More Money, More Problems


What happens when writers suddenly face a windfall? Bad things. That’s why the Whiting Awards include a financial planning workshop for winners. Winners of the 2016 Whiting Awards each received $50,000. For authors who are struggling as freelancers or adjunct professors, that is a huge influx of cash. At the New York Times, Sarah Lyall catches up with this year’s winners after they attended the aforementioned financial planning workshop:

“There’s a temptation to use magical money for magical purposes, to say, I should just throw the money up in the air and quit my job for a year and write my book,” said Alice Sola Kim, 32, who supports herself in part from her job as the executive assistant to a Columbia professor, writes short fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications and is working on a novel. “But this has taught me there’s another way, too, that I can be prudent about the future.”

Ian MacAllen is the Rumpus Deputy Editor and founder of English Kills Review an online literary magazine focused on books, authors, and New York City. His writing has appeared in Little Fiction, Vol 1 Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, Chicago Review of Books, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He holds a Master’s Degree in English from Rutgers University and lives in Brooklyn. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →