Kiese-Laymon-Headshot-200x300The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are pleased to announce that author Kiese Laymon will be the judge of A Suite of One’s Own: The Alumni Writer’s Residency!

Kiese Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Laymon attended Millsaps College and Jackson State University before graduating from Oberlin College. He earned an MFA in Fiction from Indiana University. Laymon is currently the Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi. He served as the Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nonfiction at the University of Iowa in Fall 2017.  Laymon is the author of the novel, Long Division, and a collection of essays, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, the UK edition released in 2016.

Laymon has written essays, stories and reviews for numerous publications including Esquire, McSweeneys, New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, Colorlines, NPR, LitHub, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, PEN Journal, Fader, Oxford American, The Best American Series, Ebony, Travel and Leisure, Paris Review, and Guernica. He has two books forthcoming, including a memoir called Heavy expected in October 2018 and a novel, And So On, in 2019, both from Scribner.

Past judges include Edwidge DanticatTina Chang, and Natalie Diaz.

About the Residency

The Alumni Writer’s Residency provides two promising writers with a five-night stay in a suite at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in New York City to further their work—whether completing a current project or embarking on a new endeavor. Residency also includes a $1,000 award; an additional stipend up to $1,000 for travel to and from the residency; select meals, and opportunities to meet with literary professionals. Residents will be asked to share impressions of and photos from the residency with Alliance staff to share on social media, as well as complete a post-residency survey.


  • Must be a Scholastic Awards Alumni
  • Writers of all forms are eligible to apply
  • Currently enrolled high school and undergraduate students are not eligible
  • Special consideration will be given to applicants who have not previously participated in a writer’s residency

How to Apply

Applications are open October 3, 2018 through January 6, 2019. Submit your application.

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