WHAT IS A CREATIVE WRITING FELLOWSHIP?
Creative Writing fellowships are $3,000 unrestricted awards of merit, based on a writer’s body of work, and honoring Wyoming’s literary artists whose work reflects serious and exceptional writing. One fellowship will be awarded in each category of Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Fiction, for a total of three fellowships. Applications are juried by noted authors, literary agents, or writing professionals from outside the state. Jurors may award honorable mentions. Recipients of the Creative Writing fellowships will share their work at a Wyoming literary conference.
The Wyoming Arts Council is now accepting applications for the Creative Writing Fellowships. Applications must be submitted online through Submittable where full details and eligibility requirements can also be found. The deadline to apply is June 3, 2020.
Fiction – Mesha Maren
Mesha Maren is the author of the novel Sugar Run (Algonquin Books). Her short stories and essays can be read in Tin House, The Oxford American, The Guardian, Crazyhorse, Triquarterly, The Southern Review, Ecotone, Sou’wester, Hobart, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and elsewhere. She was the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation. She was the 2018-2019 Kenan Visiting Writer at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Duke University and also serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at the federal prison camp in Alderson, West Virginia.
Creative Nonfiction – Marie Mockett
Marie Mutsuki Mockett was born to an American father and Japanese mother, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations Her new book, American Harvest: God, Country and Farming in the Heartland, follows her journey through seven red agricultural states in the company of evangelical Christian harvesters, and examines the changing role of food, God, science, and race in society. Jason Diamond of Inside Hook called American Harvest “one of the most important books of 2020”; Marlon James wrote: “An extraordinary feat of empathy set against a land of reds, whites, and blues, American Harvest doesn’t just speak to the great divide―it dares to bridge it.” Mockett’s previous book, Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, examines grief against the backdrop of the 2011 Great East Earthquake, and Mockett’s family temple located 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power reactor. A 2011 Op Ed in The New York Times about 3.11, led to featured participation in the internationally televised NHK Documentary, “Venerating the Departed.” Mockett’s awards include a Fellowship from the US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Where the Dead Pause and the Japanese Say Goodbye, was a finalist for the 2016 PEN Open Book Award, the Indies Choice for Nonfiction and the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction and other honors. Her novel, Picking Bones from Ash, published by Graywolf, was a finalist for the Saroyan Prize and the Paterson Prize. She received her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars and lives in San Francisco. Mockett is part of the core faculty of the Rainier Writing Workshop in Tacoma, Washington, and Visiting Professor at Saint Mary’s MFA program in Moraga, California.
Poetry – Kathryn Savage
Kathryn Savage is a hybrid writer whose debut lyric essay collection, GROUNDGLASS, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in American Short Fiction, the Guardian, Poets & Writers, BOMB Magazine, the Academy of American Poets poets.org, the anthology Rewilding: Poems for the Environment, and World Literature Today, among others. Recipient of the 2018 Academy of American Poets James Wright Prize, she’s been awarded grants, fellowships, and residencies from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Minnesota State Arts Board, Millay Colony, Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, and Tulsa Artist Fellowship. In 2018, she was awarded the O’Rourke Travel Fellowship and the Graduate Research Partnership Program Fellowship from the University of Minnesota to research and write about volcanoes in Iceland. Prior to her Tulsa Artist Fellowship, she served as a program manager at The Loft Literary Center, overseeing the Loft Mentor Series fellowship in poetry and creative prose, a program which offers twelve emerging Minnesota writers the opportunity to work intensively with six nationally acclaimed writers for one fellowship year. During her six-year tenure at the Loft, she managed a range of literary arts programs funded by the Poetry Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Jerome Foundation. In the editorial space, Savage has served as an editor at the University of Minnesota Law School Institute on Crime and Public Policy and has read scripts for Focus Features and Cine Mosaic Films in New York City, as well as manuscripts for Sarabande Books. From 2014 to 2019 she volunteered with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, overseeing the organization’s annual broadside collaboration in partnership with the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Savage teaches creative writing in Augsburg Universities low-residency MFA program, and at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota. www.kathrynsavage.com.
The Wyoming Arts Council, with generous funding from The Pattie and Earle Layser Memorial Fund announces the Pattie Layser Greater Yellowstone Creative Writing and Journalism Fellowship. Open to writers and journalists, this fellowship seeks to intersect science, education, current events, and conservation to effectively communicate the Greater Yellowstone’s natural history and singular importance to society through creative and exceptional writing and subject communication.
