Congratulations to the 2023 winners of the Thornton Wilder Writing Competition!
About Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1897. He studied at Oberlin College and Yale University and later became a teacher of literature and creative writing. Both a novelist and a playwright, he is considered one of the most important American writers. He won three Pulitzer Prizes: for the novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), and for two plays, Our Town (1938), and The Skin of Our Teeth (1943). Another play, The Merchant of Yonkers (1939), which he rewrote as The Matchmaker, became the basis for the popular musical Hello, Dolly.
Wilder is not only an internationally known and respected author. Because he lived in Hamden from 1929 until his death in 1975, Hamden also claims him as one of its most noted residents. He is the inspiration for the annual Hamden writing competition for high school students, begun in 1986 by Augusta Thomas and the Friends of the Hamden Library. The prizes that are awarded each year have been made possible by a generous endowment from Thornton Wilder’s sister, Isabel Wilder, who resided in Hamden until her death in 1995.