she was known, grew up in Brooklyn, and her childhood memories and life in a close-knit Jewish community are all themes represented in her writing. She worked earlier in her career as an editor of literature for young people, and most of her books are intended for children and youth. Her works include lushly illustrated retellings of Old Testament lessons, humorous stories of the misadventures of “Molly and Yossi” (based on her childhood and that of her beloved younger brother Joseph), and collections of poetry. The last two books she completed were for adults – Jewish Wisdom for Daily Life and Jerusalem: An Informal Autobiography of the City.

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