The Literary Society of the Southwest is an advocate for literature and literacy in the community. The Society hosts presentations by outstanding authors who speak about the journey to become an author and the books they have written.  Annual membership fees and generous donations provide funding for the mission of the Literary Society to make contributions to community organizations to support literacy programs.

The Grant Committee is pleased to announce the following recipients of $3,000 each for the 2020-2021 fiscal year:

The Friends of Scottsdale Public Library


A nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that supports reading programs and other initiatives to support public education. Grant funds will be used in children's expanded program.


Girl Scouts - AZ Cactus - Pine Council

Central & Northern Arizona

"Lit Camp" was developed from a pilot program with ASU to promote literacy during summer day camp sessions for more than 500 K-5 girls. Working on reading skills to explore Girl Scout pillars (STEM, the outdoors, entrepreneurship & life skills) to build confidence and discover the joy of reading.


Literacy Connects


Offers a wide range of programs to support adult literacy, families and children, including "Reading Seed" with one-to-one reading assistance for high-need students in K - 5th grades.


Make Way for Books

Tucson; Phoenix

A preschool reading program that provides young children (ages birth to 5) with access to books and language experiences necessary for school readiness. This organization in Southern Arizona has expanded to Phoenix. 


Read Better Be Better

A highly-structured afterschool reading comprehension program in elementary schools where older, trained students assist younger students to improve their reading skills. Middle school volunteers work one-on-one with 3rd graders who are at risk.


Read On Arizona


A public/private partnership of agencies, philanthropic organizations, and community stakeholders committed to improving language and literacy outcomes for children from birth through age eight, with strategic focus on school readiness and third-grade reading proficiency.


Creative Writing Contest

For several years, the Literary Society has supported students of Maryvale High School competing in a writing contest organized by their teacher and librarian, Jean Kilker. This year, seven students submitted short stories.

The $5,000 prize money was awarded as follows:

  • $3,000 to Cynthia, 12th grade
  • $500 to Noemi, 11th grade
  • $500 to Luis, 9th grade
  • $500 to Wendy, 11th grade
  • $150 each to the other three entries. The Grant Committee congratulates these talented, young writers and expresses so much gratitude to the Literary Society members who generously provided their time and careful consideration reviewing these essays.
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