NEW YORK (AP) _ You may never have heard of the Whiting Writers' Awards, but perhaps the names Tony Kushner and August Wilson ring a bell.

The two acclaimed playwrights are past recipients of the $35,000 awards, which are given each year to 10 emerging authors.

This year's recipients, announced Friday, include poets Michael Haskell and Terrance Hayes, playwright Naomi Iizuka and fiction writers Ehud Havazelet and ZZ Packer.

The awards are sponsored by the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation and are voted on by an anonymous panel of writers, scholars and editors.

``We're hoping to recognize some really fine writers at a point when they're most vulnerable, when they're working very much alone and they don't know if anyone's reading their work,'' Whiting director Barbara Bristol said Tuesday.

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