PEN 2011 Emerging Voices Fellowship


Wow. It pays to google yourself from time to time. I didn't get the memo, but apparently I was a semifinalist in the 2011 PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. Not sure what that means, apart from getting my name on their nifty web site, but it's definitely cool. I will most certainly apply again next year and, if you're a first or second generation immigrant writer, you should too! --AL.

"Emerging Voices is a literary fellowship program that aims to provide new writers, who lack access, with the tools they will need to launch a professional writing career. Over the course of the year, each Emerging Voices fellow participates in: a professional mentorship; hosted Q & A evenings with prominent local authors; a series of Master classes focused on genre; and two public readings. The fellowship includes a $1,000 stipend.

The Mentorship Project grew out of PEN USA’s forum 'Writing the Immigrant Experience,' held at the Los Angeles Central Library in March 1994, which explored the issues, problems and challenges faced by first and second generation immigrant writers. It was evident from the forum that many of the culturally diverse communities of writers in Southern California have special needs and are often isolated from the literary establishment. In the fall of 1995, PEN USA initiated Emerging Voices as a literary mentorship designed to launch potential professional writers from minority, immigrant and other underserved communities.

Participants need not be published, but the program is directed toward poets and writers of fiction and creative nonfiction with clear ideas of what they hope to accomplish through their writing. There are no age restrictions."

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