Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout established The Swarthout Awards in Writing in the Department of English at Arizona State University in 1962. The Swarthout Awards are financially one of the top creative writing prizes in America for students from undergraduate and graduate writing programs. With 2012 marking the 50th anniversary of the awards, this award series has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to support emerging creative writers at Arizona State University. The contest is a wonderful opportunity for young writers to receive recognition and financial support for their work. Past winners of the Swarthout Awards have used this support as a springboard for their future careers, reflecting upon Glendon Swarthout’s own fortune in winning the Hopwood Award, the first award in his distinguished literary career. In 2013, the tradition continued when Swarthout Award winner Adam Johnson was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Orphan Master's Son.
2010 fiction winner Adrienne Celt is the author of the novels End of the World House (Simon & Schuster 2022), Invitation to a Bonfire (Bloomsbury 2018) and The Daughters (Norton/Liveright) which won the 2015 PEN Southwest Book Award for Fiction and was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR. Invitation to a Bonfire launches in 20223 as a limited series on AMC.
2012 poetry winner Dexter L. Booth is the author of Abracadabra, Sunshine (Red Hen Press, 2021) and the collection Scratching the Ghost (Graywolf Press, 2013), which won the 2012 Cave Canem Poetry Prize.
2013 fiction winner Allegra Hyde is the author of Eleutheria, as well as the short story collection Of This New World which won the John Simmons Short Fiction Award through the Iowa Short Fiction Award Series. A Fulbright Fellow, she teaches at Oberlin College.