Celebrating the craft of writing and encouraging the development of finding one’s voice through the expression of words on a page, this annual prize is usually awarded at the Opening Night of our Book Festival. The winner and four finalists are selected from the essay competition held for high school students.

We believe in the power of words to shape and change lives. Our hope is that our students will find a platform of words and a love of reading to understand that while they may live on an island, there is no limit to imagination.

Inspired by the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, this award was created by Mary Haft to encourage our students to find the courage to write their own stories. Click here to read the 2023 Nantucket Book Festival Young Writer Award essay submissions.