The Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award honors both a high school senior who excels in creative writing and Fran Abrams, who worked tirelessly throughout her career to support the arts and humanities in Montgomery County. The Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award will be a competitive award open annually to all Montgomery County high school seniors. The award includes a cash prize of $1,000 and an award reception featuring a reading by both the winner and a notable local writer.
This award is given to a high school senior graduating in the class of 2013 who is enrolled in a public or non-public high school in Montgomery County to benefit his/her pursuit of a creative writing related career. The second annual $1,000 Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award for 2013 will be granted following a juried selection process that is based upon the merit of the original work submitted and the applicant’s potential for a creative writing related career, not financial need.
An applicant must meet all of the following criteria:
Before applying, please download the guidelines here: 2013 Abrams Guidelines
After reviewing the guidelines, please complete the applications here: 2013 Abrams Application
Please also fill out the Disclaimer and Responsibilities forms here: 2013 Disclaimer and Responsibilities
AHCMC staff will provide assistance to those applying for the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award. Applicants are encouraged to contact AHCMC with any questions they may have. Assistance is available via email, phone or in-person by contacting Robert Hanson at email@example.com or 301-565-3805.
"I’ve always had an affinity for writing. When I was younger, I wrote little poems about box turtles and baby lions in my school notebook. I thought writing was a natural thing that everybody did when they thought of something interesting. My father encouraged me to write by giving me mountains of books and reading me stories he’d written every night before bed. In high school, I discovered that I had a serious passion for writing. I started carrying around a little journal and writing bits of poems on homework, napkins, whatever I had at the moment of inspiration. During the summers, I had the tremendous opportunities to attend writing workshops at, first, the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop and then the Iowa Young Writers Studio. Both workshops introduced me to a tribe of other young writers, people who shared my attitude about life, the need to observe it critically, to record it, to reflect upon it and organize it into something meaningful and beautiful. My experiences at both programs convinced me that I wanted to pursue a career in writing, to join the writing community and immerse myself in the literature I love and the creative process I crave."
The award reception featured a reading by local author, Susan Coll. Susan Coll is the author of the novels Beach Week, Acceptance, Rockville Pike, and karlmarx.com. She has worked as a travel and feature writer, and has also written a few op-eds and book reviews, published in such places as The Asian Wall Street Journal, the International Herald Tribune, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Washington Post, and NPR.org. “Fire Safety Week,“ a short story set in New Delhi, was broadcast on the BBC World Service. She once wrote an essay about overscheduled kids and parents in the Washington Post. She is the Editorial and Programming Director at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, DC. Find her online at susancoll.com.
This award is given to a high school senior graduating in the class of 2012 who is enrolled in a public or non-public high school in Montgomery County to benefit his/her pursuit of a creative writing related career. The $1,000 Fran Abrams Award for 2012 will be granted following a juried selection process that is based upon artistic merit of the original work submitted and the applicant’s potential for a career related to creative writing, not financial need.
The Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award was established in July 2010 to celebrate Abrams' contributions to Montgomery County's cultural community. Former AHCMC Grants Director and Interim Public Art Trust Director, Abrams announced her retirement from AHCMC effective July 2010. During her nearly 10 years at AHCMC, Abrams oversaw the creation of Montgomery County’s first Cultural Plan, AHCMC’s 2007 Strategic Plan and served as the agency’s Interim Director. Abrams retired after 41 years of service to Montgomery County, including 10 years with the County Government, more than 20 years in non-profit organizations focused on early childhood education, arts and the environment.
AHCMC CEO Suzan Jenkins notes, "Fran's stalwart creativity and vision are a testament to the leadership and dedication she brought to the Arts and Humanities Council. We are proud to continue her legacy for years to come by inspiring students with the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award."
Abrams looks forward to spending time pursuing her personal artistic expression in polymer clay. She also serves as the manager of the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and Music Room. For further information about her work visit franabrams.com.
Donations for the Fran Abrams Creative Writing Award are being accepted via our secure online donation form or by mail at AHCMC, Attn: Fran Abrams Award, 801 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20910.