What's it all about

The Literary Excellence Award is gifted to one recipient each year. The Lit Award is given to those who have made great contributions to poetry and poets. They are passionate educators who work to push new poets to their greatest potential while creating space for established poets to share their voice.  Past recipients include: Maria Mazziotti Gillan, Annemarie Vannatta, Yvonne Nambe Roach, and Ameerah Shabazz- Bilal. Each of the recipients have influenced  young writers, supported professional writers and have done so consistently for multiple decades.

Nominations for 2023 will open in January.

Members, partners and the immediate family of Word Seed, Inc.Nonprofit board are ineligible for this award (Do Not nominate us).

Qualifying Candidates will possess the following qualifications:

Demonstrated Service in Literary Arts

  • Contributions, specifically, to poetry and poets.
  • Holds or held regularly scheduled workshops or teaching experience for writers and/or poets in particular
  • Curates or curated space for both established poets and emerging poets.

Leadership For Emerging Writers

  • Candidates will have current or past leadership roles within a community, organization or other affiliation that include (among others) writers and/ or literary artists including thespians, spoken word artists and/or songwriters.

Moral Compass:

The candidate’s body of work and/ or service demonstrates one or more of the following:

  • Inclusion of contributions from or for Black, Indigenous; People of Color,
  • Inclusion of contributions from or for LBGTQ+ communities.
  • Contributions to or for anti violence work and advocacy
  • Contributions  to or for Special topics of advocacy
  • Community service

Submit your candidate by email at or by pushing the NOMINATE link below.

Include the following in your email:

  • bio
  • contact information (both you and the candidate)
  • photo
  • social media handle
  • 100 word explanation of why your candidate is deserving of the award