Whiting Writers' Award

When Skateboards will be free
Nonfiction, 2010

The Whiting selection committee called this the most engaging of autobiographies — “intelligent, funny, utterly unsmug and unpreening. The book compellingly depicts the Orwellian truth about how childhood can be a world where it’s impossible to be good, a realm in which Sayrafiezadeh is often aware that whatever thought he’s thinking is the wrong thought to be having. The coolness and apparent detachment of the writing begin to feel like clues to the internal strategies that allowed him to survive.”


PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fiction Prize

Brief Encounters With The Enemy
Shortlist, 2014


New York University

Outstanding Teaching Award
Creative Writing, 2013



New York Foundation for the Arts

Fiction Fellowship, 2010
Playwriting Fellowship, 2006
Playwriting Fellowship, 1996


Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction

When Skateboards Will Be Free
Longlist, 2010


Sirenland Writers Fellowship

Sirenland writers conference, 2008


Sundance Theatre Lab

New York Is Bleeding
Sundance Institute, 2005


New York Theatre Workshop

Artists' playwriting fellowship, 2001
Van Lier Playwriting Fellowship, 1997