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ZZ Packer and Rebecca Solnit Among NEA Fellows in Prose

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A blog from: Poets & Writers Magazine

Posted by Prize Reporter on 12.21.09

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced the recipients of its annual fellowships in creative writing, given this year to prose writers. Forty-two writers, representing seventeen states and Washington, D.C., each received a twenty-five thousand dollar grant.

The fellows in fiction are:
Salar Abdoh, Lina Meruane, Matthew Sharpe, and Teddy Wayne, all of New York City
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara of Boston
Sean Brendan-Brown of Olympia, Washington
Serena Crawford and Ismet Prcic, both of Portland, Oregon
Michael Czyzniejewski of Bowling Green, Ohio
Barry Gifford and Michael David Lukas, both of Berkeley, California
Frances Hwang of South Bend, Indiana
Ben Jahn of Albany, California
Adam Johnson and Suzanne Rivecca, both of San Francisco
Sheri Joseph of Atlanta
Roy Kesey of Ukiah, California
Dylan Landis of Washington, D.C.
Margaret McMullan of Evansville, Illinois
Alison Moore of Driftwood, Texas
ZZ Packer of Austin, Texas
Rae Paris of Tempe, Arizona
Aimee Phan of Oakland;
Lewis Robinson of Portland, Maine
Robert Rosenberg of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Anne Sanow of Provincetown, Massachusetts
Gregory Blake Smith of Northfield, Minnesota
Leah Stewart of Cincinnati
Melanie Sumner of Rome, Georgia
Padma Viswanathan of Fayetteville, Arizona
Matthew Vollmer of Blacksburg, Virginia
Vinnie Wilhelm of Guilford, Connecticut
Simone Zelitch of Philadelphia

The fellows in creative nonfiction are:
Matthew Batt of Saint Paul
Douglas Bauer of Boston
Donovan Hohn of New York City
Daniel Raeburn of Chicago
Paul Reyes of Little Rock, Arkansas
Rebecca Solnit of San Francisco
Christina Thompson of Lincoln, Massachusetts
Joan Wickersham of Cambridge, Massachusetts
Frank B. Wilderson III of Irvine, California

The NEA received nearly one thousand eligible applications, 24 percent of which were in creative nonfiction and 76 percent in fiction. The ratio of awards given in each genre closely reflects the makeup of the application pool, with 21 percent of fellowships granted to creative nonfiction writers, and 79 percent to fiction writers.

This year's judging panel, which reviewed an estimated twenty-five thousand manuscript pages, included Michael Chabon, Bobbie Ann Mason, Kelly Link, William Henry Lewis, and Francisco Goldman.

The NEA's creative writing fellowships are given in alternating years to prose writers and poets. The next deadline, for poets, is March 4, 2010.

In the video below, creative nonfiction fellow Joan Wickersham reads from her 2008 book The Suicide Index (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a finalist for the National Book Award.

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