This annual prestigious fellowship of $3,500 will be awarded to a creative writer (poetry, fiction, nonfiction), or those in the field of journalism (writer, photojournalist, videographer, documentary filmmaker, online or print media) who demonstrate serious inquiry and dedication to the Greater Yellowstone region through their work. Established and recognized authors are being sought, but emerging and mid-career writers are also encouraged to apply.
Applications are currently closed and will re open in Spring 2021.
Sarah Keller of Bozeman, MT
Sarah Keller is a Montana-based writer who covers people and nature through the lenses of science, conservation, hunting, and natural resource management. Adaptation, ingenuity, and resilience in the face of change are major themes in her work. She has reported on topics such as how wolverines will weather climate change, mountaineers helping to learn how our bodies work under stress, the science behind wildlife habitat conservation, and ecologists helping alpine forests survive. Her writing has appeared in High Country News, Biographic, Ensia, Smithsonian.com, MeatEater, VICE News, New Scientist, Adventure Journal, and The Center for Public Integrity. Keller has an academic background in ecology and climate science, with a master’s degree in Earth Science from the University of New Mexico. She is a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz Science Communication program. When not writing, Keller is dedicated to procuring food through hunting, foraging and gardening and is an avid backcountry skier and cyclist.
Honorable mentions were given to Linda Baker of Pinedale, Wyo., Hannah Habermann of Jackson, Wyo., Michael Koshmrl of Jackson, Wyo., Kristen Pope of Victor, Idaho, and Cassidy Randall of Missoula, Mont.
The Frank Nelson Doubleday Award of $1,000 is given for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script written by a woman writer. The Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award, $1,000, is given annually for the best poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or script which is informed by a relationship with the natural world. Both awards are designed to bring attention to writers in Wyoming who have not yet received wide recognition for their work, and to support emerging writers at crucial times in their careers. Applications are currently closed and will reopen in Spring 2021.
Linda Baker of Pinedale, WY | Blanchan Memorial Writing Award
Linda F. Baker is a teacher, angler, photographer, skier, recreationist, and conservationist. She lives at the foot of the Wind River Range in western Wyoming with her partner John, nine falcons, and a dog.
sid sibo of Afton, WY | Doubleday Memorial Writing Award
On a western Wyoming homestead, sid sibo feeds thin mountain soil and tends a mixed community of plants and critters with a like-minded partner. Story seeds, dropped by ravens or gathered from a job in environmental analysis, sprout here in lush mounds of manure. Though mushrooms ate the first two completed novels, sibo has last year’s single-month novel sniffing down an agent, and continues wrestling with a story that’s been a challenge for decades. Two poems are included in the 2019 No Small Things anthology. The three short pieces that earned this award belong to a linked, in-process collection called Familiar: stories. Other pieces from that collection received Honorable Mention in this contest last year and in the Rick DeMarinis contest, with upcoming publication in Cutthroat, a Magazine of the Arts. Interested readers can also find occasional “Acoustic Burro” blog posts celebrating earthly oddness at www.siboMountain.net.
Two honorable mentions were awarded to Leslie Bridewell McMillan of Rock Springs and Rose Burrows of Cheyenne for the Neltje Blanchan Memorial Writing Award
List of Previous Blanchan and Doubleday Award Recipients
Since 1989, 48 talented writers have received Blanchan/Doubleday awards: Liberty Lausterer, Lyndi Waters, Jayme Feary, Erin Jones, Geoffrey O’Gara, Betsy Orient Bernfeld, Hannah Hinchman, David Mouat, Sheila Roberts, Scott Hagel, Holly Skinner, C.L. Rawlins, Marcia Saum, Dainis Hazners, Barbara Gilbert, William Hoagland, Diane LeBlanc, Tina Willis, Maija Rhee Devine, Mary Beth Baptiste, Julene Bair, Chavawn Kelley, Geneen Marie Haugen, Janell Hanson, Mark Spragg, Karol Griffin, Stefani Farris, Laura Bell, Darcy Lipp-Acord, Jack Clinton, Tina Welling, Susan Marsh, Myra L. Peak, Marcia Hensley, Jeffe Kennedy, Melodie Edwards, Bo Moore, Barbara Smith, Alisan Peters, Lou O. Madison, Christine B. Nelson, W. Dale Nelson, Nina S. McConigley, Patricia Frolander, Edith Cook, George Vlastos, Christine Fadden, Yvette Ward-Horner, Matt Daly and Marylee White.