A MESSAGE FROM ELLEN
A little more than a year ago, I was extremely honored—and humbled—to learn that a Friends of Writers scholarship was being established in my name. And now I am flat-out amazed at the immediate and generous participation by this community of writers.
Thanks to the class gifts from both 2016 MFA graduating classes at Warren Wilson, a dollar-for-dollar match from FOW Board members, a successful auction at the Anniversary Gala in June, the tireless efforts of some current students and alums from the WWC-MFA, the generosity of faculty supporters, and a 36% increase (over 2015) in individual donations and pledges, the campaign goal for the EBV has been not only met but exceeded: as of this writing, $149,619 has been deposited into the fund and invested.
Anticipating a year of conservative investment income, and fulfillment of existing pledges, we are confident we can begin awarding the scholarship in January 2018. Its purpose is to provide an adult student an “extra” semester of low-residency study, specifically focused on preparation of a first-book manuscript of poems. The EBV now allows the Carol Houck Smith Scholarship to be reserved for similar work in fiction, providing crucial support in both genres.
If you were able to make a gift, please accept sincere thanks from me and the entire Friends of Writers Board. Additional donations are still very welcome, and needed: the fund must double in size in order for its support to continue in perpetuity. As always, you can make a secure donation by clicking on the teal “Donate” button to the right on this webpage. In the last step of the transaction, you’ll have the chance to leave a “memo to the seller”—paypal-speak for directing your gift to any of the FOW Scholarship Funds, or designating your gift in someone’s honor.
Some of you have already used that option to remember our recently lost poets, Michelle Gillett, Carlen Arnett (both WWC-MFA alumnae), and Thomas Lux. Tom was also, of course, a truly remarkable teacher, notably at Goddard, Warren Wilson, Sarah Lawrence, and Georgia Tech. I told him once that he was the “Johnny Appleseed” of poetry—which prompted from him that big grin—and it’s true that he had a phenomenal ability to foster a love of poetry in just about everyone who crossed his path. And that was matched by endless generosity, with his time, enthusiasm, money, and genuine sweetness. We very much hope for gifts in his name that can establish a Thomas Lux Scholarship.
There’s also the old-fashioned method: send a contribution by snail-mail, and include any designation on the memo line of your check or on the contributor’s card we’ve provided. But we’ve provided it for another very important reason: we need you to update your contact information!! Snail-mail is cumbersome, costly, and inefficient (those “forwarding orders” do expire…). We would very much like to send out community news more frequently, but we’ll need to do so electronically. Please help us by returning the updated card. In the meantime, we encourage you to sign up for the blog, which you can choose to receive at the frequency you prefer.
With deepest gratitude,