Each year, Poets & Writers — the nation's largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers and publishers of Poets & Writers Magazine — invites poets and fiction writers from a selected state to apply for the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. This year, that state is Maine.

Poets & Writers invites writers from the state of Maine to apply for the 2017 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. One fiction writer and one poet from Maine will be selected to receive an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to meet with top literary professionals, including editors, agents, publishers and prominent writers. While in New York, winners also will give a reading hosted by Poets & Writers. In addition, each winner is invited to spend a month at the Jentel Artist Residency Program in Banner, Wyo. The judges for 2017 are Tania James for fiction and Cynthia Cruz for poetry.

To be eligible, writers must be residents of Maine (currently and for at least the past two years) and must have published no more than one full-length book in the genre in which they are applying.

The prestigious award, which aims to provide promising writers a network for professional advancement, has helped to launch the careers of Sue Monk Kidd (“The Secret Life of Bees”), Elaine Beale (“Another Life Altogether”), Sandra Beasley (“Don't Kill the Birthday Girl”), David Mura (“Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei”), Fae Myenne Ng (“Bone”), Mona Simpson (“My Hollywood”) and others.

Since Poets & Writers launched the Writers Exchange in 1984, more than 90 writers from 38 states and the District of Columbia have been selected to participate. The award is generously supported by Maureen Egen, a member of the Poets & Writers board of directors and retired deputy chairman and publisher of Hachette Book Group USA.

Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 9. To download the guidelines and application form, visit at.pw.org/wexaward.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.