On behalf of the Board, I want to thank everyone who donated and volunteered, and made this a dynamic and eventful year of change for Friends of Writers. Here are a few highlights:
Recap of Scholarship and Fundraising
FOW awarded over $107,850 to 60 students and alumni in grants and scholarships, including 15 Grants for Change totalling $10,500. We had 100% participation from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College class of 2022. We have raised $58,000 for Grants for Change and are 19% of the way toward our goal of raising the $300,000 that we will need to endow the fund. We are immensely grateful for your enthusiasm and generosity.
July Graduation Ceremony
This summer, the MFA Program for Writers held the first in-person Graduation Ceremony at WWC since the pandemic. Keynote speaker, Peter Turchi, delivered a moving speech to the graduates and their families, focusing on the individual nature of the writing journey, and the kinds of support that makes writing possible. You can read Pete’s speech here.
Over 70 alumni registered to share writing, workshops, panels, and the annual auction at the third virtual Wally Conference. We are grateful to new alumni, particularly Liza Duncan (Poetry ‘22) who dove right in and led a class and Sebastian Merrill (Poetry ‘21) who stepped up to help one participant with technical problems. Together, the conference raised over $4,000 through the annual auction and raffle. Thank you to all who attended!
A Piece of FOW History
Larry Levis once wrote “…writing is the act of discovering something in the process of writing, and that fresh ‘something’ becomes the being of the poem, its identity which is somehow final and independent, when complete, of the poet.”
The Larry Levis Post-Graduate Stipend opens for submissions September 15th through November 1st 2022. Two stipends, one in fiction and one in poetry, support alumni who are completing first books. For any questions, please contact Nathan McClain at [email protected]. We will be hosting a Levis Reading on November 10th, so mark your calendars!
Upcoming Event October 13th!
Join us for a reading and conversation with our board member Natalie Baszile on October 13th 2022 at 7 pm EDT via Zoom. Natalie’s new non-fiction book, We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land & Legacy, brings together essays, poems, conversations, portraits, and first-person narratives to tell the story of Black people’s connection to the land from Emancipation to the present. Her previous novel, Queen Sugar, was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014, was long-listed for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award. It is currently being adapted for a seventh television season by writer/director Ava DuVernay, and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey. Click here to register for Natalie’s reading!
Please welcome our new staff member – Nuha Fariha. As FOW’s Administrative Manager, she is overseeing donor engagement, communication and more. Nuha is a second year MFA student at Louisiana State University. In addition, she serves as Development Assistant at Laal NYC, a nonprofit providing resources for Bengali women in the Bronx. She has worked in the nonprofit industry for over four years and currently lives in Baton Rouge with her partner and one year old son. You can contact her at [email protected].
We also want to thank the incredible Jessica Lane for her continued support. Jessica has worked for Friends of Writers since 2015. Prior to that, she worked as a Project Manager for the MFA Program for three years. In her position with FOW, she works primarily with constituent and donation management and reporting. During the day, she serves as the Director of Education + Public Programs for the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, WA. She has worked in the museum and nonprofit world for over 20 years and currently lives in Everett, WA with her husband, Ross, and their dog, Addie.
Have FOW history or news to share?
Email Nuha at [email protected]. We welcome any news past, present and future to celebrate with the FOW community!
President, Friends of Writers
P.S. If you recently changed your contact information, please send it to Nuha ([email protected]).