The first annual Sonny Mehta Fellowships and Sonny Mehta Scholarships are being awarded to four international students at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop and the University of East Anglia. At the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Bader Al-Awadi has been named Poetry Fellow and Waseem Rashid has been named Fiction Fellow. At the University of East Anglia, Zui Kumar-Reddy has been awarded a Scholarship in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) and Perla Kantarjian has been awarded a Scholarship in Creative Writing (Poetry).
Founded in honor of longtime Knopf publisher Sonny Mehta, who died in 2019, the awards are funded by an endowment from Gita Mehta, novelist, documentary filmmaker, and Mehta's widow. The awards give preference to applicants from underrepresented countries, particularly the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and North Africa. Gita Mehta commented: "These endowments align with Sonny's conviction as a publisher. Giving writers the freedom and time and support they need to carry forward with their work."