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About Hopwood


The Hopwood Program administers the Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood Awards in writing as well as many other contests and prizes. The program was endowed by Avery Hopwood, a popular American dramatist and member of the Michigan Class of 1905. Mr. Hopwood bequeathed one-fifth of his considerable estate to the University of Michigan with the stipulation that it be used to encourage "the new, the unusual, and the radical" in creative writing among students. During the years that have passed since the first Hopwood Awards were made in 1931, we have been able to award a cumulative total of almost $6,000,000 to more than 3,300 gifted writers. Former winners include Arthur Miller, Robert Hayden, John Ciardi, Frank O’Hara, Marge Piercy, Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop, Merrill Gilfillan, Lawrence Kasdan, Jane Kenyon, Mary Gaitskill, John U. Bacon, Susan Jane Gilman, Gabrielle Civil, Bich Minh Nguyen, Paisley Rekdal, Davey Rothbart, Diane Cook, Elizabeth Kostova, Jesmyn Ward, Celeste Ng, Randa Jarrar, Samiya Bashir, Chigozie Obioma, Jia Tolentino, Brit Bennett, Lillian Li, Danez Smith, and more. 

Click here for 1998 remarks on the history of the program and the legacy of Avery Hopwood, written for the New York Times.



The Hopwood Room was established by Professor Roy W. Cowden, Director of the Hopwood Awards from 1933 to 1952, who generously contributed a part of his library, which has grown through the addition of many volumes of contemporary literature, thanks in large part to the Miriam Baron Zerman Book Fund. In addition to housing the winning manuscripts from the past years of the contests, the Hopwood Room has a lending library of twentieth and twenty-first century literature; active subscriptions to 50+ current literary journals that feature creative writing; reference books; information on graduate and summer writing programs; and a collection of screenplays donated by Hopwood winner Lawrence Kasdan. The Hopwood Room is a great place to read, gather, get some writing done, or just relax. You can find us open most weeks from 9-5, Mondays through Friday.


Hopwood Teas are held regularly during the fall and winter terms on Thursdays, an informal gathering to which all — students, staff, faculty, community members — are welcome. Visiting writers are often special guests at the tea.